I wrote the line out, over and over again.
I’d write it down, delete it, think about it, write it again. Delete. Repeat.
Each time, it was the perfect response when I wrote it down. Each time, it was the perfect analogy. But each time I’d look it over before hitting the ‘Submit’ button and back down, knowing that it was just too shitty a thing to say:
You see, in my family, we have a Russian immigrant.
I knew that my family would interpret it literally and I’d be seen as a truly cruel and unwelcoming woman.
They’d kick me out, circle the wagons, and throw a protective arm around our immigrant, saying, “Don’t listen to her. Don’t let her make you feel like an outsider. We want you here.”
They’d immediately reject that hate. They’d spit it out and try to right that wrong.
And that’s exactly the point.
We don’t actually believe that people should have to put up with that.
When it comes to our own kind, we’re ALL sensitive.
Think about yourself right now. Have you ever complained about people being “too sensitive” or “too politically correct?”
Have you? At any point.
I want you to do something for me. I want you to think of your grandfather.
Imagine me in your house with your grandfather, in the midst of all your family and people you love. Imagine me standing up, pointing at him, and loudly, boisterously declaring, “that guy is probably a rapist.”
Imagine me not only saying he’s probably a rapist, but what if I just went on and on? What if I compared him to the other men in the room. Told you and everyone else how your kindly old grandfather was more likely than anyone else to be a rapist.
Assuming that’s not actually true of your particular grandfather, I’m going to hazard a guess that you’d kick me right the fuck out. I’m going to guess you’d find it disrespectful at the very least. I’m going to guess you’d demand I apologize.
That’s in response to the way we feel people should be treated.
So, if you believe I should treat your grandfather with more respect than that, if you think I should treat our Russian family member with more respect than that – what do you guess is underlying your belief that it’s “too sensitive” to demand the same for other kinds of people?