Dear Scared of Change,
I am a 28 year old college educated African American female in support of gay rights, the right for a woman to choose, the right to bear regulated arms, the repudiation of violations of civil rights, the legalization of marijuana, federal and state assistance to the needy, taxation of the wealthy, an increase in minimum wage, universal healthcare, increases in the funding of education, and legislation to make financial influences of businesses within the government illegal. In other words, I am what your nightmares are made of.
I know you are scared. I am scared too. I am scared that I will bring children in this world and have to teach them the love of Jesus Christ as well as the reason why that love seems to have very little places to thrive in this country. I am scared I am going to have to teach them to be brave and stand up for their classmates who are bullied because they (or their parents) are gay. I am afraid that I will have to explain to them why others feel their aunts and uncles who are gay are somehow less of a person than everyone else. I am afraid I will then have to explain to them how this is different from historical legislation that counted African Americans as 3/5 a person.
I am afraid I am going to have to tell them that their bodies do not belong to them, but to the laws of the state in which we reside. I am afraid I am going to have to tell them that unless they are wealthy they will continue to struggle and that while wealth is attainable in this country, some wealthy are doing all they can to prevent others from the financial freedoms they experience. I am afraid that I will have to explain the difference between welfare and entitlements, although I can’t seem to find one. I am afraid I am going to have to tell them that the only way they can get the education they deserve is by my own continued financial support of their education, as funding public schools is considered less important than the 13 year long war we’ve been losing. I am afraid that I am going to have to tell them that it is okay for people who cannot afford healthcare to remain ill or die because a bunch of people feel they are just trying to “mooch off the system”.
I am afraid I will have to tell them that their brown skin will be a hindrance as every single person they meet will have a preconceived notion of them as “hood”, “ghetto”, “thug”, “welfare queen”, or (the most despicable) “well-spoken (for a black person)”. I am afraid I will have to tell them that anything they accomplish in their black skin will be celebrated like they became president, instead of accepted as the norm. I am afraid I will have to tell them that in certain places, upsetting people unintentionally by being black could cost them their lives…and their killers may or may not see justice. I am afraid I will have to explain to them why the deaths of tiny school children in Connecticut (as well as the 44 school shootings resulting in 28 deaths since) were not enough for legislators to place regulations on semi-automatic and automatic weapons, even though no one has been able to justify to me why a civilian would need that kind of weaponry.
In essence, I understand your fear. I see your fear. And I say to your fear, “Fear, you are not alone.” I guess I am just inherently selfish, wanting only absolution from my own fears. Yet, there is something that might help us both. It’s called compromise and you and I can make it the biggest trend since the Miley Cyrus Twerking Controversy of 2013. See, we sit down to a table, preferably with snacks. Then we talk about each side. Then we talk about how we can meet in the middle. Maybe you give me an end to discrimination, and I give you the benefit of the doubt that you aren’t some kind of ignorant bigoted civilian who should have never been given a voice to begin with. Okay, maybe that’s not a fair trade. How about you give me a little regulation on civilian weaponry, and I will give you…okay I can’t really think of anything, but I am sure there is something. I make a mean lasagna, complete with homemade marinara sauce (because I come from the school of thought that any problem can be solved with a good meal… and a good bottle).
In all earnestness, I am here for you. I will wipe away those tears for you and teach you the lyrics to “We Shall Overcome”, although I do not think it would be an appropriate use of the song. We would just have to be careful. Meet in private or something, so no one will accuse you of making an effort to try and see things from opposing perspectives. If you are interested, let me know. I’ll be here, praying for the children I don’t have yet and the humanity of which our world is quickly losing grasp.