You Don’t Know My Story…

“You don’t know my story!”

Commonly shouted by the Left whenever someone tries to contradict “their truth” with factual evidence and common sense. When minorities, women, LGBT people, immigrants, religious minorities (a.k.a Muslims), etc… say that, they want to tell you that you have no idea what struggles they faced. On the surface, it makes some sense. Often, a person’s struggles are not as obvious as one would ever guess. Barring a physical disability or witnessing outright bigotry, many of our life challenges remain hidden to others unless they have an intimate look at your situation. Often, white people and men, or any “majority” group are accused of being blind to others’ challenges and any contradiction to them is taken as insensitive and callous.

Even in the face of statistical facts and common sense, apparently it’s callous to point out that the reality may not always be your reality. Another important point to note here is it is indeed very plausible that the individual has actually had a negative experience in their life or has known a disproportionate amount of people who have and genuinely thinks that’s the wider reality while in truth, they or their friends were the exception. When such a discrepancy is pointed out, cries of “you’re blinded by your privilege!” come up. We’re supposed to take them at face value and simply shut up and nod our heads in agreement upon their edict that they in fact, know the REAL truth!

But do they know the whole truth? After all, there’s always at least two sides to a story 😉 Many on the Left want the so called “privileged” to acknowlege their invisible struggles, but what about ours??? You are completely delusional if you think anyone’s life is 100% pure bliss, no struggles whatsoever or the lives of their families are! Do you honestly think that because of a white man’s skin color or gender he’s on easy street? Or the heterosexual couple is in marital bliss with no angry in-laws who won’t accept their spouse? Or the Christian doesn’t feel judged at times by others for his/her faith too with their own nasty stereotypes of being intolerant fundies?

Well, if you were, let me give you an example of how looks can go only skin deep, and the assumptions that go with them:

Like many in America, I have immigrant relatives on both sides of my family who came here to make a better life for themselves. Now take my grandmother for instance. To a stranger who just happened to see her as she was running some errands, she looks like a privileged white woman. Typical. Probably grew up in some nice middle class house in a safe neighborhood with a provider husband. Had a family who through their race built up wealth based off centuries of oppressing minorities and the indigenous population. Always had security and comfort, never lifting a finger to rise to any major challenge. Was probably that privileged suburban housewife of the 50’s who goes to the women’s club and complains about how the neighborhood is being taken over by those who don’t look like her. Never once knew what it was like to face the bigotry minorities have.

Now, the part about the comfortable house, wonderful husband and safe neighborhood are true. However the rest would be a lie! Her parents literally came to the country with NOTHING. Her dad was a refugee fleeing violence and genocide and her mother fleeing inescapable poverty in her home country. They had no time whatsoever to gain any of the “wealth” white families allegedly have gained through decades of oppression. She was barely in the middle class growing up and as a married woman, married a blue collar guy and had to work herself cleaning houses to help her family. She cherished her domestic life, but was no privileged housewife who could live solely off her husband’s income. Her husband was of a similar background growing up in the depression unable to afford luxuries like Christmas and birthdays. As for never having any adversity herself, she was bullied for her ethnicity so badly in school she dropped out of high school due to the vitriol of her classmates AND teachers! Imagine a person of color today sharing a similar story. How appalled would you be to hear that? Almost forgot, her neighborhood gave her family the stink eye for not being Irish in an Irish neighborhood, so don’t tell me she never felt what it was like to not belong! That’s probably why she is so adamantly anti-racist herself…

Do you know why she did live in a nice neighborhood in a nice house though? Her family WORKED HARD and gave everything to give her a better life than the previous generation. She married a man who worked for everything they owned including her nice house in that safe neighborhood. And she carried that legacy of resilience and being a victor instead of a victim demanding handouts to her children, one being my dad. Because of her and her family’s perseverance, my dad and his sister got to go to college and get professional careers. Thus trickling down to me being even more privileged than they. My mother’s side has similar stories of building that family legacy of success and prosperity from almost nothing as well further contributing to what I have today.

I guess in a sense you’d be right if you assumed my grandmother was privileged. She had a wonderful husband of over 50 years, raised two children in a nice household and lived off the success her parents enabled her to have. But that’s FAR from her whole story which also included much adversity and prejudice and a family which came from adversity and poverty. Just looking at her skin color tells you nothing about where she came from and what she’s had to face in her life of almost a century.

I can anticipate some of the naysayer’s responses and I’ll answer with my family’s immigrant story is not inconsequential just because they were white! My relatives on both sides of my family have faced adversity and prejudice, my grandmother being just one example. Their whiteness did nothing to help them gain their prosperity, their actual effort to better their lives did. I challenge you to find one example of how the prejudice your family faced due to their skin color is more “important” than what my family and countless other “privileged” white families have! My grandma had the “privilege” of:

The student body bullying her into dropping out of school for her ethnicity

Her family being shunned in an all Irish neighborhood simply for not being Irish

Both parents coming from poverty and devastation in their homelands

Losing her sister young and a brother disabled by a brain tumor

Being slammed violently into a desk by a teacher who treated her in a biased manner for being different among others….

So, if you see her being helped by a gentleman to carry her things or people looking out for her, don’t automatically assume she was always treated like royalty, or she never had to lift a finger in her life. Don’t think because of her skin color, she had everything given to her and lived a life based off the exploitation of others. Don’t look at her neighborhood or her house and think “her kind” have been there for generations basking in their privilege. And don’t think, most importantly, that her skin color somehow minimizes the pain and adversity she went through compared to what you or your family went through!

I don’t know your story as a minority group or person of color. I can’t say I can automatically know all your struggles or have been exposed to every type of adversity you have. But you also don’t know my story, where I came from, and my family’s legacy from just looking at me. You can’t assume any privilege or lack of it just by eyeballing me for 20 seconds on the street. You also can’t assume that even if someone has “privilege” related to race or gender for example, they don’t have other personal struggles they must overcome like mental illness, crushing anxiety/self doubts and insecurity, chronic conditions, family tragedies, deep personal loss, obstacles due to poverty, etc… So, if you want the courtesy of me acknowledging your story, please stick around to listen to mine before you cast judgement. Until then, when you say my family and I have “privilege” we didn’t earn or deserve:

You don’t know my story!

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Yes, even white men too 😉 !!!

Do you have a story others don’t know that helped shape who you are? Please share in the comments! 🙂

A PSA To The Left: That is Not Who We Are…

The recent tragedies such as the tragic El Paso shooting leave everyone outraged and yet, are twisted into partisan issues of Left vs. Right. The perpetrator is said to have written an alt-right manifesto desiring to kill immigrants. Now, he’s being used as evidence that conservatives are encouraging these vile acts through our stances on immigration and other issues. The same with the synagogue shooter, school shooters, and many others blaming lack of gun control. However, I don’t want to get into a gun control debate, rather a moral one.

To the Left, you want to blame conservatives for these acts of violence, saying your “enemy” the white male is to blame. It’s his white privilege, or his racism, or his toxic masculinity. You think we give white men a free pass while condemning people of color who do heinous acts. That we minimize it or even enable it and cheer them on. Well, I can tell you that can’t be further from the truth! Believe it or not, we’re just like you.

We have our own lives to live, with our families, our dreams, our goals, our biological desire to live as much as you do! Do you truly think we aren’t just as outraged when the next mass shooting occurs? Do you truly believe that we aren’t scared and appalled by the fact we can’t truly feel safe anymore sending our kids to school, going to the movies, going to concerts, going to our places of worship, even going to shop at Walmart…. 😦 This shooting struck me personally because I’m a fan of Walmart and go there all the time. It could have easily been me in that situation. Those mall shootings? I love the mall and am horrified to think I’m risking my life whenever I go have fun shopping!

Conservatives want to go to the movies, go to school, go to a concert, practice their religion, or simply pick up some items at the store just as much as you do without fear of dying or fear of a loved one going out to have some fun. How can you say we enable such things when they hurt us just as much as they hurt you? We speak of more guns not to be blind to their consequences only thinking of ourselves, but to have more armed citizens willing and ready to fight back to defend you and those you care about. We want solutions too. We want more than “thoughts and prayers” as well. Our solutions just aren’t in line with yours, but that does not mean we don’t care! We just want what DOES good rather than what FEELS good.

Another extremely important point is conservatives in no way shape or form condone or minimize violence driven by alt-right ideas. Those who commit vile acts in name of some so called “conservative” platforms are not real conservatives. No more that is, than you would say ISIS and Al-Qaeda are true Muslims like the every day Muslims in America, or the black thug reflects upon every black person in existence, or the illegal in MS-13 reflects on all Hispanic people.

Us having strong stances against open borders and illegal immigration draining our country in no way equals a desire to kill them!!! That’s a complete logical fallacy. It’s stating the obvious conservatives acknowlege their human right to life. We just don’t acknowlege their “right” to come here and leech off our country. Citing further examples, that synagogue shooting that happened does not mean conservatives were cheering and hate Jews when many conservatives are Jewish! Trump has family who are Jewish and openly condemned that and every other act of violence.

The white males who did these crimes are not who we are. We are not murderers who kill, threaten and terrorize to get our way. We are not terrorists whose only strategy is to bully people into submission. We are not the true racists who adore the Nazis and wish to repeat the Holocaust! They happen to be white males, but isn’t it absurd to think ALL white males are 1. conservative, and 2. feel entitled to kill based on conservative ideas? Keep in mind, this most recent shooter in El Paso was a registered Democrat… Now does that mean all Democrats are like him? Our rhetoric is not one of violence just because it takes a harder position on things. Speaking a blunt truth does not equate to a rallying cry for violence. The violence at places like Charlottesville, or those bombings of the Leftist leaders last fall do not reflect the even keeled conservative. Prominent conservatives have come out and condemned every act of violence as it happened. Also note, it’s contradictory to conservative philosophy to bully people into our views as true conservatives find our strength in our arguments, not threats!

Can the Left say the same? When violence occurs on their side? When the perpetrator was a person of color, an illegal, a religious fanatic? Who on the Left are speaking out against Antifa’s violence? Why are Left leaning towns stopping police from quelling Antifa mobs? I literally read several Leftists who endorse Antifa with one calling it “the immune system of Democracy” and stating in essence, that Antifa’s violence is justified since it’s against Fascists! Or what about the illegals who murder US citizens like Mollie Tibbetts? The fact he was an illegal who should have never been there to murder her and others like her is minimized by the Left. What about Congresswoman Omar saying “some people did something” in regards to the killing of 3000 innocent people during 9/11? You say the vast majority of Muslims condemn terrorism in the name of Islam yet why do we hear of so few Muslim leaders openly condemning terrorism? Including a Muslim congresswoman. Or the fact the Left-leaning media glosses over any violence by groups they are in favor with. You openly condemn a mosque or synagogue shooting, yet we can hear crickets when the church shooting happened. Or you decry white males for toxic masculinity or white privilege yet it’s “racist” to call out thugs in the inner city or the illegal who came here to murder.

Violence by lunatics on any side must be condemned by everyone! We condemned those police officers who wanted AOC shot. We clearly said they crossed a line and it was good they were fired as yet another example. ALL sides have fringed lunatics, but the loonies don’t reflect the mainstream. Why the double standard with the Left?

If Islamic terrorists are not who Muslims are….

If pedophile priests are not who Catholics are…

If illegals who do violence and leech off the country are not who Hispanics are…

If gang bangers and welfare mothers are not who black people are…

If Antifa is not who all Liberals are…

Then:

Racists, fascists, Nazis, xenophobes, misogynists, rapists, and mass shooters to name a few are NOT WHO WE ARE!!!!

Image result for conservative cartoon mass shooting

(Another) White Man’s Burden: The White Savior Complex

Many have probably heard at least vaguely about what is called the “white savior complex”. White people who out of the goodness of their hearts decide to volunteer to do charity work for minority communities or 3rd world countries, or even Western organizations who do charity work are accused of being “white saviors” by the Left. Many on the Left now find fault with their benevolence and personal growth into better human beings due to the perceived paternalistic attitude and history of Western colonialism. Confusing? Here’s one definition:

“The term white savior, sometimes combined with savior complex to write white savior complex, refers to a white person who acts to help non-white people, with the help in some contexts perceived to be self-serving” (Wikipedia).

If that’s a bit too vague, and I tried hard to find a clearer definition but couldn’t, it’s basically the attitude that altruism and benevolent actions such as charity and aid from white people or the West is a form of colonialist paternalism where it implies white people are needed to solve the issues of minorities versus minorities having the independence to solve their own issues on their terms. In essence, white people merely swoop in to “save” minorities and come out the hero and take all the credit in real life and in movies and literature ignoring the perspective of minorities. However, upon further research into the theory, I find their reasoning to have many deep flaws of its own!

On its face it sounds okay. We shouldn’t be paternalistic busy bodies dictating to outsiders they need our help when they in fact, are fine as they are, or can solve their own issues. Nor do I argue in the least we should just show up uninvited and “help” people without their consent and act en loco parentis for the world!

That said, it’s absurd to assume just because charitable people are white, or organizations happen to be from the West, helping minorities and the 3rd world is damaging and racist/colonialist. Perhaps my strongest point is well don’t they need the resources and aid they’re being given? And apparently, it’s not being provided by their own people or country. Proponents of the white savior complex theory argue that by stepping up to help them, it’s an imperialist imposition and strips the people of their dignity and autonomy. An exercise in cultural superiority. Their argument falls apart however, when it is pointed out that food, water, shelter and medical care are basic needs for every human being, and are not culturally biased towards one society!

The cold hard truth is the 3rd world and poverty stricken areas lack all such basic needs to varying levels, leading to higher infant mortality rates, succumbing to easily treatable and preventable diseases, living in squalid housing or none at all, no infrastructure, no clean drinking water, food shortages, famine, corrupt government, tyranny etc…etc… While the West is not perfect, we have what they can only dream of in terms of standards of living. If those countries want better lives for their people, they should accept that help, even if from outsiders.

Of course it’s hard to humble yourself to accept charity, but sometimes, when push comes to shove and your family’s lives are on the line, the bigger person must swallow their ego and accept help in a time of need. What’s more important, food, water, shelter, or your inflated ego? Get back to me when you’re starving, have no home and live in a squalid dangerous place along with your family. The saddest thing is that these countries can’t provide for their own people what we have to step in and provide for them. In that the white savior proponents do have a great point: Why CAN’T these people provide the aid they need for themselves? Why is it being left up to the West?

“But… but what if they don’t want our help? What if they want to be left alone and not have paternalistic meddlers in their village trying to “save” them?” The anti-white savior enforcers ask. Well guess what my answer is: Then we won’t!!! 

You don’t have to accept vaccines that prevent children from dying.

You don’t have to accept hospitals better able to treat you and your loved ones from dying by easily preventable diseases and treatable injuries.

You don’t have to accept clean drinking water.

You don’t have to accept nutritious food.

You don’t have to accept sturdy housing, better infrastructure, education, and a democratic government.

You don’t have to embrace values such as equality for women, children and minorities and live in a democratic society where everyone is at peace, not at war steeped in violence and turmoil.

They are autonomous nations and deserve to make their own choices. We’re not their colonialist babysitters anymore. However, look at where they end up with such attitudes and where Western nations are. If people want to extend the hand of friendship and benevolence in sharing our resources and privilege, why is that such a bad, flawed and racist thing? How is it racist to literally save the lives of millions of people of color? We could just turn our backs and say “Who cares? They’re just brown people in inconsequential countries.” but countless people from the West, including white people, say instead, “They’re humans just like me and I want to give them what all people should deserve to have”. I think plenty of people in such dire straights are deeply grateful that we’re helping their families and communities. Some people would like to be saved from their abusive husbands, families, and governments. If not, don’t forget all the Americans who could use and be grateful for those limited resources! If our help is “too white” for them they don’t have to have it. That simple.

This attitude of it’s racist to help people of color in non Western countries because of imperialism or some lack of autonomy or dignity, or even accusing white people of being self serving in helping others I argue is actually a reflection of how blinded the proponents of the theory of the white savior complex are by their own privilege! How many of these people have lived and experienced the deprivation of the 3rd world first hand? How many have actually taken their assumptions beyond the theoretical framework into how people actually feel when subjected to lack of medical care, starvation, corruption and tyranny?

Pragmatically, which takes precedence? Food, water, shelter and healthcare from anyone who will give it, or some abstract notions of egos and pride? For those absentminded academics who endorse such ideas without ever experiencing or seeing people in such dire circumstances, try researching Maslow’s hierarchy of needs! Then see in which tier self inflated egos go and where food, water and shelter go… It’s simply illogical to think that desperate people wouldn’t accept anything beneficial to help themselves and their families. We are GIVING them the resources as charity out of benevolence!

Not to mention, is it not racist to limit a charitable person from helping those in need because of their skin color? White people are incapable of charity without wanting an ego trip or some self serving purpose? I for one know plenty who would take nothing in return for their altruism including my own family. Is it impossible a white person may want to empower a people to become more autonomous and self sufficient? Is it out of the question a white person could embrace a society and want to help them even at their own deep personal risk and have genuine respect for those they are serving?

Another point to consider is when people are being oppressed, the oppressors won’t listen to them, but might eventually have to if enough people in power speak out. I thought speaking up for those who can’t was a virtue, not a vice. If white people really do have white privilege as it’s often accused by the Left, then wouldn’t it be commendable if more white people used their privilege to help those who don’t have that privilege in society? What about every white abolitionist in our history for one example? Were they being “white saviors”, and if so, was that bad considering the outcome? White people who use their privilege, whether racial or socio-economic to help those in need are using that force for good instead of oppression which could more easily have been done.

Overall, I’d say if you are white, and want to help the less fortunate who happen to not be white, the last thing you should feel is guilt! Go ahead and serve who want your help knowing you’re a better person for it. Kindness doesn’t have a skin color. 

We don’t need this, especially if they don’t want it!