photo courtesy of Unsplash
This was a tough summer emotionally for me. All of the shootings and injustice towards Black men, gay men, and generally people of color, were uncovered. We live in a world now where just about everyone can afford some type of smartphone, and smartphones have cameras, so many of these horrific injustices were filmed. The cops that are ruling certain streets in certain areas of this country, can no longer say, “It didn’t happen”, but they will still say, “It didn’t happen that way!”
I have been living and sharing a home with my soul sister Andie in New Mexico for almost three years now, and we absolutely love this state and all of its beauty. We revel almost daily in the magnificence of nature here; the sky, the plants, weeds, cacti, rocks and trees. New Mexico is a “brown state”. And what I mean by that is that most of the people you will see on a daily basis are of Mexican, Hispanic, Native American Indian heritage.
But as an African-American woman, I am a true minority here. No one can mistake me for anything other than what I am. Since I was 11 years-old, I sought the path of diversity; choosing to be one of only 6 Black people in my middle school. I learned so much about different kinds of music, art, and just the way others lived and thought, on a daily basis. I made friends, of course, with the other 5 Black people, but with many of the White kids as well. We were called a few names from time to time. But we never let that stick. At that young age I was seeking expansion and I wasn’t going to allow a few jerks to ruin what I thought of other races.
photo courtesy of Unsplash
I share these stories to say that throughout my life I have consciously chosen to be the minority on many occasions, corporate America, where I spent 15 years, was one of those experiences. And yes, I sometimes felt the need to be better than the rest. Sometimes I got the promotion, other times I didn’t, but all in all I made some interesting friends and acquaintances of all races. They treated me with kindness and respect and I did the same. Most of us, Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, would never have thought that it should be any other way. Once again, I encountered a few racist and sexist jerks, but they were the true minority.
As I travel into town on a regular basis from the remote ranch on which we live, I share random conversations, a lot of laughs, people share jokes in the cashier line that makes all of us giggle, we share good-byes and kind hellos. Because most of us, want to live in peace and harmony and among diversity. Most of us don’t spend our days judging people for their melanin or lack thereof. Most of us just want to get in and out of WalMart without the hassle of long, slow moving lines. Most of us want to pay our bills, take care of ourselves and those we love. We want to create goals and reach them. We want to see the best in others. Most of us desire happiness for us all.
So, through my angry summer of having to hear about things that are unjust, unkind, and downright violent, I began to focus on the truth. That there is a minority on this planet that will always get the most attention because they have no love or respect for themselves or others. They are hurt, damaged, and mad at the world and they will take all of that anger and disillusionment out on those who either appear to be different, or even those who are living the lives they secretly desire to live.
But remember through all of this, that most of us simply want to live in harmony. We are the real majority, and we can’t forget that, or everyone will lose.