SAY YES: Step Into Equality
Updated: Sep 25, 2020
So much external stuff bleeds into our discussions, hopefully we all have a safe place to talk about it, share emotions, understand new ideas. It's good we have differing ideas to bounce off each other, and help each other see challenging aspects. We can talk in the abstract, until it hits home, or close to home and suddenly gets personal. I'm upset for what a friend is going through in her neighborhood with anonymous false accusations and attempts to incite retaliation, if not violence. I hope for her and her family and for the ripples that affect us all, that it ends asap. So frustrating to confront hatred and ignorance on a micro-level, because "turning the other cheek" is often the best course of action.
Like my initial reaction, and like many of my Baby Boomer generation, the Vietnam era sit-in and protest and hippie generation, I thought: Yes, Black Lives Matter, but don't all lives matter? Luckily, I have Gen-Xs, Millenials and Get Zs who passionately explained that's the old language and now understood as a micro-aggression sting of a privileged perspective. I appreciate that the next generations of world leaders understand that equality is for everyone, and have a broader sense that today's fight is for the privileged to uplift the underprivileged. My daughter put it in plain terms for me. She compared it to women's fight for the right to vote and equality (We're all watching the original Mary Poppins that shines a light on the cause of the Suffragettes, voiced by the amazing Ms. Glynis Johns) Women had to "ask" the privileged/men to recognize the injustice and agree to correct it. The privileged men had to acknowledge their privilege and support equality for women. Once it was achieved, made into a law and a practice, so many years later, we know women vote, of course women vote, it's no longer a question of privilege, it's equality.
Following the analogy, privileged people (perhaps men, perhaps Caucasian, perhaps educated, perhaps financially secure, perhaps people who have health care and food and a safe home...) have to answer the underprivileged people's request for equality with "Yes." Privileged, safe White people have to answer Black people's request for equality and safety with "Yes." Now we are in the moment to agree to equality, make it law, and step into equality as the understood way of being.