“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.” Alice Walker
All respect due to A Tribe Called Quest, I actually heard “We The People” bumping in my head as I read this woman’s letter: ‘Gigi’ (name changed to protect her ig’nance and entitlement) apparently read my article about last month’s Women’s March, took exception with the concept of protest and believes that there would be more peace and unity in this world if everyone who wasn’t a white heterosexual female would simply bend over, offer up some Vaseline and STFU. Okay….maybe not the Vaseline part. But she might as well have. Never mind the rampant and unchecked crises affecting the population, such as racism, sexism, xenophobia, religious persecution, etc……oh no. Those wrongs aren’t the issue, protesting them is.
Seriously. So you know what I had to do right?
Below is her letter in italics, what follows is my response. You’re welcome. And again, THANK YOU ATCQ!!!
“Actually, I think we have too much noise in our nation today and the last thing we need is another cause or march, or chant, or riot, or demonstration. There is way too much anger, hate and despise. For the last 40 years in America there seems to be an undercurrent to turn us against each other, to re-write our children’s textbooks using select editing, and turn our government inside out. We are all victims of this political planned chaos. Everyone thinks of themselves as a voice whether it’s Black, Mexican, Muslim, Women, Gay, Lesbian, Transvestite, Millennial, New Englander, Southerner, whatever. See the division?
Why can’t the Mexican’s understand what it is like for an American to see his country be flooded by 40 million of them? Why can’t they understand our resentment as they have changed our politics, our schools, our national debt, our country?
Why can’t the gays and lesbians find someone to love and live life with and go about their lives in quiet dignity? Why ruin the lives and livelihood of a bakery owner because they prefer not to bake their wedding cake? Go find another bakery.
Why can’t the Muslims understand the polar opposites of our cultures? The Christian bible teaches love and acceptance. The Muslim Koran teaches to kill Christians. Why would they want to live here?
Why can’t New Englander’s understand they don’t hold all the answers for the people across our vast nation? Why can’t women understand there is nothing holding themselves back except themselves? Opportunity and success do exist in America.
Why can’t Blacks understand there would be less prejudice if they would accept their history and work to suppress “Black Attitude”.
Why can’t Millenials understand that in the grown-up world there are no “safe spaces” and that to hear other people’s opinions is an interesting and adult thing to do. Respect matters.
There is an in depth conversation to be had on these comments and I’ll bet you and I could enjoy one another’s perspective on each. I have travelled the world and experienced different and very beautiful countries, cultures and people. But, I don’t necessarily want them here in masses. Our nation is in trouble and if we don’t quiet our anger and mend this divisiveness, we will not survive as a nation. I pray we unite as Americans, and know what and who our challengers are. Question the motives of activists. How do they make their living? Are they paid anarchists?
I have never known so much anger and I see no good coming from it. It is time to erase our labels and work to be better Americans. We are a great nation and, yes, we are exceptional. Together we can work out our differences peacefully and with “Liberty and Justice for all”. You have a voice in our media . . can you use your voice not as a black female, but as an American? You just might make a difference.
Um…..NO. HAYELL. NO. Girl, if you don’t……
Happy Wednesday GiGi,
thank you for reading my Jan. column and for taking the time to respond.
I found your questions intriguing and look forward to having a dialogue with you……under these conditions: one, when you realize that ‘divisions’ are just differences, there is more than one way to be an American citizen and two, when you’re able to acknowledge that ‘your country’ was in fact created with stolen land, stolen resources and stolen human lives——Assets that your ancestors have embezzled over the centuries and that you and the rest of your generation presently benefit from.
You closed your letter by calling me ‘friend,’ so it’s my duty as your friend to remind you that true friends speak the truth. Also, even when a certain truth exists, there is always one more to consider and learn from. Here’s another truth: that knowledge you claim to seek will never arrive if you will only tolerate opinions from those who match your narrow parameters of who is ‘acceptable’ enough to voice them. And by the contents of your letter, what you have actually told this ‘friend’ is that I am apparently too Black and divisive, even as an American, to further express mine.