Life Memories: 2015 Resolutions

I’ve been trying for weeks to talk about issues in the media. I’ve started and deleted at least half a dozen posts dealing with race, sexism/rape, police… and yet there is a key element in all of these issues that I am going to make part of my 2015 resolutions:

NOTALL________

  • Not all men…
  • Not all women…
  • Not all police…
  • Not all gun owners…
  • Not all blacks…
  • Not all whites….
  • Not all Christians…
  • Not all Muslims….

I’m going to stop saying what I’m not. I’m not going to say “but that’s not me!” when something painful is describing a group I might be a part of (whether by choice, birth, or genetics).  When I have the reaction “but not all women!” I’m going to stop myself.  Because no, I might not be one of the women who is perpetuating a painful stereotype. But they do exist.

More than not being defensive, my resolution in 2015 is to look at those accusations and try to understand the experiences driving those accusations.  Many of these groups in my experience are decent human beings in the majority.  But there is a strong, vocal, frightening minority who is driving a negative stereotype.  If I am a “member” of one of these groups I need to become the opposite voice of that abusive, negative minority.  As part of the majority I need to have the courage to stand up and say “no, that behavior is wrong.”

I want to be a good ally. I cannot be a good ally if I am silent.  In groups where I have social, economic – hell, political power – I also have a responsibility not to remain silent when others in my group are abusing it. Police shouldn’t be afraid to call each other out on brutality.  Men shouldn’t be afraid to call out each other on misogynist comments.  Whites need to call each other on bigoted ideas and words.

So my resolution is this: I am no longer part of the silent majority. I will be the vocal ally.

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