Today is Sunday.
Yesterday my teenage daughter talked about Christina Grimmie. She’d followed Christina on YouTube. Christina Grimmie was so alive and full of joy. Then she wasn’t.
She was murdered in cold blood while she greeted people in Orlando, Florida.
We talked about her brother, who from what we understand, kept the killer from possibly killing more people. Then I thought about her brother and how broken his heart and soul must be today. We talked about crazy killers. We talked about hate. We talked about senseless acts of violence. It made us sad.
Then Sunday came to Orlando.
Then my daughter said, “I can see how young men with Middle Eastern backgrounds can learn to hate. At school the Middle Eastern kids are singled out and yelled at. They’re called terrorist. They’re picked on.”
I asked her about her brown friends, her friend with Mexican parents, and her gay friends.
She told me they don’t get picked on. Nobody cares. There are too many of them. That was her answer.
The high school has about 2,500 kids from two different towns. One is 85% white. The other town, the one I live in is 89% white. That is just the way things are.
When I got married my husband’s three best friends were pale as snow, dark as a moonless night, and Persian. Two have since passed on, but they are in our hearts. We never cared what they looked like or where their ancestors came from. We never cared what Gods they worshiped.
My best friend’s sister used to be her brother. We love them both.
I don’t think twice that old friends are gay, or straight, or have a different religion, or different skin tone. Nobody can be paler than me except someone who is a true albino.
So it is hard for me to understand the hate.
It is hard for me to understand why the stupid ass kids at the school single out the Middle Eastern kids, be they Muslim or Christian or Jewish – all 30 of them. It is pure ignorance. It is hate without motive. It is WRONG. When kids get picked on for no reason, with no defense, they learn to hate. They learn to despise their haters. Hate comes full circle. Hate becomes violence. Hate embraces ignorance.
Where the fuck are the parents of both the haters and those who are bullied? Where are they?
Teachers stop it when they see it, but there isn’t a school wide anti hate campaign. Maybe there should be.
In a perfect world, a logical world, a good world, that the only scary things would be those that go bump in the night – like ghosts, rouge Vampires, aliens from space, giant insects, demons, and Werewolves. But those things are tame compared to the unpredictable forces of hate that have come into our lives and hearts.
I would like to think that everyone could take the opportunity to NOW put away the hate, and come together. Forget what the crap you choose to read in your chosen book of your chosen God.
As my husband says, “if God tells me to hate someone then I don’t want him to be my God.”
Take the time not to point fingers and speculate. Take the time not to judge a large group of loosely connected people by the actions of one crazy deranged individual.
Now is the time for healing. It is a time for support. It is a time for love. It is a time to learn more about people who are different from us. When we learn about those who are different we will find that they are not so different than we are.
Let me say that AGAIN: When we learn about those who are different we will find that they are not so different than we are.
Over and over and over I say “TALK TO YOUR KIDS.” Talk to them about these issues. Talk to them about Orlando. Talk to them about the Salem and McCarthy witch trials. Talk to them about WW2. Talk to them about school shootings. Talk to them about Matthew Shepard. Talk to them about everything that ever happened because of hate. I don’t mean talk at them. I mean have a discussion. Have a meaningful discussion.
As a parent you can help stop the hate. It is the generation our children belong to that will change the world – and I truly believe that if we keep the discussion and our hearts and brains open then THEY WILL change the world for the better.
My heart goes out to Orlando.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman