Tuesday, December 31, 2013

No Not You, Never You!

When I was in my teens I lived in a neighborhood that was predominately black. Naturally I had black friends, black acquaintances and a few black enemies, but no matter their status as concerns me, their blackness wasn't an issue, except to them. Not one day went by that I didn't hear about a white guy who had done a bad thing, a group of honkies that were despised, the white man as enslaver, the entire white culture whose sole purpose in life was to keep the black man down. It was usually pointed out that they weren't referring to me, as I was a good egg, not like those white bread eating white guys.

When I got a little older I traveled in predominately baptist/protestant/fundamentalist circles due to my marriage to someone raised in the Covenant denomination. Each time we'd enter into a discussion about religion either alone or in company, the topic of Catholics came to the fore. It would start with the pope is old and misguided, then celibacy is insane, then Kennedy was shot because he took orders from the Vatican, then, all Catholics worship da debil. But they always made sure to acknowledge that they weren't talking about me, since I was a great guy, not at all like those transubstantiated flesh eating Catholics. 

Later I was a liberal in a management position at a predominately right wing company. But I was a good guy, not like those tree hugging welfare leeching pinko democrats.

And on it went, nary a week in which I didn't get to hear about how some gutless scum or pondfull of scum to whom I was tied in some irreversible way was on the minds and acidic tongues of all who surrounded me. The infamous they were always the cause of the speakers lives being less happy, less secure or less worth living, and so they were deemed the enemy...myself excepted of course as I was a good guy, not like those (name your evildoer by proxy).

Now I'm 61, and through the years I have been spat past nearly as many times as I've taken breaths, almost always given a bye for being the one and only redeemable creature of the demon spawn at whom the spit was aimed.

It's taken this long to get it. People are full of spit, and pointing it out is like pointing out that playing in the dirt will get you dirty. I cared too much too long, but it dawned on my at last that it's not the case that no one knows what they're doing is only sinking to the level of their detractors, trading their arms and armaments for anothers'. On the contrary, those that use the broad brush know full well what they're doing, and are nevertheless thrilled with the act of painting.

Never stand in the way of an artist at work, or be ready to become a canvas in your own right. Those that offered me the song and dance about my not belonging to the groups they despised were dead wrong; they did mean me whether they wanted to believe it or not because I don't accept the idea that of any given group created by prejudice, only those with whom you have a personal relationship are good, caring, compassionate people. There are no exemptions to being white, you iz or you aint. I'd quote Jesus on the subject, but I'm sure someone would rail against Christians if I did, and then remind me that even though I once was one, it wasn't me they mean.

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