Thursday, October 28, 2010
I watch the status updates on Facebook, I read a lot of blogs posts, I have the news on in my house whenever I’m home and the satellite radio in my car is set to my favorite news station. I really don’t get the polarization in America. I’m not speaking only of politics, however that’s a huge part of it. I’m speaking of it all, politics, faith, gender, racism, and just general hatred.
In case you missed it somewhere I’m an American, white (don’t you freaking dare call me European-American), politically conservative and christian. My views are firm, as I said, but they are mine. Yes I’ll debate sometimes, I’ll banter, I’ll share my views if asked and feel that they won’t be attacked. I’m not into attacks. I may state a view of mine but I won’t push it down your throat or call you names if you disagree with me.
I hear “tolerance” being preached from every direction, yet those that vomit it seem unwilling to practice it. Why is it that a lot of people want everyone to be tolerant of their choices, but refuse to be tolerant of those that choose a different way, of those that walk a different path?
Why doesn’t character seem to matter anymore? Character is what draws me to my friends, not their particular points of view. If you have no character and act like a bigoted, intolerant asshole I'll cross you off my list. Believe me there are some that have been crossed off of my list. Do I hate them? No, I just choose not to be subjected to their hatred.
My friends and family are diverse. Most of my children are either black or black and white. No, they don’t want to be called African-American. They feel it only segregates and drives the wedge in further. They all have “un-hyphenated American” t-shirts. My “mixed” kids embrace both of their backgrounds, not just one. They are Americans first.
My extended family is comprised of christian, agnostic, gay, conservative, liberal and races other than “white.” Some of them have some very intolerant views, but they’re family. My friends are diverse as well. My closest friend in the world is Mexican, other very close friends are lesbian, some are agnostic, others atheist. We don’t agree on everything, well maybe The Brat and I do, but I love them all deeply.
A few years ago my grandson was in a park in downtown Portland. He was about 5 and had on a “Wee-Publican” t-shirt. He saw a man with a Beagle, his favorite dog. He approached the man and asked if he could pet the dog. The man told a five year old that his dog “only likes liberals.” Really? Seriously? Asshole.
One of the most awesome things about being an American is the right to have our own opinions and to be able to express them. Come on though, a little respect goes a long way. If you’re going to make tolerance your thing and want others to listen to and respect your point of view, at least have the guts to respect theirs.