Thursday, December 15, 2011

Erika Done Got on Her Soap Box

Erika Done Got on Her Soap Box

I like to see the news updates from our local news station in Lubbock on my FB page. I just need to be careful to not read people's comments.I made a mistake today and read a few. Now y'all get to read about it.
 It is so infuriating how closed minded, stubbornly ignorant, bigoted, and just plain rude people can be to people they have never met! America is a melting pot of cultures and that is what makes us so awesome. What is the American culture without the influence of the various cultures with in it?
Did you know that the Christmas tree that so many people insist on having, came from Germany after soldiers spent time there during a war? The Christmas trees they saw were smaller, though.... It ain't American if it ain't big (or Southern for that matter).

Many of the foods we eat are based on a dish from another culture and we Americanized it. For example: Taco Bell. Hispanics will know what I am talking about. When I was in Mexico, I did not see a single piece of flatbread folded with a bunch of crap in the middle,  "grilled" and then covered with cheese anywhere... just saying. It ain't Mexican food. They probably did make it once, but in order to expand their wallets and America's waistline, they had to make some changes.

Even the language we speak is not originally American. It is from England and we made it our own. (We also continue to find ways to ruin it to make us sound even more ignorant and uneducated). Nothing bothers me more than when I hear people say, "We are in America, speak English!" How can we communicate with other countries, understand their cultures, expect them to accept ours, and try to keep what little peace we have if we are not accepting of their cultures and language? How?? The first people who lived here did NOT speak English, nor were the second or third. As I recall, after the Native Americans (who spoke various languages between all of the tribes) were the first to live here. Then, our shores were settled by the Spanish, French, and British. The idiot Columbus did not even speak English... I will not digress as to how I feel about him and that ridiculous day we deem a Holiday. Yes, English is the primary language we speak. Yes, people need to know how to communicate- somehow- in English in areas of our country to receive basic necessities (groceries, health care, utilities, and various things involving government). I do not argue with that. I also believe that we have NO RIGHT to tell someone that they cannot speak their language just because we do not understand what they are saying. If you don't understand it, go learn their language. Example: I can NEVER understand what the ladies are saying to each other when I go get my nails done. But they are not talking to me and unless I want to go and learn their language just so I can eaves drop, I am not going to complain about it. I will just sit there, get my lovely nails, and watch whatever is on the TV. NOT A BIG DEAL.

 We also have no right to tell someone what they can and cannot celebrate. One example would be Christmas. People celebrate Christmas in various ways around the world. Some people do not celebrate Christmas at all. Some people celebrate Christmas, but not because they believe in Jesus. They celebrate the traditions that go with Christmas. Much like people do with Valentine’s Day and Halloween. That is THEIR choice. It is OUR choice as to how WE CHOOSE to celebrate. We can focus on what we believe, and pray for those who don't.  Trying to force someone to conform to what you believe will not make them change their minds. I guarantee it will only push them away. I have seen it with my own beautiful, brown eyes. Demanding that they not have their public celebrations, even though we have Santa-land or Nativity plays, is unfair. We can learn so much from the various cultures that live right here in our towns and neighborhoods.

I have seen those awful comments so many times and it really got to me today. I guess it is because I actually had time to think about what these people were saying. Instead of thinking, "It is their problem that they are idiots." Today I thought, "It is because of people speaking like this that we have hate crimes, bullying, and segregation still running rampant in our country." I am at an age where I am trying to make sense of what my parents taught me, my grandparents told me, what I can see for myself and how none of it fits together. Hate crimes are still going on like they were in my grandparents day, judgment about interracial... anything... from my parents day is still there. I see people making policies and laws to try to change these things. Nothing will change unless we try to understand each other, where we come from, and then teach our children the lessons we learned.

I will get off my soap box for now. I will probably delete this when I calm down. I think I have learned my lesson and will do my best to not read comments by people I hope I never met. We need to understand that we are NOT the same and that is a GOOD thing! We are AMERICAN and what makes us American are the bits and pieces we have borrowed from other cultures and shaped them into a culture of our own. Why stop? Let’s keep learning and improving!