Humanity First

My sister and I were discussing raising children a few weeks ago. I cannot remember what prompted it but she made a comment,”You don’t know what it’s like to be a black mother.” I agreed right away. But, that whole exchange bothered me and came into focus moments ago when I posted,”In my opinion, once you entertain the idea that there is a black way of thinking and a white way of thinking, you become a racist. Kids are kids and need just the same kind of support. I don’t need to know what it’s like to be a black mom…just need to know what a mom is.” as my Facebook status.

One very thoughtful friend already responded with,” But cultures are different.”

My response to her comment helped me clear up my mental dilemma further.”Until we embrace our humanity first, (people are so much more alike than different) we won’t become brothers and sisters in spirit.”

Which brings me to the disclaimer: My sister and I would never refuse our last coin or food for any living thing in need. We are alike in most ways except in the arena of  “liberalism” and “conservatism” . I am in no way claiming one side is more or less compassionate. For the sake of this inquiry, let’s say my sister and I are from different “political” cultures.

When I watch a “war movie” the most frequent thought that I have when any soldier dies is, “How will his mother,sister,wife feel?” Even Genghis Khan had a mother, after all.

Political correctness sticks in my craw , by the way. In fact, I feel that political correctness has the exact opposite effect it wishes to engender. To focus on our differences keeps us apart. I know in my heart if  alien beings invaded our planet, what color a person is would hold no importance at all!

At a gathering of  family recently over the holidays, we were watching football. I noticed that Michael Vick had such a dark complexion that I couldn’t make out any of his face lest he smiled. I made a comment to that fact only  to have the  “political correctness genie” whisper in my ear. I didn’t rescind my comment and fell immediately, at ease, because I was among my family after all. This portion of  family weighs heavier toward liberalism than my conservative leanings but they know me better than to be cruel.

I played with that  uncomfortable PC  “genie” in my mind.

  • what I had said was visually true and only meant as an observation.
  • I absolutely do  dislike Michael Vick , not because he’s hard to see but because he tortured dogs.
  • I TOTALLY resented that, in another setting, my comment may have brought a dramatic response from people who didn’t know me and, possibly, a demand for an apology!

Gosh, can’t we all agree to be people first?  Moms,Dads,neighbors,mentors,etc. We all want to protect loved ones, pursue happiness and to be treated with respect.

Soon the politically correct posse will be marching to remove Andrew Jackson from the twenty-dollar bill. After all, he DID ignore congress and was personally responsible for the Cherokee Indian (oops, Native American.) Trail of Tears. As my Mom (a history teacher) had said to me when I was considering the need to erase Jackson from our consciousness for that very crime,” He was a man of HIS time.”

On that same theme, the word nigger and the confederate flag are from a different time. I don’t see the need or wisdom of erasing them. Why not let our words and misdeeds stand as an example that we dare not repeat?

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4 thoughts on “Humanity First

  1. Absolutely outstanding article, Susan. Political Correctness is nothing more than a gag order meant to silence those who are not racist, but merely have different views than the liberal left. I applaud you!

  2. PC can get so very frustrating and ridiculous. On the other hand, it’s good to have sensitivity and respect for others. Language changes with the times and words can be powerful things. And sometimes changing the terminology changes the way a group of people feel about themselves. Generally, I prefer to use the terms that are respectful but it is ridiculous when we have to police every single word that comes out of our mouths. As long as we start with a heart of respect, we’ll generally be alright.

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