Generally Speaking: By Heather Honold

Generally Speaking

Published November 10, 2011

It has been an interesting day, somewhat of an emotional roller coaster honestly. I’ve been very pensive about something and I have been trying to put it into words for some time now without judging or offending. It’s time to get it out of my mind, and just put it out there. So here goes…

Behind my hard exterior I am an extremely sensitive individual, often overly-sensitive. Granted I take a lot of things personally, I admit that, but what I’m talking about here goes beyond. I can’t really explain it, I’m extra sensitive to things that go on in our country and in our world. To hear how some people talk, and even to get on facebook often hurts my heart beyond explanation, its a true deep, physical pain that I could never make anyone understand.

That being said, today was one of those days. Everywhere I seemed to go I would hear how “the democrats are this” and the “republicans are that”. The “Occupy Wall Street Movement is this” and “the police trying to wrangle the crowds are that.” I see videos of peaceful protestors, who were given the right to to do so by our very own constitution, then I see trouble makers joining a movement for a reason to get rowdy or get on video. I’m not in a position to say what’s right, I don’t know enough about the movement. I only know that the constitution that we fight so hard to protect states that I have the right to peacefully assemble, as does my neighbor, regardless of their beliefs. Who am I to judge their beliefs? Yet so many people are out there making their judgments about these people, no jobs, druggies, this, that. To those people I say, mind your own business, don’t talk about what you don’t know. It goes back to Nutmeg, people jumping to conclusions about people they don’t even know.

Now don’t get confused, this post has absolutely nothing to do with Occupy Wallstreet. It has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans, Muslims, Jews, Christians, African Americans, White People, Hispanics, Asians. It couldn’t possibly have something to do with any of those people, because I haven’t met every single person from any group. No one has, yet it has become so easy for us to generalize people by their religious beliefs, their political beliefs or their race, or their class, or their sexual preference.

I’m so tired of hearing that Muslims are terrorists, and that Hispanics are “illegals”. For the love of God, my bioligical father was born in Germany, his parents lived through the holocaust. Does that truly make it okay for me to hate Catholics because Hitler claimed to be one? Or assume that all Catholic people hate Jews, or generalize them in any other way? There is so much UNEDUCATED hatred out there. I’m an American, and I’m from New York and 9-11 touched me just like it touched everyone else, but could I possibly claim that Muslims are terrorists? Absolutely NOT, another UNEDUCATED generalization. Yes the terrorists claim to be Muslim, however, any group from any religion can become fanatical, and that’s where the danger comes in. If you want to talk crap and make generalizations, educate yourself. Learn what the Muslim faith is really about, don’t spout of the hate because you heard it from someone else. And this doesn’t just pertain to Muslims, it pertains to EVERYONE.

I am truly pained be the people that we have become. We fight wars overseas, yet we can’t even see that we’re fighting a war in our own land. It has become okay to discriminate against our neighbors, because they are of a certain religion or race or political persuasion. We have our own personal beliefs that we insist are right,and insist on forcing on other people…similar to what the very people we are fighting elsewhere have been accused of doing!

When does it stop? No, seriously when? Is it when every single person in this country has the same belief system? When every person is of the same political persuasion, when everyone is straight and has cycled enough to be all white with 2.3 kids? How many generations must your family have lived in this country to be considered an American? I know me, myself technically I’m first generation. Even on my mother’s side I’m second generation. Does that make me American enough?

I have no doubt I could go on for days about this. Today was rough in this area for me because there was a lot of it all around, and truly it’s simple generalizations….simple generalizations that make people hate other people without even knowing their name. I have cried on this for hours today, and I truly I was fighting with myself as to whether or not I would write about it. Then oddly, as I’m watching last night’s recorded episode of Harry’s Law, I realized I had to. What the show is about is irrelevant, but Kathy Bates’ character had a story, and it is so pertinent to where my heart is right now. She was talking about when she was a kid, and a father’s friend invited them to a country club and when they got there they were turned away because they were Jewish. Her father kept saying “this isn’t what America is supposed to be.” She went on to say “we’re becoming less and less inclusive every day. And it’s not what America is supposed to be.” I couldn’t have said it better. It isn’t what America is supposed to be, we’re supposed to be the Land of the Free…. where did I miss the small print that said we’re the land of the free as long as we are a certain color, or religion, or class, sexual orientation or political persuasion? Did I miss that somewhere, or are we just working on writing that in?

I watched the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr memorial dedication when it happened. I thought about him and his dream and his movement. I thought about what he was moving toward, and while he did make a difference, what I see more and more today, is that we have simply chosen other groups of people to discriminate against. Are we so bored with our own lives, or so miserable, or think we are so superior that we can’t be happy if we aren’t rounding people up into groups we don’t like and hating on them? Have we truly become so egotistical that we honestly believe that we are superior to someone else? And if you are a believer in a God, is that His teaching? I must have missed that somewhere too.

I have some sad news, unless we join together as HUMANS we will be the next country that other countries are hopping in their fighter jets to come and save because we are simply destroying ourselves. As a country we are self-destructing more and more every day, which by the way was the plan of the terrorists to begin with. When does it stop?  When do we climb to the mountaintop TOGETHER?

“Love is the only truth”

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