Racism and Voice

I had an Oprah moment this weekend.

Have you ever heard her discussing the show she did on skinheads and racists? She brought them on the show and let them spend the hour spitting hate and spreading pain. She thought she was exposing the hate and bringing light to an "underground" world, but she realized later she was only helping them recruit and she vowed after that show never to use her platform in that way again.

Let's fast forward to this past weekend. We all heard about the sadness that came crashing down in Aurora, CO. Jersey showed me this Instagram picture below.  It resonated with me so I posted it on facebook. I thought I'd get a couple of likes...I was sorely not prepared for the racist responses I got from a kid I went to elementary school with. I won't go into detail spreading the hate he spewed, but I will say I was hurt and shocked. I know there are ignorant people out there, but I didn't think they'd be so brave as to say ignorant stuff on my page.

I spent all day wondering if I should remove his words...The LAST thing I wanted to do was offend the good souls who can see what's on my page, but after talking to my wise friend, J,  I realized the right thing to do would be to defriend the mean soul and leave his words up for those who think we're living in a better world.

(I can't even begin to count the number of discussions I've had with people who believe racism is over. Sigh...)

It's not. It's still alive and well and it's still poisoning all of us.

I'll admit I'm not the best debater. I wish I always had the right, perfect words to say to help someone see how bad ignorance, hate and bigotry is...I wrote my pal who's a lawyer (a damn good lawyer) to help me with the words and rational. He did a dang good job, but the hateful fella is pretty blinded by his own beliefs.
I don't know how one helps one see. I was hoping by writing this mess out I'd write my way into some answer. I'm still waiting.

How do people change? What made this guy change?

Maybe I'll get better with time. Sadly, I know I'll have more practice ahead of me.

"When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation," ~ Sen. John McCain


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