A Cruel and Unusual Susan?

April 24th, 2012 Posted by Susan's Musings 42 comments

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend relating to feedback on my Musings. Last week offered one example. A reader wrote to my husband, commenting, “Had Trayvon been your son would your wife had been so inhumane about the matter? I think Susan is very cruel, I would like to hear your comment when it is your child’s turn.”

What was my alleged cruelty? I wrote in last week’s Musing that after a holiday week, “I am having a hard time getting back to everyday life.” I said that the break had made it difficult for me to “order my brain to deal with anything substantive in time to write this Musing.” As examples of noteworthy issues which I was not able to address, I wrote, “Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman; Obama and Romney; even Iran and nuclear armament recede into the background.”

While the writer didn’t use the word racism in her email, I think it fair to assume that it is the elephant in the room. Exactly what pained her so much? Unfortunately, there are frequent tragic occurrences in the world and I don’t think she is making the suggestion that it is cruel to do anything other than be immobilized by suffering.  Or was she suggesting that a nuclear Iran and the upcoming presidential election are light-hearted subjects and as such my sentence suggested a frivolous attitude towards Trayvon’s death? Unfortunately, she didn’t elaborate on her accusation.

I have received similar negative feedback every time a Black person is mentioned in my blog. It doesn’t matter what the context; someone directly or indirectly accuses me of insensitivity or racism.  No one as of yet has left their remarks as a comment. They send their thoughts to me through my business email or, as in this case, to my husband.  The result is that the writer vents without opening the potential for a public conversation.

Since we don’t ask people to provide detailed information before signing up for Thought Tools (the source of the overwhelming majority of Musing readers) or accessing my Musing, I have no way of knowing how many weekly readers fit into various racial, gender, ethnic or income groupings. Judging from the people I meet at events, I think it’s reasonable to assume that there is a relatively diverse spread in all those categories.

Racism, like anti-Semitism, is a charge which is easy to hurl, difficult to substantiate and impossible to refute. Aside from easy to recognize, egregious examples, I believe that both racism and anti-Semitism often exist more in the mind of the individual who feels victimized rather than in objective reality. Years ago, my husband and I, along with an out of town guest, strolled through our neighborhood. We spent some time on a curvy road which lacked sidewalks. As we rounded one bend, a passing driver tooted his horn. To our astonishment, our guest immediately muttered, “Anti-Semite!” It is true that both my husband and our guest were wearing yarmulkas (religious head coverings) which identified them as Jewish. My husband and I took the beeping as a friendly gesture of warning that a car was going to be passing us on a shared road. Our visitor took it as a hostile gesture. There is no way of knowing what the driver’s actual motivation was, so our differing reactions revealed more about our own ways of thinking than anything else.

I recently read a letter to an advice columnist where a young woman expressed her hurt and resentment towards her mother-in-law, giving a few examples of the painful situations she endured. Like the columnist, I felt sorry for her. Not because her stories proved that she had an awful mother-in-law, but because she was locked into a world view in which she saw herself as maltreated. Rather than giving the benefit of the doubt to her husband’s mother or recognizing that two women from different backgrounds thrust into intimacy don’t necessarily share communication styles, she saw every interaction through a jaundiced prism. Likewise, I found that response to last week’s Musing tremendously sad. It spoke to me of a woman who lives in a world full of offense and antagonism rather than one of good will.

Both the American Jewish and African-American worlds are conspicuously led by spokesmen who earn high salaries from organizations whose existence depends on their respective groups being hated.  Politicians and irresponsible (or true believer) journalists likewise manipulate the truth for their own purposes. While ostensibly decrying prejudice, they often encourage people to bask in victimhood, to the detriment of all.  

I thought of ignoring what, after all, was one email. But on the principle that what one person writes reflects the thoughts of others, I chose to respond in this way. If this Musing provokes negative reaction, I hope it will be submitted as a comment so that it can be posted for all to see. I would look forward to comments whose goals are not to accuse or to insult, but instead to provide perspective.  That is the only way that a conversation can ensue which can encourage us all to expand our horizons and step into one another’s shoes.

42 comments

Jjule says:

Well said Susan, thank you for speaking up. Using the race card, calling names, projection onto others, without facts, or asking questions is so damaging . Not only does it create more of what one is accusing, but is so dividing us as a people, here, together.
I appreciate your bold truth you and your husband write about.
PC has been so corrupted, that it has been used now for hate, intolerance, voicing differencing thoughts.
PC , to me, is destroying, rather building.
Thank you for the time you take to help us all along on this journey.
Shalom

Fab says:

You know the famous quote….
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as WE are. ”
This applies to all aspects of life, and certainly to these issues as well. Good of you to address this, it’s something everyone can learn from as we try to see the plank in our own eye.
Blessings!

Kristen B. says:

Wow, brilliant rebuttal! I respect the fact and manner in which you addressed this issue. It is so easy to misunderstand another.
It seems to me that one would first factor in your character and over-arching world view before rendering such harsh and ill appropriate determinations.
Without doubt you are one of many deeply disturbed by the gross injustice of Trayvon’s needless death.
I pray it is never, “your child’s turn.”
I pray that the women who accused/ misunderstood you can find clarity and peace that heals her spirit and soul.

Stephanie LaNoue says:

I don’t even understand how the Musing could be taken as racist. It seems outrageous to me that someone mistook the remark so egregiously. I, too, would love to see further comment from her.

Matt says:

It is the rise of modern liberalism that causes the problems of which you speak. Let us look at the thinking behind modern liberalism:
1. All outcome for an individual or nation can be no better or worse than any other.
2. If an outcome is found to be better, then they must have cheated.
3. If an outcome is found to be worse, then they must have been victimized.
4. A victim will lash out in direct proportion to the victimization.
5. Victimization is caused by the cheater.
Blacks view themselves as victims because they often find themselves behind whites, so they lash out at the slightest thing. It is irrelevant that we now have a black president.
I find it interesting that most Jews in America are liberal.
The concepts apply to individuals, groups and nations. As a consequence of this thinking, one is left blind to real dangers. Badly behaving people or nations are only reacting to their victimization – it’s not their fault.

Yvonne says:

Dear Susan,
I think that the woman did respond out of hurt, like you wrote. Please do not let this stop you from writing the truth.
Greetings, Yvonne

Mike Lilly says:

Absolutly stellar response. Reminded me of what my mother told me when I was young, “To the man whose house has been broken into, every pedestrian passing by is a thief.” It is sad that some people make their livings from convincing some and perpetuating with others that their lot in life is because someone “different” holds them in that awful place. Such people are, to me, as a worm ridden tree. Though the roots sit in fertile ground it cannot grow strong of itself because the inside is riddled with the “worms” of despair and anger.
God bless and keep you both. God keep the Republic. And God bless and continue to keep Israel.

Ruby says:

I don’t often comment any where and I wanted to say that this is great insight as to why we have these prejudices, it is all about what is inside us ! Thank you for addressing this and so clearly and honestly too. I get a lot from these musings, please keep up the good work

Kenneth says:

Mrs. Lapin your assessment is very accurate! At one time in this country, anti-semitism and racism were serious issues! The Al Sharptons make money from people who want to use racism and anti-semitism as an excuse for not getting ahead. If Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, and Sean Combs can be become wealthy and financially prosperous, with hard work and persistence, any American can use their ordained talents to receive similar results.

Jue says:

Hi Susan, I am an AA. When you have been mistreated, and it is obvious, blatently because at first sight someone judged you because of the color of your skin (not a skewed, jump-to-conclusion reaction such as the woman that emailed you), then yes, you become wary, sensitive, etc. Your friend that was walking with you may have experienced this. I have been walking down the street (dressed in a business suit) near my job and have had people yell racial insults (one guess which word) yelled out the window by passing cars. Standing in a restaurant, waiting to be seated, someone comes in and stands in line behind me and the hostess ignores me and asks the white person where they’d like to be seated. You know these things happen. I do not assume automatically that racism is the reason if I know the person (so it could be our personalities clashing) or if there could be some other reason. Obviously, if all you did is mention why you could not comment on the Matin/Zimmerman situation, then you should ignore the person who emailed you as she probably lacks education/mental impairment. But I do get tired of “liberal” white people inferring that the MAJORITY of black people are overly sensitive or don’t know what we should consider offensive about our own race. If the majority feel this way about certain comments, perhaps there is something there of merit. I say “liberal” for lack of a better word. Meaning, obvious racists can be ignored in this day and age where, hopefully, they can’t get away with violence. It is when non-racist people make comments and then get upset when you try to correct them as to why that is insulting and they cannot listen because they cannot accept they mght have the wrong viewpoint and think we’re calling them a rcist. When instead, I’m telling them they have limited experience with what it means to be black in America. God bless you and I’ll try to keep up with our “Musings” and let you know if you need my comments. 🙂 JUE

Laura Schultz says:

Dear Susan,
I for one enjoy reading your “Musings” each week, and take no offense to a well thought article. Your posts invoke thinking. What a concept in today’s world of spoon fed drones! Why someone would even consider making such statements, and not through proper channels, but to your husband like a tattletale from elementary school, shows their character. What were they afraid of? I re-read your article from last week, and I do not see any correlation for their comment. Just know, there are many of us who value what you do, and look forward each week to a new “Susan’s Musings”. – Laura from Orlando

L Larson says:

Personally I think everyone is rather too hypersensitive these days and see things often that are in reality not there in the written and spoken word. If we would all spend a little more time loving our fellow man, instead of looking to criticize or judge, we would all be a lot better off. I am a great believer in live and let live and allowing all facts to come to the fore before judging anything – I think this country is fast becoming a dangerous place, because people are always looking to blame someone else instead of looking carefully at each situation, we should also look carefully at ourselves before casting any stones at someone else…we are none of us innocent in all things…and so I would ask people to be cautious before tossing that stone. I am not Jewish, but I thoroughly enjoy Rabbi Lapin and Susan’s musings and I learn a lot – I read her column last week and saw nothing to take offense at..it is quite normal to come back from a restorative break and find oneself thrust back into the news of the day and have the mind overwhelmed because you have been away from the world for a bit. I understood this clearly, and so I am surprised at whoever was offended by this statement thar Susan made – I think they were rather too hasty in their judgement and did not think it through. It would be lovely if we could all get along, and try and help rather than hinder the public discourse. Can we try….?

Teresa says:

very insightful, I agree. So many things in life are about perspective, how we decide to look at things in life and the credit, or discredit, we give to people. I do not see anything racist about your comment, on the contrary, you conveyed value to the Trayvon case by putting it in the same category as pressing US and world concerns.

skip blood says:

Thankyou Mrs Lapin for your thoughts and insight. You are a enjoyable balance to the comments of those who feel all the world is judgemental or anti-anything. It is easy to say The Father of all has blessed your husband with a chest of treasures greater than gold..I feel your comments and agree or at least side with your wisdom. I feel the world and its occupants often need a reason to account for any failure that happens..many are obvious, like judgement based on what we see..yet mostly on how we precieve what we are or are not taught, trained, and brain washed, to believe..however The instruction book is a great guide as well..love your show and look forward to every TCT telecast..love the true language and see why the translations have left us short..thanks again…ps is there a work of translation, or scholl to bring us back to the truth or do i need to learn the hebrew..thankyou again

Rosalie Almas says:

I enjoy all of your musings. Thank you for your insight.
Shalom,
Rosalie

P.V. says:

Correct me if I am wrong but I do not know of a Jewish public figure in the United States who systematically over decades has decried 80% of these United States’ population, shaping the minds of his numerous followers toward hatred of their neighbours, as the rev. Wright has been doing. It’s ridiculous.
Also, in my view the problem’s main cause is the labelling of people: “African-American”, “Chinese-American”, “Indian-American”, etc., whereas all whites are binned into “Anglo-Saxon” no matter whether they came from England, Italy, or Poland. The liberals themselves (who ostensibly want to fight prejudice) perpetrate and perpetuate this incessant tagging solely for the purpose of stirring not only class struggles but racial hatred which then is used by them to advance their own agendas. Pathetic!

Yvonne M says:

Thank you Susan, for taking on such a delicate subject and handling it with honesty and respect. As much as I love our computer age for the positives it gives us, it also serves as a wall to hide behind when our dark side appears. In secrecy we feel we can throw verbal one-liners, zingers and accusations with no personal responsibility to answer back. You have used it now to be a positive role model on what to do when smacked with an ugly accusation. You serve as a reminder of what we must do and say when faced with anger.
thanks you and Rabbi Lapin for all your hard work.

Ann Musico says:

We each see everything through our own personal filter and unless we are aware of those filters that are skewed – we react inappropriately. I am greatly enjoying Thought Tools as well as your Musings.

Dale Trembley says:

Susan:
I truly enjoy writers that display organized, honest, thoughtful thinking instead of disorganized emotional blather. You are a delight to read. What a wonderful thing it must be to be a friend or neighbor of yours!
Warmest regards,
Dale Trembley

Carolyn Whiting says:

This column needs a “like” button. I very much enjoy all of your musings and hope that you will not censor yourself for fear of offending those who look to be offended.

Sarah says:

Dear Susan,
I didn’t see anything offensive about what you said.
Your points are valid in your rebuttal to the accusation, but they seem one sided also. It comes across as if victimization is all in one’s head. It can be, but not necessarily. Victimization CAN be internalized AND/OR societally imposed at the same time. It’s not either or as it appears you have proposed. Forgive me if I have misunderstood. I think it would have been better if you said “what if xyz, and what if abc? Instead of stating that it’s all in how you look at it. Just because you decide not to allow something to bother you (how you look at it), doesn’t mean it’s not really happening (reality). A person could choose for their own health and well-being, in order to function, not to internalize a wrong. To say though that discrimination isn’t happening or doesn’t happen lends itself to self-deception. Even though you were not being discriminatory in your intial comments, I think it is improper to suggest a blanket paradime that says “all such accusations are falsely assailed”. When we know that there are times when it does happen. The Just thing to do is reject our ethnic allegences and rightly divide truth from error: To neither be defensive (side of accusee) or protective (side of accuser), but rather to really assess the situation, given the facts and truths, to understand what is really going on at the time. As an aside, what I think would have been an open and shut case if both parties were of the same ethnic group, is bringing up historical wounds/sins of the fathers/iniquities, that have never been healed in our nation. However 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by My name…
God bless you Mishpoha.

Barbara Rizk says:

Well said. The problem with discourse in our nation is that no one reads or hears the truth, only what fits their agenda. Anothe blog addressed this recently. Wiseman of chelm . com has insight also.

Lyna says:

As others have remarked already, people tend to see whatever they are looking for, and find what they seek, whether positive or negative.
Maybe you should ask for more information from people in order to subscribe and comment; anonymity promotes rudeness. I try to keep in mind my mother’s advice, “Consider the source!” A cruel remark lobbed at you by someone hiding in the shadows deserves no consideration and should not be allowed to cause you any hurt.
Thank you for sharing your life and thoughts with us.

Ora says:

I enjoy all of your Musings. You often write about something that I too have experienced, but that I haven’t been able to put into words. You write with intelligence, wisdom, and heart. THANK YOU!

sarah says:

Hi Susan, Not sure if my posting will get through but here goes… It looks like you have a lot of support for your position. I don’t disagree with your statements but I feel it is only a piece of the puzzle. Let’s take a rape victim. Is she is victim because she said so OR is she a victim because a crime was perpetrated against her? I say both. Yes, many minority groups, Jews, Blacks etc have internalized the shame and cruelty of not being accepted at the minimum and at the worst end; suffered by the hand of lynchings or holocaust. However, to suggest that every time a person shines light on something that is insensitive/offensive is playing victim is no more correct than saying that there is no descrimination so get over it. An accusation is one thing but to beg the question doesn’t make one hypersensative or a victim mentality. It’s not an either or situation. It’s both. Yes, there is a certain mentality that can pervade a people who have been demonized and ostracised; hence the tendency for Jews to stick with Jews and African Americans to stick with AA. It was for safety and security. Yet, there is one major difference however, a Jewish person could hide their ancestry if they so chose for survival. It happened all the time. Just recently a US congressman’s mother told him within the last two years that he too was Jewish. He had no idea and obviously did the rest of America becaue he looked like the Majority. An African American doesn’t have that luxury. There is always two sides to every coin… yes there are people whose 1st reaction is to assume it’s based on race. yes there are people who will base it on race. yes, it happens sometimes. And yes, it doesn’t happen all the time. All can be true, given the situation. Although your rebuttal has merit, it’s not a one size fits all. A question for you: Why do you get to assume she was calling you a racist? Did she say that? And if you’re getting coments from people each time “Black” is mentioned in your Musings, don’t you think that’s worth some introspection or examination? What is it about how you are expressing your views that illusites such comments? May be there’s something to them…

Candice Hopwood says:

Susan,
I enjoy your input on the show as well as your musings! You are a very gifted lady. I appreciate your heart to help others understand the Torah. I think it is great that you addressed this issue directly in your musings! By doing so you have turned what was intended to be a hindrance to your voice into a valuable and teachable lesson for all:)
Blessings,
Candice

Fred Martinez says:

It’s been my experience that racists will fing racism in everything so it doesn’t matter what you write to this type of person. Your response was spot on, Susan. As my folks used to tell me, “consider the source and move on.” Keep up the good work!

Sharon Emerson-Smith says:

My husband considered himself an American period. He always expected good. Although directly decendent from slavery (both his grandparents were freed slaves)and raised in the South during the late 1920’s and the 1930’s, his attitude of assuming the best made him very successful, respected and loved in business and private life. As a president (and past president) of a Rotary club we traveled around the United States and in numerous foreign countries. Occassionally there was “shock” when we appeared, but in a very short time his positive attitude would win people over. I think your article is absolutely correct as I saw daily proof of a person’s oqn responsibility. Thanks very much. Sharon Emerson-Smith

Cheryl Harris says:

I enjoyed your comments regarding racism. The only comment that I have regarding your artilcle, and Yes I am African American women, with a open mind, positive and logical worldview;
Your article stated that racism anti-semitism exist mostly or primarily in the minds of the person that regards an incident or comment as “bad”
“I believe that both racism and anti-Semitism often exist more in the mind of the individual who feels victimized rather than in objective reality.”
I lived long enough that both are true and to deny that both exist will be to the detriment of all people. Our prison system is a prime example, disproportiate rates of unemployment, access to education and so on and so on……
Sometimes would have been a better choice of words.I use to live my life as if neither existed, that mindset was not proftable, however viewing each incidence in context and “based on history” with that person give a better indication of motive. Your intitial comment about Trevan, simply explained that you were overwhelmed or did not have the emotional or psychological space to contemplate the situation completely.

Alena says:

It’s very obvious that many Blacks in America cry racism about anything they don’t agree with. Thankfully, not all do. But it’s so overused that whites are very tired of it by now and don’t respect it. Blacks who are sensitive about racism need to work on it. It’s not everyone’s problem, it’s their personal problem. It’s for sure that they have endured much and certainly their ancestors. Who today would ever desire the same for them? Noone but racists. But most in our society are not racist. I for one tire of that mentality, blaming their ills on whites. My best friend is black and she has been my best friend for 15yrs. We are partners in ministry and have lived together, worked together, ran a business together, worshipped together and I can still be considered racist and have been. It’s as another person posted here said, it’s a person’s personal issues. They need to get to the bottom of their anger, bitterness, unforgiveness and pain. Until they are free, they will blame others. I, for one, have prayed for Rev Wright because his behavior and speech show he doesn’t know God. He is a very angry person, he hates whites and seems to have no concept of Christianity or scripture. God is clear in scripture that those who love Israel will be blessed. Rev Wright endorsed marching against Israel. When we don’t live our faith, we have huge problems. When we don’t embrace our race and forgive those who think differently, we are not mature. Forgiveness is about us and noone else. I have been kidnapped and raped and experienced all sorts of trauma. But I am free to love because I know the power of forgiveness and chose a higher road. I don’t blame anyone for what has happened to me in life. The growth from it has been so empowering. Thank you for your great wisdom!

James says:

Susan, thanks for your remark that “both racism and anti-Semitism often exist more in the mind of the individual who feels victimized rather than in objective reality.” Such epithets are indeed hurled readily by magnifiers and promoters of victimization and those who capitalize on it by encouraging people to embrace and to relish victimhood.
You spoke frankly and sincerely, but you are not cruel. The person who called you cruel must be mired in a morass of me, myself and mine, and must bear a huge chip on the shoulder. Some folks are programmed and conditioned to react defensively to placate a bloated, puffed up hyper-ego without thinking. And the resulting class warfare does hurt everybody.
As for the victimized response “Anti-Semite!” to the beeping motorist: once I saw a story in print. A motorist was ascending a treacherous mountain road. Descending the road opposite him was a car speeding erratically and almost out of control. As the car passed, its driver looked the motorist straight in the eye and screamed: “Pig!”
The motorist felt addressed and reacted: “Oh yeah? Well, you are a %$#@!” But soon he wished he had kept his eyes on the road. For not a hundred feet ahead in the middle of the mountain road he saw it: a huge PIG.
When someone calls us names, the names frequently say more about the name-caller than about us.

Desiree says:

Hello Susan,
I am a Black American and I was not offended by your past Musing (it was actually the first one I’d read; I’m new to this site). Please keep up the good work, both you and your husband. However, I will address Ms. Alena at the top of the list.
I can appreciate that your heart is most likely in the right place but what you said was harsh indeed. Blacks everywhere–like Jews, and yet understandably different–have suffered simply because they are black. There have been and still are injustices being done to our people simply because we are black. However, being aware of this fact and commenting on it from at times does not make one bitter, racist, or anything of the sort.
I will confess that there are unfortunately people who expect nothing but racism and they will find it because it’s what they’re looking for. We often find what we are looking for, good or bad. And I will agree with Susan that nowadays, many people of any race that have been historically and systematically held down for any reason do have some inner healing that needs to take place because it is a question of a [generational] mindset. But please, do not be so foolish as to accuse us as whole of “crying racism”. Racism is very much alive and having a black president has not corrected the situation.
If you feel that our Black American population is defined by the outlandish, insane comments of Jeremiah Wright and his Black Theology of Reparations, you are sadly mistaken. There are many of us who have nothing to do with him and are entirely embarrassed by him as well as others like him. You may want to re-think your comments, especially when in ethnically mixed company because it entirely comes off as insensitive, demeaning, and prejudiced.
Telling our fellow Americans who’ve suffered through the Civil Rights movement and still remember the lynchings, beatings, rapes, and burnings “they need to work on it” is entirely unacceptable. If you truly think a person or people is racist, then pray for them. Love them, don’t criticize them. It will get you absolutely nowhere.

It interesting that claiming racism is the unintelligent way to handle a situation. It requires little thought or substantiation. Just throw it out and watch the people try to cower to your “injury.” It is silly and damaging to any future relationship. It has led to the fear that any person of color must have gotten to their position in life- doctor, lawyer, educator, businessman- not through their efforts and sacrifice but by their color. It forever taints ones achievements.

Rex says:

Just so, Susan, Just so. Very insightful and precise

Rex says:

Your thoughts have merit, Sarah. Sitting in a all white community thinking one is not prejudice, is not the same as walking through Harlem. One can only know what they really believe when they are tried by the fire of experience. I was nearly beat to death in the Black section of San Francisco by 5 drunk teenagers, I was only saved when a middle aged man shouted for them to leave me alone, and they then turned their attention on him. So I have experienced racism in reverse. It’s not the skin color, it’s the hardness of the heart that condemns us. Love to you all, Rex

Ranka Mulkern says:

Hello Susan,
The way I see it, your comment may have offended your reader not because of the issue of race, but because you have mixed a very personal and deeply emotional issue (a loss of Trayvon’s life)that is deeply affecting his family, with with two rather “distant” (in a sense that do not connect with anyone so personally) political issues that are being played out on the world political scene.
It is easy to forget about the election of the president when the holiday week imposes its demands upon us, but it is not so easy (or, rather, it is impossible)to forget about the loss of a child no matter what else is going on.
This, rather than the race issue, is, I believe, what has triggered your reader’s response. This could have been written by a person of any race, and the assumption that it was written by an African American is just that: an assumption.
Understanding and compassion on your part, rather than defensiveness about this whole issue, would have accomplished more. The readers and commentators who have jumped on the race bandwagon with you would be well advised not to do is so eagerly.
Ranka from Michigan

USMissionarynPH says:

Mrs. Susan, I appreciate all of your “musings” whether they challenge me or agree with me. In my opinion, you should continue just as you are. It is rare today to find an exhorter who remains on their path not writing to a specific leaning – political, economic or social. Thank you for your honesty and encouragement.
As for the discussion about racism, Daddy taught me two very important “truths” about life. Regardless of the circumstances, there are three sides to every story – my perspective; your perspective; and the truth. The truth is found somewhere in the middle. From this basis, he taught me to examine the situation from all perspectives BEFORE accusing.
The second “truth” is labels attached to people are adjectives and adjectives are applicable to all nouns/pronouns. Grammatically, adjectives describe the nouns or pronouns they are associated. When the focus is on the adjective (label) rather than the noun (person), our perspective is lost. The person is lost, dehumanized. We become desensitized to the people; our heart, mind and beliefs are impacted.
Racism exists. Victim mentality exists. Hypersensitivity exists. When are we going to become accountable for personal examination, moderation and stop pointing fingers? Did we ask about the factors in each life – mood, health, family, news, stress, death, etc.?
The slave trade is on the rise. Human rights violations occur at an alarming rate. They are no longer limited to ethnicity, gender, age, belief system or geography. They are alive and prosperous throughout the world!
P.S. Please notice I did not provide a reference point for ethnicity. Thank you Sharon Emerson-Smith. I enjoyed your comment immensely.

Chuck Sellers says:

I often wonder if someone who cries out from victimhood in a hit and run or anonymous fashion and hurls such insults isn’t in their own way seeking at least some small bit of understanding about themselves and their target and their place in society. I wonder if they are not seeking some enlightenment. On the other hand, in our current society, victimhood by some seems to be considered a status symbol and desirable in the way it perpetuates the political goals you mentioned. In my experience, those who shrink into grief or anger or even effusive sympathy (often mis-identified as compassion)tend to be immune or at least shut off from reason, while at the same time they may be drowning in uncertainty. For them, a shout out in protest against a perceived wrong may reinforce the rightness of their position, as dark as that position may be. You certainly did not deserve the insult and I don’t see the offense when reading your musing.
Thank you for all you do.

Tom Howard says:

The cornerstone of family and social disfunction is a “no talk rule”. This simply means talking about something is the solution, therefore, silence is golden when protecting disfuntion and spawning it’s growth.
Lets face it: the rule is white people are not allowed to offer any commentary on black issues. (Even if the white person is part of the most discriminated group in the history of civilation (Jewish) and still today.) This same rule is the beginning of the largest and most evil problems history has documented. Read the book “How Do You Kill 11 Million People?: Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think” By Andy Andrews (I think)
Yes, I think Trevon is less important than a nuclear Iran. So what. Im talkin even if you dont like it. I think thousands of things are more important than Trayvon’s death. No apoligies. Get over it and leave my opinion alone.
And if and when it is my child in that aweful curcumstance, my child would be a more important issue than a nuclear Iran, or the death of seven other people, black, white, pink, or blue.
I am sure a few dozen Jews, Asian Americans, Mexican Americans, Italians, etc, died that same day. What about them? Did Trayvons race play inot the trigger being pulled? Probably, and that stinks to high heaven. But it is a fact of life right now and not being allowed to mention it only makes it worse.
OOOOPS! I forgot I’m not allowed to say that. To bad. Im saying it. Its just a bunch of no talk rules – I refuse to obey.

r.sharon50@gmail.com says:

Very well said, Susan!
Sharon

Sylvia says:

Susan, you handled this very well and it shows not just a problem where people are quick to cry out ‘racism’ but rather, where the news media is quick to add to what has already taken place and immediately the entire nation takes them at their word. As the investigation has begun, we see that what was reported immediately was not what took place. It is unfortunate that a young man lost his life but we as a nation are failing our people in so many ways and we’ve gotten away from God and we are paying the price. I have gotten enlightment from you and your husband and your work is much appreciated.

Rochelle says:

Hi Susan
I am also a black American female (although I prefer to just refer to myself as American child of God who happens to be black) who like Desiree is also new to your musings. First of all I can say, thank you for being forthright and honest in such a thoughtful way. I appreciate it and did not think your comments were the least bit racist or cruel. I cringe every time a fellow black person lambasts a non-black person with cries of “racism” for being honest about the elephant in the room or justifies crime or sinful behavior by blaming racism and poverty. I am very outspoken about this and have been called all kind of names by others of my race for actually being conservative and speaking against the hypocrisy I see. Yes slavery, discrimination, and genocide (that both blacks and Jews have suffered at several points in history)are abominable and should not be sugar coated or forgotten. That said, there is a time to forgive and let go of the bitterness so that we can heal and move forward. I feel that what is holding us back as a people is no longer racism (though it is still alive and well) but bitterness and unforgiveness. I had this discussion with some relatives the other night but I don’t think it went over too well. However, when we refuse to forgive we give the abuser/perpetrator/racist (real or perceived) power over us and continue to be enslaved in our hearts and minds. My family and I live in the rural deep south (I am a yankee by birth) and are the only black family on our street; however, since we have moved here we have discovered that our southern white neighbors are some of the sweetest most caring people we have ever met. We have never had a trouble. Was there some apprehension at first? Yes, but we chose to move into the neighborhood and treat whoever we met with dignity and respect and expected to get the same in return instead of going in with a chip on our shoulders and expecting trouble. The neighbors across the street even helped us move some our stuff in (the first day) and we in turn invited them over for dinner. We have become pretty good friends and look out for each other. The other have been really friendly too. So, I have to conclude that although racism is still alive, those who are truly hardcore racist are in the minority. I would also have to conclude that you attract what you focus on. If you go into every encounter looking for racism under every bush that is what you will encounter. I am a child of God first. My pigmentation is only my outer shell. Thanks for opening this up for comments Susan. I love your musings. Do not stop telling like it is. Be Blessed!

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