Walk a mile

Yesterday, I was reading my Facebook feed and a friend was tagged in the thread below because he’d made a comment and somehow I’m notified of this by Facebook.  Don’t ask me how or how to stop it.  I don’t get notified when every friend posts on a thread or to a person I don’t know but that that’s another story….
I give credit this to a person named Linda Tilson, a person I don’t know: 
Notes from Real America:
My mom and I had lunch at a restaurant a few miles from our rural Missouri home yesterday, and the talk at a nearby table turned to the Syrian refugee crisis, ISIS, and the Kenyan/Muslim/Interloper currently occupying the White House. A middle-aged white woman seated next to her husband was telling the couple across from them she felt sure President Obama was going to impose martial law any day now. So engrossed were the four that they missed the barely suppressed laughter coming from our table.
In that spirit, here’s this gem:  This one belongs to someone named Karoli,, link here:   

JESUS CHRIST THE SYRIAN REFUGEES AREN’T COMING TO WHATEVER GLORIFIED TRAILER PARK / FEMA CAMP / OPEN AIR METH LAB OR DYSTOPIAN INNER RING TRACT HOUSING AND STRIP MALL FART-FUCK OF A SUBURB YOU CALL HOME, THEY WOULD TAKE ONE LOOK AT YOUR SAD EXCUSE FOR A LIFE AND THINK “I’LL GO BACK AND TAKE MY CHANCES, DID YOU SEE THAT WOMAN WITH THE ‘BAD BITCH’ TATTOO HER TORSO LOOKED LIKE SOMEONE WAS BAKING BREAD IN A HALTER TOP.” THE FACT THAT YOU GOT A SECOND HARDEES (NEXT TO THE PELLAGRA CLINIC) DOES NOT MAKE PIGSKNUCKLE COUNTY AN APPEALING TERRORIST TARGET, IF ISIS ATTACKS THEY WILL ATTACK A CITY BECAUSE CITIES HAVE LANDMARKS AND PEOPLE WHO WALK PLACES. WHY WOULD ANYONE EVEN BOTHER TRYING TO KILL YOU WHEN THEY COULD SIT BACK AND LET CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE DO THE JOB, BE SURE TO BUY MORE GUNS THOUGH THEY’RE REALLY KEEPING YOUR VINYL SIDED RANCH HOUSE SAFE. YES THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT TO GET YOU BUT THEY’RE NOT CALLED “ISIS” THEY’RE CALLED THE COLLECTION AGENCY AND YOUR GUNS WILL ONLY IMPRESS THEM TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY WILL FETCH SOMETHING AT AUCTION WHEN YOUR PROPERTY IS SEIZED TO PAY THE MEDICAL BILLS FOR YOUR LAST SIX ANGIOPLASTIES BUT YOU REALLY SHOWED OBUMMER BY NOT SIGNING UP FOR INSURANCE YOU DANIEL FUCKIN’ BOONE RUGGED INDIVIDUALIST YOU

And the post is followed by smug comments from city dwellers, using big words that this country girl just barely understands  joking about people who don’t live in big cities, people who have not had the privileges they’ve had.  They have all had encounters with people whose politics they don’t agree with and those people are obviously idiots that they can barely tolerate.  And then several comments are just big old pats on the backs of the previous brilliant posters. 

Then, I saw this this morning: 


 And I can’t help but relate the things in my mind.

For the past few years, immigration has been a huge debate in the US.  Being from Texas, we see more from Mexico but other places have issues with other countries.  Last week Paris (France, not Texas!)  was attacked by ISIS, a radical, violent group of Muslims that seem hell bent on world domination.  They seem to be from several different countries in the Middle East, including some in Syria. I know that every person from the Middle East is not in ISIS.  Most aren’t.  And I’m pretty sure they would not be looking to attack Spur,TX but then I look at some domestic evils (the radical religious groups set up near Waco and San Angelo, in Texas alone) and I think that sometimes it’s easier to set something up in places that don’t draw a lot of attention. And I’ll be honest here…since 9/11 I do look at Middle Eastern people differently.  It’s not something I’m proud to admit.  And after working at AT&T for so long I have an added perspective after dealing with some of them there too.  I saw a lot of rude, in your face people who want something for nothing.  They seem to have a lot of money and seem pretty determined to take over.  Again, not proud of my bigotry, but there it is.  I tend to get rid of the bias one person at a time instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt.  The truth is I don’t understand the mentality of anyone who hates for no reason and I especially don’t understand a person who hates in God’s name.  I don’t know if the Syrians are good or bad.  And luckily, I don’t have to make that call.  I do believe, as Americans, we will continue to make the best of any hand we are dealt.

I cannot–and will not–judge anyone else for their beliefs and feelings, whether they be the butts-of- the-jokes from the above post or the posters above.  The funny thing about rights is that everyone has them.  Not everyone agrees with that obviously.  I don’t like the tone of the post above.  I think it’s mean spirited and smug but they too are entitled to say what they want.  And I am too. I cannot apologize for being a country girl who tries very hard everyday to look at all with compassion, even the Middle Easterns I run across.  I try everyday and sometimes I fail. I especially try not to write things that will hurt people but sometimes I fail there too.

I know people who have had circumstances in their lives that put them in places far below where some are.  My daddy’s dad died when my dad was 10.  His oldest brother was 12 and that left my grandmother a widow in 1924 with 6 kids.  None of the kids finished high school because life happened.  My dad was “uneducated” but certainly not a stupid man. He read all the time. He watched the news.  He kept with up with politics.  He worked as a cowboy all of his life and would tell you he’d had the best life ever.  No city, no time clock.  Not a lot of money but a generous, honest, loving man, the best I’ve ever known.  And always willing to help a man up instead of putting him down.

I added the Mario Batali quote because I’ve met a lot of people who I could judge but I try not to.  For the moment I live in Las Vegas and they homeless people are everywhere.  And when I see the beggars with the signs that say ‘US Veteran’ it makes me sadder that I can say.  And it’s getting colder and I worry about them and I don’t even know them.  I do what I can.  I’ve given them the lunch from my bag.  But I don’t have a lot either, although I’m infinitely better off than they are.

I don’t know the answer for any of the issues facing this country.  I don’t know who does.  All I can do is what I believe to be the right thing and I do the best I can.  And I think that’s all anyone can do right now, whether you live in Pigsknuckle county or some mighty city.  I do hope we can find a way to face our enemies without turning on each other but I’m not sure that’s possible.  Let’s just say that #AllLivesMatter.

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