Lessons I Teach Myself
Lessons I Teach Myself
Some days, I have no words left to describe what it's like to be in this body and soul of mine.
Perhaps it's because my eyes are puffy from crying.
And my legs are hurting from marching.
And my voice is strained from shouting.
And my heart? My heart is speechless. Wordless. Drained.
Some heavy rain has fallen on this land I've been visiting.
It's been long time coming, sure, but it still falls down heavy and all encompassing.
I have to admit, I didn't know much about American history when I moved to the states.
I didn't know about the history of slavery much, or how deeply systematic racism has affected this society. I didn't know the different innuendos & racial slurs, I didn't know about segregation, and Jim Crow. I didn't know about police brutality against against African-Americans. I didn't know any of it. I was a 19 year old foreigner with a big American dream and interest in the theatre, that was all.
America to me was movies, was music, was Broadway... it was pop culture and nothing more.
My knowledge and understanding of this country was very superficial. But hey, I was 19 and grew up in the other side of the world, so I'll give my 19 year old self a break here.
Over the years, after immigrating to this country, I started learning about all these things. From friends, from books and movies, and from seeing racial injustices in my very own eyes.
But even though 'racism in America' seemed like a new lesson to me, it wasn't.
It was very familiar and close to home in its core. Hate is hate, and it exists everywhere, and has many faces. And hate was very present in my upbringing in the middle east as well.
I don't know why we teach our children to hate, but we do. And we must do better.
I plan to do so by looking inward to see where am I blind to my own privilege, when do I use prejudice type of thinking, and how I can grow my empathy for others.
I plan to do so by continuing to support my friends, my colleagues, my neighbors in our fight for justice & equality.
I plan to do so by speaking up every time I witness ignorance, racism and injustice.
I plan to do so and I hope you will too.
~Well... I suppose I had some words after all.
*Photo by John Lamparski/NurPhoto/Getty Images
Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog that may, or may not be, of any significance to anyone other than herself. If you found her lil' life lessons, stories, poems and blurbs meaningful to you, well that's f**ing amazing! Comment and share so she can pat herself in the back - she doesn't do that nearly enough. Cheers.