you're a racist

I had to say this to someone I love just the other day.  

We'll call this someone "Taylor" (that's a great unisex name, right?) 

Well, Taylor was going on and on about this particular race of people... how Taylor doesn't like this race of people, can't trust this race of people, doesn't understand/feel comfortable around this race of people and so on and so forth.  Taylor has felt this way for years.  Taylor verbalizes these thoughts and feelings to family and friends who say nothing to change or challenge Taylor's ignorant way of thinking.  (Man, I'm already tired of saying Taylor over and over... anonymity is something else...)  

Anyway, Taylor rails on and on with this racist foolywank diatribe that is appalling to me.  While I do have issues in my life to confront and work through (ie. extreme independence, fear, trust issues and so on...), I just don't see people in terms of race.  For me, people generally fall into two categories.  There are awesome people and there are jackasses.  People are free to wander from one category to the other at any time.  Awesome people come in all sizes, shapes and colors.  So do jackasses.  My goal is to live in the awesome category, but there are times (no lie) that (somehow) I am rolling with the jackasses.  I am always initially surprised about my entrance into jackass territory; however, once I realize I'm in the wrong category, I high tail it out of there, do my best to figure out where I took a wrong turn and attempt to avoid that particular exit in the future.  So glad that we can wander from one category to the other...

Back to Taylor's racist foolywank diatribe.  T's words were being spoken softly... and kindly even... Never before did I think the words racist and kind could mix in one sentence, but apparently they do sentences and in real life all the time.  So when Taylor paused and looked at me leaning slightly forward as if waiting for a response, I paused and looked deep into Taylor's heart/eyes.  As kindly, lovingly and sincerely as possible, I said, "That's because you're a racist."  Taylor's eyes winced at the words a little bit; however, we both knew that the words spoken were true.  Without an exchange of words, we both acknowledged the truth as it reverberated throughout the room.  Then I saw Taylor's eyes change from openness to acceptance then resolve.  A pattern that I know all to well.  Openness (if only for a moment) to truth.  Acceptance, inner validation or re-commitment to my stance or position.  Resolve to stay there.  This path is always a detriment to self when change needs to take place.  Always.  Detrimental.  Sometimes.  Deadly.  Literally and/or figuratively.  I know this path and I purpose to avoid it at all costs because it's a bum deal.  A total dead end.  

My heart went out to Taylor as the truth resounded in echoes of silence.  Taylor learned these racist ideas and behaviors from a parent.  Sadly, this stance has become an invisible bonding point between them.  Taylor and said parent are both educated people who work everyday and contribute to their community in valuable and meaningful ways.  In the midst of the silence, I realized that I had to let go of my own stereotypes about expressions of racism.  I tend to think about sheets, burning crosses, backwoods/small towns and people who are ignorant and uneducated with a few rotten teeth.  Note to self: stop using stereotypes.

At this point in the conversation, it felt like there were one thousand invisible elephants in the room with dozens more appearing each second.  I didn't know what else to say besides "I love you, T."  So I did and then I left.  All the while wondering why I get the mean anointing...  why it's so tough to learn from each other, accept truth and make changes.  Taylor is racist.  I am not.  T could learn from me.  I am extremely independent.  Taylor is extremely dependent.  I could learn from T.  I don't have a witty ending for this one, folks.  Just a dream that someday we will learn from each other and help each other evolve.  Let it begin with me.   


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