Wednesday, July 29, 2020

All Lives Should Matter

Yesterday I lunched with two of my very best friends. People I love and depend on for support and companionship.

It didn't go that well.

One of them was bummed because our city voted for and then removed a statue of Father Junipero Serra. "He founded this city", she said. Well no, he actually didn't. It was a Chumash tribal land and when Father Serra arrived and claimed the city for the spread of Roman Catholicism, he brought diseases, destruction of villages and forced labor to the natives. He may have brought good things too but I think that, perhaps, the Chumash should be able to decide what was good and what was not. I didn't bother saying that. I was not going to change her or my other friends' minds.

Then we got onto BLM and it went downhill fast. They both ranted, quite angrily, and I sat, not out of fear, but of knowing fully well that I would not change their minds one iota. They were angry at being made to feel they were racist (which they said they were not). They were angry at the property destruction and one of them felt if people didn't like life here, "They could move to another country". "I'm tired of Black Lives Matter.....All lives matter", she said. I did then say, "You know, all lives don't matter if black lives don't matter". They kind of brushed off the statistics of higher rates of death, incarceration and poverty like a pesky fly.

I wanted to get up and leave. I wanted to say, "Is this how Jesus would respond?" But I knew it did not matter what I said. Isn't friendship unconditional? Shouldn't it be able to stand up to differences of opinion?

My heart aches. Today I just feel sad.

16 comments:

  1. Oh my. It’s a tough one. It had to feel uncomfortable there. It puts you in an awkward position if you are invited to join them again.

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  2. I don't wish to upset you but not saying anything is not good either. You are being complacent. Letting them think you agree and they are right. Better to avoid these toxic people than to say nothing don't you think? Black Lives Matter is simple, Black people shouldn't be an after thought, especially when dying, assaulted or prsecuted at an alarming rate. It is not a political statment or controversial comment unless they wish to make it one. It's an expression that calls for justice, respect, empathy for every life that has been affected by discrimination or prejudice. It is a statement to raise awareness for basic human rights that others automatically receive. Those that don't wish to understand this are bigots as far as I'm concerned so I personally would move on. Stand tall, you have an empathetic heart and soul!!

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  3. That's a tough spot to be in. I don't have any close friends with such different ideas than me. It's hard enough seeing the crap that more casual friends, acquaintances, and some coworkers post on social media, it would be too exhausting for me to maintain close ties with people who feel that way. I also don't understand how some of my friends are married to people with wildly different politics....because ultimately, to me, politics always come back to morality. Most of my family are the kind of racists you describe here, and I've had to distance myself somewhat from them. It's been a terrible 4 years, finding out lacking in morals and common human decency some people are. I guess that's been the one upside (if you can call it an upside) of the Trump era: seeing people's true colors more clearly than ever before. I can understand unconditional love for people who disappoint you, and I know how frustrating it can be. I'm sorry about these friends of yours.

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment Jennifer. Food for thought.

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  4. damn. your "friends" just showed their true colors to you. where you go from here is up to you. if it were me, they would be dropped and ghosted; ignorance has no place in my life.

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  5. That's a very sad conversation to have with dear friends. I hope you can make peace with this in what ever way works for you.

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  6. I'm amazed you stayed -- and stayed relatively quiet. I'm afraid you have far more patience than I. I'm going to remember your line about If all lives matter... that's a good one and spot on. It's so hard when they are your very best friends. I'm lucky I haven't had that experience with someone so close.

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    1. It wasn't easy. I had a hard time deciding what to do.

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  7. My hubby was saying that all lives matter on the weekend, and it is true but my husband has never been discriminated against because of the color of his skin or his gender or his intelligence. He has no idea. I don't know what it's like to be discriminated against because of the color of my skin but as a woman I do understand discrimination. My hubby is wrong. Your friends are wrong.

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  8. I say black lives matter because “all” didn’t cover black when they said “All men are created equal.”

    I say black lives matter because “all” didn’t cover black when they said “with liberty and justice for all.”

    I say black lives matter because they’re still struggling with the definition of “all.”

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What do you have to say about that?