Thursday, April 22, 2010

Out of My Comfort Zone: Combating Charges of Racism

The other day Glenn Beck basically said that we have to start doing things that are "out of our comfort zone" if we have any hope of changing the direction this country is headed in. As he was discussing different things that could qualify, I was thinking that I had indeed ventured out of my comfort zone just a few days prior to Beck's call to action.

The April 15th Tea Party. First of all, just going was the first step. The media's little trick of portraying the Tea Party-ers as racist is working and it sucks. I don't want to be called a racist or be associated with racists because I am so not a racist. I knew it would be uncomfortable standing in the middle of Center City with a group being labeled as racist by the MSM in a city that's roughly 50% African American.

And Black men were indeed walking by yelling "Racist." Did I blame them? Absolutely not, that's that they've been told.

As Grizzly Mommma and I were walking back from signing the Constitution Bus we passed an African American man that was saying something angrily under his breath. On any other day I would have minded my business and walked on by...but I was feeling really pissed at the Media and the Kos Kids of the world for making me feel like I had to justify my involvement and prove my lack of prejudice. That overwhelming urge to yell, "But my first best friend was Black, my favorite teacher was Black...I tried to adopt a Black baby" etc etc. I shouldn't have to feel that way.

So I stepped (way) outside that comfort zone and asked the disgruntled Tea Party heckler what he had said. He looked surprised and then said something about no one caring about all the money that was spent on the Iraq war. I pointed out that people did protest the war often. We began a conversation about why the tea Party exists and he seemed genuinely interested and surprised by what we were saying. He told us he was laid off and really wanted work. We shared that both of our husbands were laid off also and that companies were wary of hiring because of impending taxes and market insecurity...and that's why we were here. Advocating for individuals and small businesses. By the time we parted ways we were all wishing each other good luck in the job search and he was telling us to get back out there and yell louder for the people... It was so gratifying. And hopefully he'll tell his friends and family about us if the Tea Parties come up...

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