Sunday, August 12, 2007

Perhaps I haven't been clear...

Two years ago, when I started my blog
, I did it for a few reasons. One, since I had forsaken my writing career for corporate America, I needed an outlet for my ramblings. Two, my life is an open book anyway, and there's enough excitement in the everyday happenings that I thought others might get a kick out of hearing about it. Three, it gave me a platform, if necessary to discuss important topics.

I have managed to keep the seriousness of my blog to a minimum. I try to infuse humor in every area of my life, especially the painful parts. Even if I don't find a particular moment very funny, it is sometimes easier for me to deal with it if I can find the lighter side. There isn't a lighter side, however, to some topics and, for that reason, I have steered away from addressing them.

I try to avoid politics, religion, gender equality, sexual preference, racism-- all the big subjects that others build their followings around... That is not to say that I don't have strong convictions or opinions about any of those topics. I have chosen not to write about them because I believe that the people who really know me, my family and friends, know how I feel. I am very vocal about everything. (Those of you who know me even informally, are keenly aware of that.)

I enjoy a good debate about the afore-mentioned subjects every now and then. I can appreciate the opposing position on nearly any topic. That is the beauty of these United States that we call home. Freedom! Freedom to believe and think and say anything! But I cannot appreciate uneducated pontification from closed-minded individuals convinced that their way is the only way and the rest of us are wrong.

Yesterday, I found myself embattled in a war of words with someone I have known for 10 years. My words were poorly chosen. I did not fight the good fight and for that I am profoundly sorry. (My apologies to him and to the many people around who had to witness my tirade.) The battle ensued not during an intelligent conversation on our positions on race but after his attack on various ethnic groups other than his own. He cited his right to free speech and the freedom he is granted by merely being born in this great nation of ours as his defense for the vulgarity that came from within him. I fired back with profanity and at one point, I nearly struck him. That's not me. Not at all. But something rose up within me that I nearly lost control over and today, as I recount it all, it scares me.

Perhaps I have not been clear on where I stand with regard to racist beliefs. So today, let me make it plain. I will not tolerate racism in any form or fashion.

Believe what you want and say what you will about those you think of as lesser than yourself but please keep it in those circles that appreciate that talk. I am not in that circle. If you would like to talk about diversity in America and how we can build a bridge to unifying our nation, then I am your girl. But I will not take part in creating a larger racial divide. I will not contribute to this guerilla warfare.

Is that clear enough?

Those of you who know my story, where I came from and how I grew up understand that the position I take on racism is almost a calling on my life. (Maybe I will share that story again someday...) A part of me wishes I could take yesterday back and start over. And another part of me thinks it may have been the start of the next chapter.

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