Humanity ... That's what we need right now. We are all throwing stones, myself included. And that needs to end.
It's been a busy month or so. Too busy. We felt outage at the injustice of the Brock Turner case. Women wept. We felt sick that an attack like that could be brushed off as "20 minutes of action" ... We spoke up. We spoke to our sons. We discussed consent. We were hurting.
And then just a few days later - Orlando. That came with a mixed bag of worry and hurt. The LGBTQ community bled. Physically bled. And our hearts went out to them - some not soon enough, and thus began the confrontation with Christians. "You'll pray for our deaths - but you condemn our lives" - I remember reading that somewhere and aching. The news shifted to the murderer - Was he gay? Was he radicalized? How could we make sense of this? "He pledged allegiance to ISIS. It proves Muslims are a continued threat!" - a sentiment I read. Muslims wept. They felt a need to defend their humanity, again. As did the LGBTQ community. Along with some Christians.
Then there was at attack on Istanbul, and others around the world. Turkey wept, and couldn't help but see the world remain ... very quiet. They wondered where the banners of support were; where was their hashtag? Why were their lives being ignored? Did Muslim life not matter?
Before the ink had dried in the heartbreak of Alton Sterling, we read of Philando Castile. We saw both men die. We saw, we hurt. We spoke of black lives mattering* and there was once again tension. White people felt hurt at the blame. Black people felt unsafe. Both sides were passionate. Both sides ached.
We couldn't even cry for their deaths for 24 hours before Dallas happenand. More rocks were thrown, and now the men and women who are pledged to serve and protect, were being slaughtered before our eyes.
I do not say this as a dig at BLM - I say this because I think we all need to hear it right now ... All Lives Matter. All of us. Men, Women, Children, White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, African, as well as any race I am unintentionally leaving out. Straights, Lesbians, Gays, Bis, Trans, Queers, and the various subcategories that I am honestly ... not yet educated enough to list. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Athiests, along with the remainder of the world's beliefs. We all matter. Each and every single one of us. Innocent lives matter, criminals matter, and everything between the two. I don't know what else to say to be inclusive here - but if you somehow haven't been listed above - your life matters. All of us. Humanity matters.
For a little more breakdown, here is a list of liberties and freedoms that I possess that I could only wish the world to have. (Note, not everybody likes me - but for the very most part, not being liked by somebody is usually about as bad as it gets as far as my freedoms are concerned.)
- I can hold hands in public with the person I love. Nobody bats a lash at us. Sometimes people even tell us we are cute.
- I don't submit to any of the world's great religions, and I am free to vocalize my beliefs without threat of being condemned or harmed.
- I can walk in a hoodie at night without worrying if I look scary. Scary enough to shoot.
- As a parent, we are not off the hook as far as not worrying ... But my worries do not include teaching my children how to behave in the event of a traffic violation.
- I do not worry that my husband is walking around with a target on his back - a target that exists because some people in his position have brutally abused their power.
- When I tell people something in my life that has happened, they believe me.
I do not write any of this to criticize any of you. And I want to apologize for being a part of the problem. Sometimes in my defense of others, I have isolated or blamed or cast shadows on entire groups of people. (I want to be clear: I am not sorry for speaking up for the oppressed. But I AM sorry if in my speaking up, I made anybody feel oppressed.) I know we are not all bad. And I truly, in my heart of hearts, have to believe that the world has more good than bad. So, where is the humanity? Hand in hand, differences aside, let us work through this awful chaos. We ALL need each other.
*About "Black Lives Matter" - I think the verbiage can be confusing to some people. I think it is misinterpreted as "Only Black Lives Matter" when in reality is meant to sound more like "Black Lives Matter, Too."