I almost threw up last week and it wasn’t because of Marshmallow. It’s because I was driving and writing a blog post in my head. The blog post was about Christianity and Islam and mosque building and the idiots we’ve elected to represent us (both politically and religiously). That wasn’t what almost made me throw up either.
What almost made me throw up was that half way through my mental blog writing I thought,
“I can’t post this. I’m less than a year away from potentially (still not out of the 1st trimester, Guys) becoming a mommy blogger. Mommy bloggers have opinions on diaper quality and breastfeeding NOT mosque construction.”
That’s when I almost threw up.
I don’t know that I’d call myself a feminist, but I certainly believe that last sentence is insane. Being a mom does not mean I no longer have a voice on topics that aren’t overtly “mom”. And I hate that there is even a small, tiny, whisper of a voice suggesting that I not share my thoughts on the mosque and instead tell you about how I almost accidentally OD’d on prenatal vitamins.
More than that, I hate that I’m not giving the women that I know primarily as moms the respect they deserve when it comes to certain issues. Like, I never even thought to ask my mom what she thinks about healthcare reform but I fight with my dad over every issue under the sun. Or with my best friend’s mom. I just found out that she got her degree in computer science stuff. Never knew that because in my world she’s limited to roles like “the mom who took us to tennis camp” and “the mom most likely to beat Lance Armstrong in a bike race”. The only thing I knew about her college experience was that it was where she met her husband.
Forget throwing up. Now I want to cry.
I’m so sorry, Mom and Janice and every other woman I know first as a mom and second as a human.
We all put ourselves in boxes. We give ourselves labels that make us think “Oh, I can’t say that” or “I’m not smart enough to have an opinion on that”. I do it all the time this is just the first time I ever caught myself.
So I’m going to start occasionally share things that I subconsciously believe I shouldn’t. And I’m not just talking about poop stories…
I understand being afraid of things you don’t understand.
Truth: White people scare me. I remember being 6 years old and watching a Donahue like talk show where some KKK guy was talking about everyone going back to the countries they are originally from. I was a smart 6 year old. I knew that my mom, a Filipino, would go back to the Philippines if this guy ever got a say. That thought alone was scary, but not as bad as wondering where my biracial butt would end up.
Because of this single experience I’ve been afraid, to varying degrees, of white people. Was it fair or right? Of course not. A kooky member of the KKK does not represent anyone but himself. But that doesn’t stop me from getting panicky when driving through counties in Tennessee that seem to boast about the last lynching they had.
So I get being afraid of Muslims, especially when your experience with the religion is limited to the 9/11 attacks. It’s hard, if not impossible, to control a gut reaction, especially when it’s rooted in fear. That part is called being human.
What I don’t understand is how people choose to stay in that mindset. How people choose to be afraid of what they do not know rather than take the time to find out whether their initial perception is true.
Mostly, I don’t understand how political and religious leaders feel justified in continuing to stir the fear pot. Mark always says, “Fish rots from the head down”. I don’t know if that’s true, but I know that he always uses it when he’s talking about churches whose leadership (and, ultimately, congregation) fail to grasp basic concepts of Jesus’ teachings, like love, forgiveness and mercy. If our leaders’ attitudes inspire hate and fear, can you really expect anything different from their followers? I’m looking at you, Terry Jones. Put the lighter down.
And I don’t think it’s just wishful thinking that if our leaders would practice open-mindedness and extend the freedom to practice any religion one pleases to others that the atmosphere of hate would disappear. I don’t think it’s wishful thinking because it’s happening in Memphis. A pastor felt the fear of having an Islamic Center being built nearby and extended his welcome anyways.
We need more leaders like that.
Feel free to agree, disagree, add on or take away. And all moms are highly encouraged to comment!