Accepting the Unacceptable

How many times have we heard our parents say, “What is the world coming to?”? Well, I think we have our answer.

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  • The truth doesn’t matter any more.

  • Promises don’t have to be honored.

  • We are going against long held beliefs.

  • We are opening up our world to people who want to destroy us.

  • Privacy isn’t a thing.

  • We are allowing ego to take precedence over propriety.

  • Civility is no longer expected.

  • Cooperation is passe’.

  • Respect is out the window.

  • Violence is the new norm.

  • Hate thy neighbor is the new motto.

  • Laws are disregarded.

  • The constitution doesn’t mean anything.

  • Rules – what are rules?

  • Basically, anything goes.

The one thing that remains the same is that “Money Trumps Everything!”

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Failing to See the Forest for the Trees

My husband and I have had many discussions about minorities and he is helping me to understand that so much anger is brought about by not having the financial, emotional and educational support necessary to achieve more. I have often made the point that we all have the same opportunities even if we have to apply for federal grant or aid money. His answer is that the passive attitude borne of oppression is passed down from parent to child resulting in lack of motivation.

Because my husband is a minority in that he is Hispanic, he does understand the struggle. We see it in different ways – I want to say “What is done cannot be undone, let’s move on.” He implies that the hurt is too deep to just dismiss.

African Americans were brought to this country against their will, enslaved, objectified and some were horribly abused, I get that. Then I look at the treatment of the Jewish at the hands of the Germans and the Japanese Americans at the hands of Americans and wonder that those two peoples have overcome anger in order to find peace within themselves.

I think it may be the way the Jewish and the Asian Americans talk to their children about the oppression they experienced. Could they be passing it on much as a history lesson expressing how they felt at the time but without bitterness? Everything I have ever read on the subject suggests such. I don’t feel bitterness today from the Jewish or Asian Americans but I do feel it from some older Americans who fought in the war against Japan. I have not let that bitterness rub off on me just as I did not allow my grandfather to turn me against African Americans.

When my husband and I have these discussions, I want to cut them short when I feel discomfort. Yet I know it is because I don’t want to acknowledge the pain that discrimination brings on everyone.

However, life does not always come out even so many of us have to work harder at accomplishments with the hands we have been dealt. We may not always get exactly where we want to go but we can get to a good place. What we want may not be what is best for us or what will make us truly happy. I don’t see a problem with being satisfied with our lives, in fact, I think we can be happier having time to stop and smell the roses and to enjoy quality time with our families making do with less rather than constantly pushing ourselves to do more, be more and have more.

So what does this have to do with discrimination? Perhaps those who of us who feel discriminated against, no matter what race, mental ability, capabilities, education, might ask ourselves if we are letting small minded people keep us down. After all, we cannot change others, we can only change how we react to them.

 

Hate is Too Simple an Answer

I believe that there is no simple answer to the Pulse shootings and don’t believe that hatred has a place in coming to terms with the shooter’s actions. Anger? Yes! But I do not see hate as really responsible for his decision to do what he did. I think that ISIS or IS or whoever has glorified such actions and people who are mentally ill, vulnerable, need to “be somebody”, to belong or have a need for excitement become willing victims and that is what they are,  “victims”. Perhaps they have a deep seated anger that finds its release in acting out this cause. Sure, it could be mind control but a person would have to have a need to seek out or listen to such rhetoric.

I have been reminded that Islamic terrorists were raised from birth to have this hatred and belief that we are the enemy and an evil nation. My feeling is that these are not Muslim people, they just picked a cause, any cause would do. They are children playing “war”. They are weak, not strong. Ask yourself why they suicide and who is left standing. Why is it that their leader is not willing to suicide but is able to convince their followers to take their own lives?

Somewhere, somehow a spark was placed in this shooter’s soul and fed until it ignited into a firestorm. His father can deny any responsibility and his wife can deny support of his cause but I cannot accept that this man just woke up one day and decided to become what he became. However, whatever took a hold on his soul, he is still responsible for his actions. He still had a choice.

Did he have gay leanings? It is possible that he was trying to destroy anything representing that part of himself but I just don’t believe it was the impetus. He was so determined to call attention to his actions that is seems more that egomania and/or mental illness was at play. It would seem that he was a rebel looking for a cause since he has no apparent ties to ISIS or IS.

In no way am I minimizing the result of his actions! I just choose to look deeper than hate in search for an answer as to how we stop this madness.