For certain circles, information is common knowledge. Like in a family that knows its parents are unlikely to come through. Within this knowledge, some recognize and vocalize only particular portions. The same is true in the wider world, and this can lead to disagreements, death in the streets, peaceful protests. Each of us has a perspective. We see different problems with the world; varied reasons for how these problems came into manifestation; resolution possibilities of many shapes, colors, sizes.
I attended a crafting session recently and it was really an eye opener. This female teacher displayed a lot of strengths and beauty, and at the same time, I heard her say ugly ideas. I wasn't sure how to handle the situation, how much to get involved. She talked about an idea for a Jewish art piece with a big nose and red hair... and I felt uncomfortable. Was it ok to describe that since she was talking about a doll she made? At one point, she described anime eyes as a feature possibility on a doll which I hoped didn't mean just one line and I didn't look to verify. Is there an acceptable level of stereotype? Later, she mentioned a question she'd received, one that asked whether the class would be similar to a group of "hens." That felt odd to me, hearing her describe females as hens. I didn't like it. The teacher said a bunch of stuff I didn't like -- and by a bunch, I mean those three things in a span of five and a half hours. We were in a group of about 20 people -- 19 students and then her as the teacher. Was her ethnic and emotionally insensitive bias something to discuss in front of people I barely knew as I attempted to learn a new skill? Are we morally obligated to address bias in all of its forms every time it arises in our lives or is there some kind of gray area?
"I'm always open to people who speak differently, who look differently, and who come from different places," (Michelle Norris, The Woolworth Sit-In that Launched a Movement, NPR All Things Considered, 2/1/08) said Franklin McCain, one of four African-American men who braved 1960 North Carolina racism with a peaceful protest that changed life.
Tomorrow is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. As it approaches this time around, I feel more hope for justice and peace even as Trump reality looms. The air is thick with bias and ugly. I choose to keep belief. Will you join me? It's a challenge because people all around say mean things, then might tell you about your faults. You may need to remain humble and also appear confident with words, a distinction that can cause even the most stable of us to turn for the worse when we are at an extreme. The path involves a lot of change, many variations of acceptance that others and you, too, sometimes say inappropriate ideas, make odd noises or choices, or completely stick out. And all of that is OK. So what, keep going. Strive to weave idealism and available resources, be practical and see above the clouds at the same time. You're worth it. The community is worth it. Together we really can change the world.
Well hello there.