Happy New Year!
I've posted this diary before, but I felt like reposting it, so here it is, with some edits.
I'll start with a poem that won a prize in the NYC Elementary Schools a few years back:
The races of the worldand a quote from a friend's child, aged 4; he told someone
Are like the colors of a rainbow.
Would a rainbow of one color
My mom is Jewish and my dad is Catholic. God listens to me with both earsmore below the fold
United, there are a lot of us. We can feed each other, or we can eat each other.
We people. We, the descendants and relatives of people who were slaves, or in pogroms, or in 'camps', or on reservations or trails of tears.
We people who were told to shut up, sit down, get to the back of the bus, obey.
We people who were given the garbage to eat, and made soul food of enormous variety and flavor.
We people. We people who may make others feel icky, because we don't act like them, believe like them, dress like them or think like them.
We people who are a little bit special.
We people. We people who worship different gods, or no god.
We people. We people who have sex with people who look like us (guys with guys!). Or with people who do NOT look like us (Blacks with Whites!). Or not at all.
We people. We people who don't fit into "male" or "female" exactly.
We people. We nerds and geeks and goths and weirdos and freaks.
We THE people, of the UNITED states of America.
We people, UNITED.
There are a LOT of us.
We minorities are a majority.
But some of us don't see it that way. Some of us get mad when others complain. "Wait!" we say "it's not your turn!"
It's EVERYONE'S turn, dammit.
or "Wait! We" (my little group) "had it worse than you" (your little group) "so we should get helped first." Or we've had it worse for longer; or we've had fewer people making it better. That's a we that excludes you. My we includes you.
Well, why don't we stop worrying about who has it WORSE, and start making it BETTER?
or "Wait! You're disabled! That's not like us! We're not disabled!"
The ability that counts is the ability to see that we are all PEOPLE.
We can feed each other. We can sing together. Or we can eat each other, we can drown each other out.
Diaries about racism and sexism and homophobia and religious persecution and all the other prejudices our race is prone to should feed each other; claiming equal rights for one group of people is like saying "your side of the boat is leaking".
Diaries about good and bad Democrats should feed diaries about elections and polling, because to get more Democrats better Democrats we have to know who has a chance to win, where.
Diaries calling on us to rise up should feed diaries analyzing particular issues in detail, because not everyone is going to man the barricades, some people have to man the databases.
When any group of people write about the various ways they are oppressed, both historically and currently, we could demean them for whining ... or we could say "Yes, that's right. Us too. How can we help?"
"But wait!" you say. "Resources are limited"
In one sense, of course, you're right. Each of us has limited time, limited money, limited knowledge. Even as a country and a planet, we have limited resources. But in another sense, you are wrong. Because when we feed each other, we all grow. And we as a community, and we as a world, will come up with new solutions, new ideas, new ways of doing and of being. We can, we must and we will.
If we hear each other, and feed each other.
The alternative is dreadful; the possibilities are glorious.