During our travels I am bound to have some positive and negative experiences in regard to race relations. The political climate in the United States is going through an 'in your face' (many say it has always been this way and has NEVER changed!) reality check because of a bigotry fueled animal to rearing it's evil head. Not only the way in which Trump is being embraced AND exalted, but in how the true and honest feelings that lay deep in people's hearts can now be openly expressed.
|Something we all know but is still worthy of repeating|
over and over!
We are staying in an Airbnb that is close to West Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. It is a gorgeous place to be (with mountains, ponds,wildlife,and air conditioning...YAY!), however we have noticed that the confederate flag and Trump signs are the prevailing sentiment. It is not as if we have them right next door. Or maybe, just maybe, I am wrong and we do. We have noticed that when we travel outside of our location we come across them in abundance. Both of these symbols of bigotry are on cars, trucks, yards, windows, and greet you when entering certain stores. Do I give my business to the latter? Of course not....but do others out of convenience (or because it does not affect them for whatever reason)...my feeling is a resounding yes! Our Prius have a Bernie 2016, Canada, and Trudeau stickers on the back and I could tell that a confederate plated jeep behind us was not happy about it. He followed the butt of the car for what seemed like forever then turned. There is SO MUCH to be said about how nervous I was! With the kiddos in the car I was concerned. Just writing this worries me. If he decided to do harm to my family because I am a African-American (Black...whatever) Woman driving a car that represents something in their mind that they have no respect for, and they feel that these stickers represent what is wrong about this country. I guess it more than worries me...it scares me.
Being a bi-racial family allows us to see the worst of humanity along with those who are not holding onto bigotry in their heart. As I say this I find myself contradicting the very essence of Trump supporters. Many wore a veil (some did not..white power and klan people) of tolerance in regard to how the feel in their heart. The hate this man spews allows them to take it off and express themselves freely.
|Brilliant in so many|
ways! Courtesy of
pin my Heather Martin.
To write about my experience thus far in Pennsylvania is probably only half the story. I have met (while shopping and visiting museums/parks) people who have given a smile, offered to take our families picture, and had full on conversations with me that have been kind and on occasion funny. I hope that how these people feel and interact is genuine. However, there has been even more of a shift in the expression of bigotry yet there still remain some filters people use. I say that in many ways it is better to know where someone stands. We no longer have those who feel a deep hatred in their heart and wear their veil in public. I am sure that there are many who still keep it fastened tightly....but a large number have taken it off and shredded it to bits.
Mentioning Airbnbs...I had someone refuse to book with me because of my picture. How do I know that? Well, the Hubster and I were looking to book a place in North Carolina during last year's school year. I reached out to the host and she very nicely declined, and said that it was booked. Without knowing I had done so already the Hubster reached out (within an hour AFTER my email request) with the same request and she not only said it was available to book, but she offered to work with him. This is/was the way for a closeted bigot to show her true colors. Not sure why she felt that way given the fact that she is herself a minority. Some of the worst cases of bigotry (day to day in their true hearts) have come from one minority aimed toward another minority. I have seen it in family (unfortunately the only option is to separate from them), friends (who are no longer my friend), and co-workers in the past (she had the nerve to out in a communication "You know how they are!"). They can tout in public that they have Black friends but would never have them to dinner, date someone in the family, or share anything else which shows their true underlying sentiment.
|Is this the true answer? Can we still love someone|
who perpetuates hate in the heart of others?
Given these experiences, why am I surprised by the state of race relations (where people are gunned down, detained, and in many ways hurt beyond repair and families decimated) today. Was I trying to convince myself that how things really are are different from reality? I have friends (and family) that represent the best of Humanity. I have been lucky in this way. My naive heart has been battered many times by the reality of how much others can be single-minded. I cannot count the times when others were taken by surprise by my outlook and what/how I choose to live my life. As is I am some type of anomaly.
So many questions and doubts come to mind. When trying to figure just out how these troubled minds come to a stance that others are not worthy of consideration, empathy, and kindness I am left at a loss. Many are not given the benefit of the doubt just because of the color of their skin.
What are your thoughts? I would love to hear your feelings about this. Have you had experiences that were solely based on your race? Or do you sometimes feel as if you might jump to a conclusion just because of another's race? Honest and frank discussions are needed. Let's have one!
Til next time,
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