Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Because I Get It

When I was married to the SGM, I would make requests calmly. Explain myself rationally. Offer logical reasons for whatever I wanted or needed or we were discussing. And he would figuratively pat my head, assure me that yes, yes, I had been heard, and then ignore me. 

It wasn't until I was angry, crying rage tears, and yelling that he would take me seriously. And by "take me seriously" I don't mean "give me my own way." I literally just mean "take me seriously." Respect me as an equal in the relationship with him. Even then, although he did take me seriously, it was with an air of what's wrong with you? about me, and the situation.

No acknowledgement on his part that I might have had some help getting to this place. No recognition that the only way I could get him to hear me was to rage at him. And certainly no understanding that I didn't like being, or want to be, this crying, raging person standing in our bedroom ~ but that I needed to be heard more than I didn't want to rage.

This ~ this disregarded, dehumanized rage ~ is what I see when I look at the Ferguson/Garner riots. Only on a cultural level. My rage was individualized. My rage was about one man making me less than. Imagine how much greater this rage is. 

When, instead of just one person not listening, not taking you seriously when you try to be calm, express yourself peacefully, and wait for the right thing to be done ~ it's an entire culture. An entire race of people. An entire system of justice.

Honestly, I can't imagine it. And it's the very fact that I cannot imagine how great this rage is that I get why it must come out. 

We did this, fellow white people. We created this rage. We white people, who couldn't be bothered to hear people of color when they asked, calmly, logically, rationally, for equal laws, equal safety, equal respect, equal humanity. We disregarded them, we patronized them, we dehumanized them. We don't get to look at them with an air of what's wrong with you? now that they are raging and have our attention.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.