Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Toleration ???

In Florida on vacation we pass pickup trucks with Confederate flags. We also see cars with license plates specially ordered - saying "Choose Life" .

Now, all of us can be just a little sensitive in this "different" environment~ I - a White Man, traveling in my mother-in-law's car with my family, all of whom are Black. Oh, but you don't understand! The bumper stickers aren't threatening me or the ones I love. They are affirming of the South!

It's "more" than simple affirmations when one attests to support of a system which brutally enslaved and killed millions of Africans and African-Americans. It would be hard for me to say that these people have no rights - to do what they feel, however I also recognize some of the anger and fear that their actions can bring - as I see my partner - reflecting on the racism she's experienced - noticing that someone had started a fire on their porch - attempting to drive them out of their Florida neighborhood perhaps 30 years ago - because "Negroes" weren't welcome in the White neighborhood - which could have killed them all. Today, she fears home invaders - always wants an alarm system on when we sleep at night in our home.

It's driving by the house that they lived in starting about 1971 - 3 rooms - in an area that is heavily segregated today as when back then - poor and ugly - where mother and daughter were shocked away from the beauty of a distant Chicago suburban area - living with mostly White neighbors to a world where they could only live on "the other side of the tracks".

I try to envison - having designer license plates which say: "Support a Women's Rights to Control Her Own Body" or "US Out of Iraq" or similar. We are so free to "choose" - when it isn't against the dominant political beliefs of those in control.

Florida has some incredible beauty and plenty of very nice people. It isn't home - where I and We feel safe and comfortable. It is not "worse" than where we live - as there is racism and other intolerance in our backyards also.

Thank You!

1 comment:

thinking girl said...

"We are so free to "choose" - when it isn't against the dominant political beliefs of those in control."

great point, Geo! you are totally right - we are welcome to speak our minds provided we agree with what is already being said by those in power.

yuck.