Monday, June 8, 2015

Don't Read The Comments...

Today I made the mistake of reading comments on articles and videos. I don't usually do this.

The first was an article about a petition to the International Olympic Committee to have Caitlyn Jenner's Olympic medals revoked. She will keep her medals. I'm glad, she earned them. But what does the vocal American public think about this? I read comments about how Bruce Jenner should keep HIS medals that HE earned, but that Caitlyn is now a different person so they aren't hers. This is ridiculous. She earned them. When we make life transitions, the slate is not wiped clean. We are still the same person. I have a high school diploma and a college degree in two different names, and neither match the name currently on my driver's license. Yet, these are still my accomplishments. No one can take that away from me because I earned those, no matter what transitions I go through in life. The comments meandered through various degrees of transphobia. It made me ill.

The second item I should not have read the comments on was the video of the black teenagers being violently chased away from a community pool by white adults and police with guns out, pointed at the kids. I couldn't watch the video, but I read far too many comments. Every single comment I read was about how these black kids were guilty by just the color of their skin, naturally prone to criminal activity and obviously out of place. Every. Single. Comment. The kids were called "urban" as if the color of your skin dictates the environment you are confined to live in. The comments get worse and worse, and I can't bear to repeat what was said about these children. I felt as if I could cry rivers for how much of this these children must face.

Mainstream America is full of racism, transphobia, classism, homophobia, and more cruelty than I can imagine realistically. I have been dwelling on this all day in sadness. I have been reflecting on the world I have grown up in. The sadness & reflection can act as fuel for my social justice activism if I stay mindful about it.