Responding To Everyday Bigotry

From the start of this article I felt guilty. Not because I am a person who uses terms or words like such, but because I come from a family where you choose to ignore when they say such things because if you were to speak up it would be such a blow out argument that you’re just not up to keep having. I know that’s no excuse. I shouldn’t let my laziness or lack of effort to contribute to such horrible ways of speaking and thinking. I should speak up because if I don’t then I’m just like the rest of the population choosing not to talk about it. When we choose to not talk about it we are adding to the problem. Sometimes it is a little more serious than just speaking up. When you grow up out in the back woods country where the closest store is 20 minutes away (a small stop-n-shop) and your pet is a cow named rib-eye that you know will be dinner in a little while you grow up encountering bigotry in almost every conversation. Although I was raised around that from day one I was one of the children in my family that went to a very diverse public school.  I learned and experienced the real world in a way and my eyes were opened to the negative ways my family thinks. I started to speak up in middle school but even then I was just a kid and no one paid much attention to it. Later on in life I brought friends around my family but I had the most shameful realization what I was doing to my friends by blindly and ignorantly bringing them into situations that were toxic for them. I spoke to the class about how my step father called a friend of mine a racial term and immediately felt shame but to my surrounding family members it was normal and even funny to them. I never brought a friend around again. My family wonders why I don’t like to participate in a lot of family events or why I never bring anyone with me when I do go. I will continue to speak up from now on however I worry what little it will do with my family. Are they a lot cause? Am I adding to the problem by thinking that?

Categories Leadership & Social Justice

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