OK let me get this out of the way first. I don’t care about royal babies. I don’t dislike them. I am indifferent to them. We don’t have an official royalty in the U.S., and I think that’s a good thing (for more on my opinions on monarchy in general, feel free to consult 1 Samuel:8). We do, however, seem to have an insatiable fixation on royalty – the royalty in other countries, and the royalty that we create. We have images. We’re big with images.
Today I’m departing from my own personal story of grieving. Except it’s still my story. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the world keeps turning. Life goes on. Life goes on in our own lives and beyond our lives.
In the midst of my grief, George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the murder of Trayvon Martin. There’s been a lot said about the trial already, and I’m not going to comment on that. But there’s been a lot of talk about the culture of fear, and how people have been taught to fear black men, and it got me thinking. So this post today is about my own history with violence and abuse.
Nearly every time I’ve been attacked, hurt, or sexually harassed or abused, it has been at the hands of white men. Don’t think that I’m putting anyone else on a pedestal here – I know that there are plenty of other men of all races and ethnicities who have done bad things to people. But in my personal experience, as a white girl and then as a white woman, it has almost always been white boys and men who have given me trouble. OH – and I didn’t grow up in the middle of white bread America, either. I’m from New York City.
When I was in the fifth grade, six white Catholic boys in my class jumped me after school. They attacked me for being Jewish, and, according to them, Jews killed Jesus, so apparently that made me a legitimate target.
When I was in high school and a guy offered me a ride home (yes, I knew better, and yes, I got in the car anyway), – well, I got away from him – but he was a white guy.
When I took a summer job in Lebanon, PA, it was young white folks at the camp (well, the camp was completely white, as I recall) who thought I would have horns. Because I was Jewish. Did I mention this was in 1980? That’s 1980, not 1680. Yeah.
The only boyfriend ever who punched me PUNCHED me – (we had already broken up by then – long story) was a white guy, and the completely useless cop who came to take my complaint after and asked me what I did to provoke him was also a white guy.
Have I ever been hassled by anyone who wasn’t white? Yes. But not as often. So I have to wonder why.
This is what I’m thinking. I’m thinking that we have a culture that so privileges white men that there’s this arrogance that often develops in which many white men start to feel as though they just have the right.
It’s just a thought. But I’m also thinking that we worked hard to get away from the idea of royalty and entitlement, only to create it all over again. I’d prefer it if we really had equality.
Why am I thinking about this now? Well, certainly it’s been in the news. Also, I’m thinking about the relationship I had with my husband for the last 21 years. It wasn’t perfect. We certainly had our differences. But this is what it was – it was equal. It was never, not ever, abusive.
I think a lot of white men could have learned a lot from my husband. I wish he would have had more time to be an example.
That’s it – that’s my mite. That’s all I’ve got for today.