Become Your Own Bliss


Entry from 2006...I've been meaning to write about racism for a minute, but didn't have the words. I found them again. 

I watched an absolutely appalling incident occur in church. Yes, Church - where comfort, forgiveness, and redemption are sought. 

There was a small mulatto girl who sat next to her white mother. She, obviously bi-racial, was half-black. She was well behaved and did whatever her mother told her to throughout Mass. She reached out her hand to the white teenaged girl during the Our Father, who, instead of graciously accepting the young girl's hand, raised it toward the heavens, empty. She looked to her sister and giggled throughout the prayer, leaving the little one in tears, clinging to her mother. I wondered if anyone else had seen the way in which innocence had just been stolen from this child. Her mother was wiping her tears away and whispering, "It's Okay..." in an attempt to comfort the "little brown girl" whom she knows she cannot shield from the prejudice in this world.

In front of God and whoever else happened to notice the seemingly insignificant incident that the girl will never forget, the young woman, after refusing to hold her hand (shook everyone else's hand around her to say peace), proceeded to giggle and accepted the Holy Eucharist. 

I thought of all the reasons I would refuse the hand of a child, any child, and I couldn't think of one.

My emotions came in waves - shock, disappointment, sadness, and anger.

How dare anyone treat a child in that way, and still believe they are entitled to claim to be a good person? I watched her little shoulders shudder from the pain, and I wished, in that moment with all my heart, that what happened to her, happened to me instead. Yellow, almond eyed, dark-haired, me. I am older, I am accustomed to prejudice. Although I can not say that I have had more experience with ignorance than she has in her short life, which could not have possibly exceeded 8 years. It makes me wonder the number of hands that belong to others that have been denied her because she is mulatto. I have been sneered at, because I am different; I have gone on dates with men who though that racial jokes are appropriate and funny, and I, neither being black nor white, get it from every shade in the spectrum. Racism is REAL. Insecurity breeds hatred, and I will not stand for hatred to exist around me.

It boggles my mind that even in the twenty-first century, people still base how they treat each other by the color of their skin. When will we realize and accept the fact that it DOES NOT matter? It doesn't matter what shade you are, it doesn't make you better or worse.

Who you are is not based on the shade of your epithelium, who your parents are, what your net worth is. Who you are is determined by how you treat other people.

Make a difference, allow yourself to be uncomfortable by going against what society has trained you think.We have been blessed with life, which is too precious to be wasted by hating others who are different.In these beautiful multi-colored bodies we have been blessed with, we all bleed. We all love, we all feel sadness, anger, passion. 

If what I am writing makes you uncomfortable, do the world a favor - pretend you're blind for a day, see what happens. It'll be life-altering.


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