Wednesday, February 3, 2010

taking a look at my own prejudices

I'm ok with homeless guys. Even in groups. I've (mostly) gotten past that "bless your heart" smile and am pretty comfortable making eye contact and speaking person-to-person.

I'm not terribly uncomfortable with young black men, even in groups. Unless they're being particularly loud and rowdy but that's mainly only my auditory sensibilities rather than emotional comfort. I actually am more fearful of groups of white young men because I think black men would have sense enough to leave me alone (me being a white middle class woman) while I don't have that same level of comfort about groups of white men.

I used to regularly go into the area prisons delivering things like books and toys. It was impossible for me to not feel like a steak on display before starving people but dealing individually with the incarcerated guys was never a problem.

People I have a lot of discomfort dealing with:
  • Folks who dress up to go to church (some--not all)
  • Those who think Sara Palin is the answer to our country's problems
  • Polyamorists with children
  • Good ol' boys/people who identify as "rednecks"
  • Folks who act like saying "it's all good" allows them to disregard good manners
  • Individuals who think the government is too big but who want to use it to regulate the behavior of other people
I am a total hypocrite. I believe in diversity and that every voice has equal merit but only if that voice says that every voice has equal merit. People who believe that everybody should believe exactly as they do are wrong. And yet that's exactly the way I believe because I believe they're wrong. I judge people based on where they stand on certain political/social litmus questions and decide whether I want them in my life. A person may get a "pass" with me if they are socially conservative but follow what I deem to be sincere faith--it doesn't matter much which religious system as long as they are deeply engaged.

I'm not exactly sure how to move beyond this. I'm not sure I want to. I don't LIKE people who are judgmental and conservative. People who get their information from Fox News disturb me beyond words and when I have to interact with them I find few topics about which we can interact. And yet, I'm dismayed at the division in our society. And I'm a big part of that division. I think in dichotomy: right/wrong, good/bad, with us/against us. If I can't find the middle in my own mind, how in the world can I begin to find it in my life?

1 comment:

Rosemary said...

Wow, Mary! I think you and I have the same brain! I love that you have the spirit and the dedication to put it into text.

"That's what she said..."