I have been fortunate enough to not have experienced this in my lifetime. I don't know what it feels like to be attacked, accused, scolded, or rejected solely because of the color on my skin. And if I have, I was oblivious to it. Because of this, I believed for many years that it wasn't happening. I really felt like people were using their color as some sort of defense, excuse almost. That if any bad thing happened it was because they were "such and such" or they got in trouble because they were ----. And I only felt that way because I, personally didn't "see" color. I had no sort of attachment or link if you will to my own color. My identity was just being Jewel, not being Mexican.
So I didn't know how to think in terms of color. I was raised in the military; I experienced different backgrounds & surroundings. I thought the best of the world. It couldn't do us any harm. Much of that ignorance was due to being young. If anything, I resisted my own race. I didn't grow up around my "own people." So being "American" was the way to go. Speaking English was better. In middle school I think I was proud that I didn't speak Spanish. I don't even know why I started thinking like this but I did. I explain all of this just to paint you the picture that I was so out of touch with being Mexican and looking at "color."
It wasn't until college that I heard first hand stories of racism:white, black, Asian and Hispanic. You should have seen my face! Big eyes. Really???? Yes really. It was happening all around me. Wow. I think the nature of the human being is that sometimes we lack compassion for others. Actually a lot of the time we do. It's not until we experience something first hand:cancer, autism, racism, homelessness, abortion, abuse, addiction-that we actually begin to care about it.
And I will humbly say there are many things in this world, that I Do care about, but racism has never been at the top of that list. Because I never really experienced it; I didn't believe it happened, and because I didn't believe, I almost didn't care. Yep that's true. I believe we all get a shot, we all experience HARD things and we all have to choose to move on past it. I've had some very difficult road blocks and I've just had to push through them and continue running my race. And I still believe that life is unfair and will continue to be unfair as long as we are living on this Earth, away from Christ.
I don't believe there will ever be justice on this Earth, that it will ever be "Equal." This isn't Heaven. We are all flawed in our hearts. All we have is our own free will to be like Christ. But I think the problem with my thinking is that, sometimes I can be so unbiased about certain things that I forget to stop and think; to care. Many times I've posted about abortion and often the feedback is "dont judge!" "it's a woman's body-you can't decide for a woman." You see, my argument is NOT whose choice it is, but rather millions of little babies are dying. We can argue back and forth, give our best speeches and in the end lives are still ending. Blood is still being shed. Whether I'm right or you're wrong; it still won't change that fact. Babies are dying. And in our lack of compassion, and selfishness we just care about winning debates and being right.
Recently it has been the same with these trials in NY, CLE, FL, and ST.Louis. Many debates going on, who's right, who's wrong, who's at fault, I side with the cop, the boy shouldn't have, where's the parents, it's not a black issue, it is a black issue, all cops aren't bad and ON AND ON that we have forgotten that LIVES were lost! At the end of the day a beautiful soul was lost. And we all have the luxury of spewing out our expertise and wise opinions that we can't even offer our condolenscenses. It's Christmas! Thanksgiving passed and as we argued did anyone pray for those mourning families? Were any tears shed? Did anyone stop to mourn with those parents and families?
And we can say the same for everything in this world. Ebola! I saw countless arguments, hurtful words directed at the "idiotic nurses" for passing the infection along. We ranted & raved; pointed the finger at whom we felt were to blame. Very few times did I see anyone just feel for the family. I was convicted one night in my car that I hadn't prayed for that young nurse in Cleveland. Can you imagine what her family was going through, what the nurse was thinking? Her first thoughts after finding out her diagnosis was probably:am I going to die?? People cursed her out in their posts, they didn't care that she could have died. Smh. What in the world???
I didn't mean to get off topic, I'm getting to my original thought. I, too have been guilty of not caring enough. I've debated with my husband that we all have it hard and we just gotta go out there and do it! I've debated that everyone is a hypocrite, we think this is unfair and then we'll do such and such in the same breath. We give our own race passes and exemptions and then have a problem when someone from a different race does the same thing. And you know what most of that is true. We are all hypocrites. We do give passes at our own convenience. We do pick and choose what is right and wrong and what WE believe is okay.
But you know what? So what. It still doesn't change the fact that lives were recently lost. Young black boys, older black men etc. Their lives were abruptly lost and their families are mourning. Other people in those communities and as a race are hurting and are wondering if they matter to the rest of the world. And while, I'm looking in from the outside as a Mexican woman, I effortlessly say of course you matter. Of course you are loved by God, no doubt about it. You are just like me-we are the same. But the truth is this, if you don't believe it it doesn't matter what I say. And in this moment many are wondering. Many are doubting. And I AM sorry for that.
And even though in my heart I believe that #alllivesmatter I don't need to say it. I just need to care. I just need to ask God to give me a heart for lives lost, people mourning and hurting. I just need HIS love for all HIS people. As a Christian, sometimes the best thing we can offer others is our understanding. The bible says to dwell with understanding. I may not understand how it feels but I can understand your pain. We don't need to offer our opinions. Just the truth of God. Which is: Love our neighbors. At all costs, Just Love. And so I apologize for not caring enough. I apologize for not coming to God sooner and asking Him for the grace to love on this issue.
I pray that you won't believe all cops are evil. I pray that you won't believe you are beneath any other race. I pray that you believe you DO matter and your sons. I pray that you will take these events and use them to love on all other races. I pray that you will live the rest of your lives in peace and not in fear. And at the worst, if none of this happens and you do become bitter, doubtful, or even worse: racist...I am still sorry. It isn't my job to change anyone, it is my command to love. People don't need you to experience what they're going through, they just need you to have compassion.
God does see color. He created all of them. And when He sees them-I know He rejoices, because they are all BEAUTIFUL!!! And He has called us to LOVE them all. Above all else: Love. Whatever the circumstance, regardless of the sin or who is to blame-LOVE!!!!