Friday, September 23

Arguing with Myself: Won’t Someone Think of the Children?

I saw something today that made the little voice in my head
(the one that doesn’t stop until I’ve written down what it has to say)
start gnashing its teeth.

As I left the parking lot where I was waiting for my wife to text me back, a pick-up truck with a confederate flag license plate pulled in.

Now, let’s be clear . . . I’m white.

Not quite blind you with reflected sunlight,
but my heritage just doesn’t get called into question.

My parents were staunch Republicans
(my dad is now an Independent and my mom is a Libertarian, *headdesk*).

In fact one of my dad’s favorite denigrating phrases, for years, was to call anyone who was at all socially progressive a
“Jane Fonda Pinko Commy Faggot.”
It was his favorite insult up until about a decade and a half ago.

My mom (who now denies this conversation ever took place) told me point blank that gay couples shouldn’t be able to get married because the law to legalize same sex marriage (this was probably around 2000, not sure which specific bill) included wording allowing same sex parents to touch the genitals of their children (for things like diaper changes, and medical need) and she didn’t agree with letting pedophiles have that kind of legal loophole.

They are both lifetime members of the NRA,
and vocal Blue Lives/ All Lives Matter proponents.

Now don’t get me wrong, my parents are loving, caring people who have evolved on their views on a number of civil issues
(same sex marriage, interracial marriage,
religious discrimination, and some women’s issues).
And I don’t want to paint them as bigoted or hateful or less than the loving parents and decent human beings they are.

But this is where I came from.

And where I am desperately trying to keep from going back to.

The reason that flag got to me this morning
has to do with the world my kids are growing up in.

on video, with his hands in the air on Friday.

My sister and her husband just had a beautiful little boy, and
I don’t want him growing up in a world where he needs to be afraid of the police
because his skin has more melanin than my kids’.

I don’t want Alani’s beautiful children portrayed as thugs, criminals or sluts
because of the color of their skin.

I don’t want my cousin’s children
demonized for the religion they were raised with, that their mother chose.
For their brown complexions and dark hair and manner of dress.

All of those children deserve to be as unafraid of the police
as my white children are.

Full stop.

My children should not have to worry that their parents’ marriage
is not seen as valid, that someone’s political agenda could see our
legal marriage unmade and
Hunny forced back into a role that would have killed her.

That there are people who would use their lack of understanding, lack of compassion to destroy our family because they aren’t ok with rainbow flags.  

Our children are watching. What message are we teaching them?
What kind of a world are we leaving them? 

#I don't really do hashtags #but this is important #bigotry kills #our kids deserve better