There are some things that I leave out of "polite" conversation. Things like socioeconomic status, political affiliation, human rights, and (my personal favorite) race relations are all loaded subjects that can easily lead to a fight (verbal and/or physical) and the loss of acquaintances. So, generally, I don't bring them up in "polite" conversation.
If someone ELSE, brings any of these subjects up, who am I not to oblige them with my (factually supported) opinions? Really, wouldn't it almost be selfish--criminal even--if I left the ignorant to their own assumptions?
Maybe I'm just pushy, militant, loud and all of the other adjectives used to describe my natural hair. Maybe, voicing my (factually supported) opinions won't change anyone's mind, ever. Maybe I'm just wasting my time attempting to educate those would embrace willful ignorance for the rest of their lives.
Maybe I should just shut up and mind my own business.
Well...I'm not gonna.
Of course, I will always pick my battles, and pick them carefully at that, but when I was in fifth grade, I read that Martin Luther King Jr. said
"A time comes when silence is betrayal."
I'm not the first person to know that quote, and hell, I wasn't even alive when he said it. But I know that message transcends my age and the time in which it was spoken. Those words ring truer than anything people tell me about keeping my head down, shutting up, being diplomatic and most certainly more than anything I've read on a hate strewn picket sign.
That quote, those words, resound.
There are so many beautiful people in my life. They are not all straight, they are not all black, they are not all white, they are not all able-bodied, they are not all rich, they are not all traditionally educated, they are not all here, but they are ALL beautiful.
None of them deserve to be reprimanded by their country for being who they are. None of them deserve to be held to the letter of the law and not have the law work for them in turn. None of them deserve to be spit on, harassed, fired, disowned, kicked-out, beat up, pushed into unnecessary mental or emotional treatments, discharged, ostracized, excommunicated, or lied to because they live their lives as honestly and with as much authenticity as possible.
Most of them have.
My blog is usually pretty carefree and airs on the side of vapid. I know this. I use this as a reflection of my life and in my life I tend to be very diplomatic and aside from closer friends and acquaintances, I try to be "polite".
That will not change. I will always do whatever I can to make sure that my opinions are heard in the correct arena and at appropriate times. I have no aspiration to become someone who doesn't know how to have a good time, or someone who will call someone out in front of a group of people because they told an off-color joke. Mean and humiliating is not, nor has it ever been, my style.
I will pull you aside and talk to you about what you said, especially if I believe that you truly adhere to the sentiment of an off-color joke. I will not laugh at something that I find to be more than in bad taste, but in bad humor. If you use a word in front of me that makes me uncomfortable, I will tell you one-on-one and that will be the end of it.
I'm not going to call anybody a racist, bigot, etc. because they made a mistake. That's not my place and it's not my job.
But my beautiful friends should know that I will always fight for their right to live their lives as openly as I am blessed to live mine. And they should know that when they say things that are racist or bigoted in nature, I will let them know that they are and I will let them know why with as much understanding as my heart can hold. I will always be compassionate, but I will never, ever, be silent.
That's a betrayal that I cannot live with.