My Leap List

Sunday, March 25, 2012

None of Us are Free

     I look at the world my children live in and cry for who we are.  All my life I heard we children were special; we were chosen to live in the end of days.  I'm grown up now, with children of my own, and it turns out we weren't so special.  We were just like the ones who went before.  We hide behind sound bites and our religions and our conservative views.  Too full of hate and anger and prejudice to listen to anyone else, let alone understand.  The rest of us hide in fear awaiting the winner.  If we are lucky enough to not be hated, we turn a blind eye and hope we won't be next.  Hitler would be proud.
     My students are beautiful; all colors and hues.  They don't believe me when I tell them; no one else sees them that way.   I weep for the boys with the beautiful dark skin who ask me why we never learn from the past and why black hoodies are so bad.  I cry with the beautiful girl of Hispanic descent, tears rolling down her cheeks, asking me if it's okay her teacher just called her a dumb Mexican..  I hug the shy girl embarrassed to admit that her dance recital is "only" native Mexican dances.  None of them have faced physical death yet, but they die a million small deaths every day.  What a hopeless way to see fourteen.
     My children and I have white skin.  We don't face the situations my students face every day, but we fight for  all of us.  For as Ray Charles says, "If one of us is chained, none of us are free."


  1. Please give your students an extra hug from someone in WV who also cares about them. How I wish we could just do away with the "minority" label.

  2. I want you to know that I think you have done an excellent job of expressing an opinion that I have tried to live my whole life. I have friends of many colors, religions, lifestyles and any other quirk you want to name as something that makes us 'different' from one another. I remember one of them telling me I am "the opposite of prejudice, whatever the hell that is." I wish I knew what it was (other than the idea mentioned by my daughter telling me that I "hate everyone equally." I wish I could teach it or sell it. There are so many petty and stupid things that we as a species shouldn't still have to deal with in the 21st century and prejudice is near the top of that list.

  3. There is so much truth in this post. It is sad.