The energy of the recent white supremacy rally in North Carolina has not eluded me. I have had no words to share…up until now.
I read something today that felt like spiritual bullying or spiritual shaming and I intended to respond to it point by point. The article, was directed specifically at ‘white spiritual women’ regarding white supremacy. I had quotes and responses amounting to ‘please don’t bully me into a certain type of behavior because you think my way of taking a stand isn’t good enough.’ I don’t appreciate anyone trying to bully me into a particular form of action by shaming my philosophy. However, about mid-way through I decided to change direction a little bit.
I believe wholly that ‘what you resist, persists’. I’ve seen it time and time again in my experience. I have seen more progress standing UP for something than for standing AGAINST something. And how I stand UP is my business, not to be judged insufficient by anyone else. I think response is more important and potent than resistance. How we as human beings respond to injustices is more powerful than staging a protest.
My entire life I have experienced discrimination because of the way I look, life events I had no control over, my gender, my weight, my age, my choice in partners, my employment and my socio-economic status and even my skin color just to name a few. “White privilege” isn’t an automatic free pass. White privilege is stacked odds, but not just against people of color, though that is what some would have you believe.
White privilege is really RWASPM (rich white Anglo Saxon Protestant male) privilege.
Believe me just being white does not open doors magically as people of color have been led to believe it does. While it may appear that the door is closed to you because you are of color, it is really closed to you because you are not a rich white Anglo Saxon Protestant male and there are more of us that don’t fit into that club, than do.
But that isn’t really what I decided to talk about either.
Many POC have discounted my experience of discrimination because they imagine that I cannot fathom what it is like to be discriminated against as they have been. I have already revealed to you the many ways I have experienced discrimination. This article that I mentioned above, however, asks the reader to imagine what it is like for people of color, specifically people of the color black. I don’t have to imagine it, my daughter is a person of color and I had many personal experiences related to that on top of what I’ve already shared with you, so I know.
But people of color have told me that my experience is not the same because it was not MY skin color that initiated the discrimination.
Do you see the contradiction? On one hand we are being asked to imagine ourselves in their place in order to empathize and on the other hand our empathy and personal experience is discounted. Even that assumption, that it wasn’t my skin color that initiated the discrimination, is inaccurate. I have always embraced people of other cultures and ethnicities, especially for my daughter’s benefit so I have often ventured places to be the only white person in the room, so to speak. I know what it is like to be rejected, hissed at, talked about, shunned and laughed at because ‘who did I think I was encroaching?’ I have received so much anger and hostility from black women in particular.
The true fact is that just as I cannot understand exactly how your experience has been as a person of color and thus cannot judge it, you cannot know how my experience has been and thus cannot judge it. No one can truly know another’s journey! Each of us only have the experience of being us. One black person cannot speak for the entire experience of black people, they can only speak for their own experience.
And this gets to where I wanted to speak today.
Racism is not the problem. It is a problem but it is not the problem. Discrimination is the problem, yet by dividing us all up into nice segregated factions, the system remains forever intact. The system has us so busy dividing ourselves into special interest groups that we diminish our power by lowering our numbers. Special interest groups keep the division going and thus discrimination lives on.
Notice how there has been a civil rights movement, a woman’s rights movement, a gay rights movement, a transgender rights movement, black lives matter movement, blue lives matter movement…and how many more I am overlooking now…doesn’t that sit strange with you? It is as if the founding fathers established that rights were only for heterosexual white Anglo Saxon Protestant males and the entire rest of society has had to battle for their inherent human rights, piece by piece!! Don’t man up, HUMAN up! Realize that we are all entitled to the same treatment, rights and privileges regardless of color of skin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, sexuality, religious beliefs, disability or socio-economic status. Do the right things across the board because we are all humans.
Comparing wounds is dangerous.
Each one of us that is not a RWASPM has experienced discrimination and the subsequent wounding of it. To say that one wound (like racism) is worst than another (such as transgender discrimination) is absurd and dangerous. Can you imagine grief (another extremely painful emotional wound) being divided like this? Can you imagine someone saying to a wife that their grief/loss is not as bad as the mother who lost a child? Or how about veterans who come back from war? Do you think in the VA the vets discuss whether the loss of this arm is worse than the lost of that leg?
Discrimination is a cancer. It doesn’t really matter which type of cancer you suffer from, it wounds everyone involved and those affected by it have a better chance of surviving it by banding together and maintaining a positive outlook. We don’t compare cancers and rank them, we know all cancer is ugly and scary. We also know some paths with cancer are longer and uglier than others, we lend them the support they need and we don’t deny another’s struggle because their path was different.
Comparing wounds is dangerous. I once was in an abusive situation and could not recognize it for what it was because I kept comparing it to ‘worst’ stories. I didn’t have broken bones or a black eye, so I denied my own experience. As a result of that I didn’t get the help I needed when I needed it and I lived with those scars for most of my life.
The gay and lesbian community expanded and embraced others by transforming into the LGBT community, and then the LGBTQ community, and now the LGBTQIA community!
We need to expand further and realize we are the human community.
We have to human up. We have to start recognizing ourselves in each other. Much like soldiers on the field do not refer to each other as anything other than ‘brother’. We have to start seeing Source in each other and loving each other as we love ourselves. We do that by not giving attention and credence to that which is not harmony. We do that by being an example, thereby being a mirror for the ugliness to view upon itself and judge its own reflection.
The article I mentioned above diminished those who would say “I prefer to focus on love and light.” Well, that is the only thing that is going to change the world. Now, do I think the author has a point that some white spiritual leaders are fraudulent and talk the talk but not walk the walk? Absolutely. I’ve been addressing that in many forms for a couple of years now. The author states, “As my friend Jess Sells Wertman said, “Know the difference between a leader and a marketer. Many marketers like to style themselves as leaders, but that doesn’t mean they ARE.”
I could not agree with this statement more! But I don’t want to digress, lest this become convoluted.
“Focusing on love and light” as a true leader is different than putting your head in the sand like a good marketer.
Focusing on love and light for me means doing whatever I can to infuse my world with love and light, because I know that will spread. It means treating all my fellow human beings as human beings without prejudice. It means that I provide service to everyone regardless of any differences we might have as long as they treat me with respect. It means I wish no one ill will. It means if I can help I will. It means that I see the Source in everyone and promote others in seeing it as well.
This is how I do battle. I do not resist. I allow love to flow through me so that it finds those who have been wounded and promote healing. I hold space so that anyone who finds me, will find a safe place to fall.
I will keep my vibration as a lantern to provide light in the darkness.