Footnote to Yesterday’s Disclosure

As a footnote to yesterday’s disclosure, I would like to address an elephant in the room. It had actually been ASKED of me way back during my original court proceedings, in several different ways, why I chose my first husband; and that, in essence, what did I expect to get for marrying a black guy from the ghetto? This whole racist shame blame was one of the reasons I stayed married, and tried to make our relationship work, for so long. I didn’t want people to judge my experience as a blanket statement that all black men were a certain way….which I learned, was how many white people quietly felt.

And once I did leave my first husband, and I was asked to start telling my story to help others, I didn’t want my experience as a domestic violence victim to be founded on the premise of the color of skin of the man I married; that would be an evil betrayal of victims of all “skin colors”, including white, that domestic violence can only happen in certain demographics. It happens across, and up and down, the demographic board.

That being said, while I know that there are real men in every racial and ethnic group, I know from experience that there are losers too. Grown males being boys crosses all barriers too. I grew up with an uncle, a white guy, who ended up in prison for years for murder, but not before he first pulled a knife on, and threatened to kill, my aunt. My first husband was African-American and Caribbean. My second husband was Filipino and white. And my third husband was Mexican, Spanish, and white.

So please, when you read my story, throw all notions of racism out the door. The issues I’ve dealt with in relating to the men in my life are defined by the heart and character of the men I’ve chosen, not the color of their skin, ethnic heritage, or even religion. It’s about power and sexism and patriarchy, and a crippling misunderstanding of what it means to love and respect women, no matter the cultural background.

My parents raised me to always look at the heart and soul of a person, not how they look or where they were from, to determine their value in your life. And I ask you to still do the same. The brokenness of the men in my life was not because they weren’t white, or were white, or rich, or poor, or from a dysfunctional family, or spoiled. Their brokenness was caused by choices they made that, as an adult, they still chose to define themselves as victims, boys, and in need of being babied at all costs, all the time, instead of being the men that they had the potential, and were intended, to be.

I saw that potential, and loved that possibility and often times promise, rather than who each of them very clearly lived their actual lives being. My mistakes were in misjudging character, not culture. Please don’t do the same. There are amazing men out there that never get the chance TO be judged by their character, because they are too quickly judged and written off by their culture and color.

Grief-Rendered Speechless

side with oppressor

 

 

Struggling this morning. Grieved that 5 cops are dead, and several others wounded. Two wrongs never make a right. And unfortunately, revenge and retaliation only serve to take the focus off of the insidious and deeply entrenched grievous acts ( repeated acts, not just a single incident) that led to the most current travesty.

We, as white people, just like all people should, be equally maddened by the cops who lost their lives. As well as support the amazing cops, who do amazing work, every day.

But we CANNOT forget, or cease to wrong the injustices that are set forth every day in this country, towards black males in particular, black lives in general. The cop killings do NOT wipe away or justify police brutality.

When we’ve had one white guy after another shoot up schools or buildings, we NEVER say that violence against all white guys is condoned, or shake our heads in self-righteous indignation. Instead we spend HOURS analyzing and critiquing what set him off in the first place.

We KNOW what set the Dallas cop killer off. Lord KNOWS that he had enough reason to be angry and upset.

So rather than pointing the finger at him as the reason why cops have to be brutal, let’s all of us work hard to change the reality that sparked his righteous outage in the first place.

 

We have an epidemic of brutality against blacks in this country, by police. It’s real. It’s ongoing. And it’s terrifying. I know. I have a son who is faced with this fear every single day. “Black Lives Matter” is a mantra, a way of peacefully demonstrating, about something that is very distrurbing to the peace. If you don’t live it, it’s very easy to isolate yourself from it’s realities. Unfortunately, I don’t have the same luxury that many white people do. And thank God. Because if all white people truly followed God’s mandate to demand justice, and defend the oppressed, comprehensively and structurally in our country, there wouldn’t be a need FOR a “Black Lives Matter” movement.