It takes a brave soul to talk about discrimination and racism in America. I wasn’t so brave until recently. I have spent most of my life attempting to live without seeing color or differences.
I was raised predominately on military bases. The child of a female officer. Taught to exhibit the proper behavior and be articulate. This caused no end of problems for myself, but I forged ahead confident in who I was.
I’ve experienced racism and sexism in many forms over the years but it’s brought me to an interesting conclusion. No discrimination is more or less important or hurtful.
Recently, I’ve watched what I’d call racism happen to someone in my inner circle. They are white and Jewish. He asked me if their troubles were due to this and I scoffed at the idea. I was soon disavowed of my thoughts. The people discriminating against him blatantly used slurs while describing him. My heart sunk.
I had scoffed at him. Maybe because I am a black woman and I wake up every day expecting that I may face some sort of discrimination because of someone else’s ignorance about me.
People of color will tell me that white people can’t experience racism. I’m not sure that I am on board with said theory. I am of the belief that all -isms are hurtful. Whether we are talking racism, classism, sexism, genderism or religious intolerance.
I think it’s important, as humans, that while we are in our own struggle against discrimination that we remember that we are not alone. Everyone struggles with discrimination in some form. And no one hurts any less because the discrimination is different from your own.