I’m White, a woman and a Christian so, I know my place. I know that I’m supposed to be “Politically Correct” in everything I say or do because Heaven forbid, I should “offend someone”, somewhere, somehow, or in some way. I shall forever be accountable for the atrocities that were committed by generations gone by and eternally having to atone for those who did wrong, endlessly having to watch my p’s and q’s by virtue of the colour of my skin and my religious affiliations even though I’m non-practising. I’m also overweight, according to today’s standards and, yikes…I smoke (cigarettes). Oh yes, and I’m Middle Class in the economic group, placing me smack dab between the poverty stricken and the wealthy where even other middle class groups don’t agree or like others in middle class. I seem to have hit the all time lowest of the lows on all fronts. A Home Run plus some in the arena of political and otherwise, incorrectness.
Having watched the Academy Awards last night and, of course, having bantered with others over the past 18 hours or so regarding comedian, Chris Rock’s monologue and quips throughout the show over Blacks and women not being well represented in Hollywood, I have had flash backs to my own life of prejudices being placed upon me in judgement of me as a person. Yes, it’s true. White Christian, Plus-Sized, Middle Class, Female Smokers have had more than a few tastes of biases against us. As a matter of fact, we’ve had to chew and swallow more than one would believe from other groups.
Were Whites today, born to be the whipping posts for all that ails society? Were Christians all to blame for the Holocaust? Are people who are overweight (meaning, not a size 8 or less), disgusting, low-willed, lazy asses? Are tobacco smokers all murderers? Are women to be seen but not heard from so that they’re not called “Feminists”? Gasp! Feminism has been taken as a dirty word by a lot of males in today’s society and bashed heavily. After all, I am a woman, part of the working world, want equal rights to men in all ways so, I must be a Feminist, right? One more chalk mark against me as a person to bash.
When all tolled, I am a prime target for Blacks, Health Enthusiast Nuts, Male Feminist Haters, Non-Christians, both the Wealthy and the Poverty Stricken and since I tend to be slanted towards being outspoken with my thoughts, a bulls eye for those aiming to persecute anyone with a difference of opinion to theirs.
I grew up in a neighbourhood where other cultures had congregated to settle amongst themselves. An area where no one really had to learn to speak one of Canada’s two official languages because there was always someone who spoke their mother tongue and translated for them. Our family was considered “The Mangia Cake Family” who apparently, only ate Kraft Dinner and hot dogs, didn’t know how to clean, cook or care for children. They’d often speak in their mother language in front of me, knowing that I couldn’t understand them when they wanted to put either myself down or fellow Canadians. That was my first taste of discrimination.
My mother passed away when I was 29 years of age with cancer and my father re-married a couple of years after her passing. He married a Black Jamaican woman who had 2 previous marriages and 4 children of her own. Two were of mixed race and two were Black. My father was her second White husband who had 3 white children. One would think that she would have been accepting of Whites in general but, that wasn’t the case. This woman loved the “status” of having a White husband (according to her own admission) while the rest of her family and friends, called her a “sell-out” for having married a White man. Every event that landed all of us in the middle of an all Black crowd or gathering, was an opportunity for discrimination that was so palpable that it couldn’t be ignored or even by-passed. It was uncomfortable, to say the least.
While my father was passing away with a different form of cancer that the form my mother passed with, Step Mom was already moving onto Husband #4, this time a Black gentleman with great wealth and status, dumping my brothers and myself as The Past Mistake and moving Hubby 4 into the large home my father had built for them both, the day after his funeral which she didn’t attend.
Being a Christian didn’t absolve me of my sins amongst other Christians either. I married a European, Catholic man whose family hated non-Catholic Canadians. Talk about discrimination. It was open and in my face as they told me in no uncertain terms that I was not welcome into their family and made it abundantly clear that they also looked down upon me for not being either the culture nor the religion that they were nor, did I speak their language. After all, all Canadians spent their money on beer and fed their un-clothed, un-cared for children garbage foods from cans, boxes or jars, living in filthy houses because we didn’t know how to take care of a home and worshipped incorrectly at church. The Catholic Church fertilized those thoughts quite nicely as well when they ostracized me for not being a Catholic.
Did I have enough on my plate already? No. I chose to open a store as a White, in a predominantly Black area with a friend of mine. The prejudice against Whites was so thick that we often were the target for vandalism and hate-filled actions by fellow business owners and patrons around the business area. We ended up having to leave as we couldn’t afford to keep up the costs of doing business anymore and there was none as customers frequented other businesses in the area, run by Blacks and let us know the reason, without doubt or question.
Fast forward to today where a thyroid issue has left me with a weight problem. In spite of my best efforts, I cannot lose weight easily and am considered rather overweight by today’s fashion standards. Retailers, having switched to buying clothing made in countries like China or Thailand where sizing is tiny by comparison have shoved those who are not a size 8 or below into Plus Sized stores as they refuse to bring in larger sizing into regular clothing retail stores. I have become “The Fat Lady In The Room” at times and felt the stares as I wear clothing created for the Plus Sized population that seems to assume that all above average sized clothing should look matronly, out of style/date or just plain ugly. If you’re not adept at creating your own patterns and sewing, you’re out of luck and a target for discrimination for not only your weight but your fashion sense. You’re told that you should “move more”, “eat less”, “hit a gym”, “eat a salad instead of anything else”. At one point, I gave up eating and became extremely ill. It did little good except to screw up my metabolism even further. The shame was and still is, horrendous. Yet, I am not out there protesting or burning down retail stores, looting or getting media attention right, left and centre.
When I first started smoking cigarettes, I wasn’t alone. Many people did it (including doctors and nurses) and it was during the time when you could smoke anywhere, any time and looked “cool”. Times changed and while I totally agree that it’s not at all healthy, smoking tobacco became “illegal” in most places and anyone who smokes nowadays is considered to be not only committing suicide but, killing others and, is being banished into corners, far away from any structure and especially, public institutions or places. We are the lepers, sent outside to stand and shiver, get wet and be isolated with our “dirty habit” while being told “you wreak of cigarette smoke” as we come back indoors to thaw out or dry off. Trust me, I’ve tried to quit many times, managing to quit during pregnancy but, fell back into it during times of stress afterwards. I continue to try to quit permanently but, until I do, I am still feeling the disfavour and disgust towards me.
What’s left is being a woman and part of the Middle Class economic group. I have felt the animosity from those who are in the lower economic groups for not being able to fund everyone in need of help. I give to charity, volunteer to help but, I do not fit in with this group. Again, the anger, jealousy and discrimination is felt heavily even when volunteering. The old “you think you’re better than us” attitude shines through brightly. The same holds true of the wealthy of society where I cannot afford luxury homes or cars, don’t belong to exclusive clubs or gyms, can’t spend $250 for a haircut at an over-priced salon, don’t have nor, can I buy expensive, designer Prada or Gucci clothing or shoes or purses. Walmart is my speed for a lot of things in life and I’m put down for that as well.
As a woman, I am persecuted by the “Feminist Hating Men” of the world because I believe that women should have equal rights in most ways and places and especially, the work place. I am not a Feminist in today’s sometimes, fanatical movement by any means but, I do believe that women should get a much fairer shake than they are in a lot of cases. Women are still behind the males and it’s about time that we caught up more fully. Yet, I feel the anger and contempt from some men over this stance as well.
The bottom line to all of this is that there is no one walking this planet who doesn’t feel discriminated against by one group or another for one thing or another. Blacks don’t hold the monopoly on prejudices, biases, disadvantage, hatred, bigotry or anything else that they can label it. As a matter of fact, Blacks are just as discriminatory as any other group on the planet. They just have a bigger soap box to stand on, built by the slavery trade where Blacks sold other Blacks as slaves yet, they will continue to blame Whites for having them rather than members of their own race for its beginnings. Even Whites were enslaved and no one acknowledges that as they scramble to become politically correct and fall to their knees, begging for forgiveness, forgetting all that’s being done, at the first sign of someone calling them “racists”.
From my little corner of life, it doesn’t matter what your situation, you’re going to feel discrimination in one way or another, from one group or another in some form or another. Blacks don’t hold the monopoly on discrimination and it’s time that the world accepted that #alllivesmatter!