The Sunday Sessions: Political Talk Edition 7.15.18
Sunday is traditionally a day in which we slow down, take time for reflection, and recharge. Every Sunday, I will share a poem, excerpt, or thought that will make us think, wonder, or even laugh as we prepare ourselves for the upcoming week.
Happy Monday! Once again, we’re having a Sunday Session on Monday, but this time it’s because I didn’t have a computer to create this post while my husband swapped out my old hard drive for a new one. Now my old computer (like 6 years old – practically ancient!) is as fast as a new computer and we’ve saved hundreds of dollars. Score!
Today’s Sunday Session is getting political, but not in the way you may think. I’m not really into big political discussions. Unless you are talking with someone who is open to listening to another point of view and willing to change their mind about what is being discussed, political discussions usually don’t lead to anything but bad feelings between two friends (at least in our current America).
What I want us to think about instead is what we’re supposed to do with our firmly held beliefs.
I recently saw this video posted on Facebook. It shows a man harassing a woman for wearing a Puerto Rico shirt at a picnic shelter the woman had reserved for her birthday party. The woman took the video with her cell phone, so it was easy for me to put myself in her shoes and experience the harassment from her point of view.
I found it terrifying as the man stalked her around the picnic tables, getting into close proximity, and jabbing his fingers at her (but never touching her). Meanwhile, a police officer is standing at the other end of the picnic shelter, ignoring the woman’s calls for help.
It’s a heartbreaking video, in my opinion, and really enabled me to see racism from a point of view I’ve never experienced. The man’s actions were inexcusable, so much so that he has now been charged with a hate crime.
That being said, what else was he supposed to do? Stay with me here, because I know you all are probably jumping out of your skins right about now with that last statement.
At an early age, we are encouraged by adults to stand up for what is right. If you see something wrong happening, we are told, speak up and make it right.
That’s what this man was doing. At the heart of his actions is fear. He says, “You’re not going to change us, you know that?” The woman replies that she’s not trying to change anyone. While she may not actively be trying to change other people, the fact of the matter is that immigrants and people of color are changing America. By 2045, whites will be in the minority. It’s just a matter of one’s perception of whether this change is good or is bad, and in this man’s view, it’s very bad indeed.
So how are we supposed to act when we see something happening that we believe is very bad? Aren’t both liberals and conservatives guilty of acting just as terribly as this man did? Here’s a video of a man ripping a Make America Great Again hat off a teen and then throwing his drink in his face.
If we are supposed to take action when we see something wrong, what does that mean? I am sure most people would agree that the behavior of the men in both of these videos is not the way to go. I assume most people would say we should use our words and not violence when standing up for what is right, the classic standby we tell our youngsters when they hit a child in frustration on the playground. But America is reaching its boiling point in terms of ideologies and emotions are running high. If we use our words, is anyone really going to listen?
Question of the Week
When faced with something you believe is wrong, how do you stand up for what you think is right in a way that is both respectful and effective?
*On a lighter note, here’s Cher Horowitz’s take on immigrants changing America: