Sunday, July 21, 2013

Racism Sucks!

I have a dear friend who fights harder than I do for the Equal Rights Amendment. She is passionate and unrelenting.  She is not looking for glory. She isn’t seeking fame. She just wants women to be equal.

Her parents must have known something because her name is Barbara Era Anderson.
She inspires me and gives me motivation when I feel like we’ll never win the fight for the ERA.
She posted this on her Facebook page:
“Yesterday a young teenage boy made a very racist remark to my teen son. This was not someone he had ever met, but was a cousin to his best friend, aka "my little sister." Unfortunately this is not the first time my son has had to endure racial remarks. However, to hear it from the unknown cousin of someone he has held so close to his heart, someone he has looked out for and protected, someone he has fought hard for, was such a traumatic blow. My son, enraged over the remark, was not very easily calmed. He did something rare in that he shut me out completely, and also told me that because I was white, I would never have this problem. He was angry angry angry that I am white and that he is not. He told me there is no way that I could understand. He was reduced to a non-person, shattered.

My heart broke for him. I cried in the other room.

It took a long time for him to calm down, and hours later he was still bothered. Finally we talked. I explained to him that I could not ever understand what he was going through, but that I had faced discrimination in my life, too. He knows what I do as far as women's advocacy, yet he never connected racism with gender discrimination. From his tear-streaked face, his body covered in sweat from anger, he listened to what it is like to hear women being put down through songs that he loves to rap to. I challenged him to find one song on his playlist that does not objectify women. Zero.

Then he said these couple of words "Being a woman is like being Asian, or Black, or Hispanic but ten times worse. That is so racist!" I reminded him that women come in every color, every shape, every size and that we are judged even by our names before anyone even knows one thing about us. He did get some comfort knowing that I too had faced discrimination, but more importantly, he gave me my computer back so I could continue to fight for women. "Being a woman is like being the worse race ever,” he said.

This is the reality I live in and that he lives in. At least he recognizes it. Feeling like a mom who has the best son in the world.”