One of my mother’s most famous quotes to me was “Be careful of the words that are spoken from your mouth, for once they’re airborne, those words cannot be rescinded.” The reason for my mother telling me this was because when I was younger I hated to see people mistreated and would jump in to defend them. I used highly unkind, should-have-been-censored language to the perpetrator to make my point. Eventhough I tried to justify what I said, as insulting as it was, I thought that person deserved it. Still, my dear sweet mother told me to step back and take a few deep breaths before blurting something out that could be brutally insulting, even if the person truly deserved it. I couldn’t take it back, even if I apologized. The damage was done.
Needless to say, I am appalled, yet not surprised by some of the vicious, insulting, racist, homophobic, sexist and downright nasty rhetoric that is publicly stated in some oral or written form over the past year especially. I have heard many horrible insults coming from people who you would especially think would know better. When I hear those in leadership roles, and this isn’t something I heard about, but actually heard spoken, in the religious, educational, work-related and especially political sectors, I wonder how these people would feel if the shoe was on the other foot. These insults have gotten out of control and tempers are at an all time high.
I am an optimist and I know that most of us want peace and calm, but quite honestly I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Casual racism is no joking matter. This type of verbiage is spoken from the heart. What was tolerated fifty years ago is a whole different ballgame nowadays. What really bugs me is when people blurt out such hateful things and once they are caught or called on the carpet for it, this well-rehearsed line is said, “I apologize if I offended anyone” when they know good and well they intentionally offended someone but was caught this time around.
I have been on the receiving end of racial, gender and age discrimination. You can’t imagine how much I have to pray to God every single day to give me the strength to avoid becoming a bitter person. But when political and religious leaders especially think they have carte blanche to say and treat people disrespectfully, then why would they expect to be respected? Why do they think people are outraged and will not be silent? Why should they expect people to suddenly be peaceful, join hands and sing Kumbaya My Lord?
When such insults were spewing from the presidential campaign, people thought it was funny. No one stopped it and now that it has become widespread and given like-minded individuals the green light to say whatever they want, whenever they want and wherever they want, and not expect repercussions, I’m sorry to say they are sadly mistaken. I don’t like to see people mistreated, emotionally, mentally, physically, financially, politically or spiritually. But while people don’t understand the point of the peaceful protests occurring around our country, perhaps they should examine what provoked the anger in the first and it wasn’t just about one side winning and the other losing. People are frustrated and I truly understand that. Our country has presidential representation from the Democratic and Republican parties. Someone has to win or lose and everyone knows that. Democracy I get, but tyranny I don’t. We must wake up everybody before it’s too late.
“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand. “ -Matthew 12:25