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Gettn Heated--Mama Bear's Claws are Out!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gettn Heated--Mama Bear's Claws are Out!

I have learned a few things about myself today, thanks to Facebook. I have spent quite a bit of time off and on in a debate via status comments with a woman I consider to be one of my oldest friends. Now, I don't get down with throwin' the baby out with the bathwater, so my girl n I are gonna get past this difference of opinion and be cool once the fire in my belly dies down.

The source of the debate is over the now infamous email sent by Sherri Goforth, aide to TN Sen. Diane Black. My friend is taking up the side of the right to free speech. My position is this, free speech goes both ways... if she can say/send ignorant racist boolshyt, I can call her out for it.

Since I don't have her permission, I'm not going to post my friend's side of the argument. But I am gonna put up my comments. Then I'm gonna tell you what all of the back n forth taught me.

Hate to say it girlies, but on a personal level, it gets to me. If I met this woman on the street with my son in tow, would she wait til we passed by, or would she call Eli a spook to his face? I may be overly sensitive on the issue... and I don't know that it warrants all the rukus, but from what I heard, the woman is only sorry she sent the email from the "wrong account" and not for the hurtful nature of the email. It would be all ok in her world if only she hadn't gotten caught.

Then again, I'm the type of person who will publicly embarrass ppl who tell racist jokes... if it hurts my son, it hurts me.

It's a question of implictly condoning what you don't confront. The racism is what I object to. His politics are fair game just like any other president's. Agree with them or not, my son looks at this man, and for the first time in our history, sees someone who looks like him in the Oval Office. When "jokes" like this are made, how is it NOT supposed to send a message. I just have no tolerance for this kind of BS. And it really does show ol' girl's true colors-no pun intended.

I'm not saying the woman doesn't have the right to be ignorant. I'm not questioning her right to opinions. She totally has those rights, b/c this is a free society.

However, I have the responsibility as a mother to defend my son. And again... you wanna take shots at the President's policies, his screw ups or even his ideals, great. He signed up for it when he ran for office. It goes with the territory. And yes, I received emails like that about GWB... and promptly deleted them.

I agree that the way to combat the ignorance is to raise our children right.... and to me, that means confronting ignorance openly and head on. What kind of message am I sending my son if I turn my head and pretend I don't see it? Or condone it through silence?

I know only too well what Eli will have to face as he grows up. We have a neighbor who has openly called him a "yard ape" and a "lil nappy headed coon." I have struggled to explain why, when he has done nothing to warrant it,that man hates him. I have had, many times too many in his short life, to try to undo the damage of ignorance. If I won't be his champion, who will be?

And I'm sorry, I can't and won't let that pass as "just jokes." I know I'll never change that woman's mind. And I know she has the right to her opinion. But I also have my right to my opinion. I will continue to call racism out when I see it. I won't condone it with silence.

And for the record, I think the shots fired at Bristol Palin WERE bogus, Helen Keller jokes are insensitive, and any kinda reference to mental disability or developmental disability have been on my ish list since I worked at Sutton House with adults with developmental disabilities.

I hope you know that I luv ya, but like Kim, I think we are just gonna hafta agree to disagree on this.

I don't think it's a question of changing her mind, Jill. It's a question of changing her heart.

But if no one tells her they find her rhetoric and "humor" unacceptable, there is no incentive for self-reflection. Ignorance often times only requires a mirror to be held up to be recognized... so if the overall message the woman gets is that ppl
are offended and find her "humor" in poor taste and hurtful, she will have motivation to rethink her beliefs and values. If it is unchallenged, what's the point. God can work miracles on an open mind, I'm just trying to pick the lock!

Forgive the sinner, not the sin... and what about repentance? From all of the news sources I have read, her apology was for sending this email from her work account. Is she sorry for what she said or just b/c she got caught? Because that is the read I got from it. I do forgive her, because Jesus forgives me, but she needs to know there are ppl out there not only angry about this, but hurt.

Ok, so what did I learn (or maybe just remember that I already knew)?
1. I love my son and will defend him and protect him with my life.
2. No matter how hard we try to say racism is dead, it only ain't.
3. There are lots of folks out there who will say they aren't racist, and maybe they really believe that, but who aren't willing to confront the issue, preferring to just hope it will go away.
4. I'm opinionated as hell, and when you combine the above plus this, ya get one hell of a heated debate goin on!
5. Human beings have an incredible amount of ugliness in their nature, but there is always someone or something else out there to "even it out" with love and beauty. What the Foe has meant for evil, the Lord can and will turn to His Glory!

What say you?


Blogger NaturallyAlise said...

#5 is the most imortant lesson you got out of all fo this... people will continually disappoint and be idiots, this will never change... how you cope and deal with it is what matters, i think you handled it apropriately.

June 18, 2009 at 8:32 AM  

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