It is time for me to live up the title of my blog/website…Cathy’s Voice Now…and use my voice regardless of how you choose to view me. I often hold back expressing my views; I want you to like me. I have actually written blog posts only to hide them in drafts because I wonder how I will be perceived.
Today I need to say what I believe and share it in this post. The anniversary of Mother Emmanuel AME shooting, the ongoing story of a man who raped and a judge who don’t see what they did wrong, and now the Orlando shooting has hurt my heart. I can’t hide behind my fear of what you might think of me.
A Sacramento pastor responded to the Orlando shooting that killed 49 people and injured 50 with praise, stating “they deserve what they got.” Another statement, “Claiming homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts,” Pastor Steven Anderson celebrated the Orlando nightclub shooting.
I believe that hate is fueled when see others as different from ourselves. We feel they are better off than we are or we are better than they are. We think our religious views are the only ones with merit. We believe the color of our skin or our gender or sexual orientation makes us superior to others. When we see people as a race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, it is easier to hate because we no longer see the essence or soul of that human being.
I have many people in my circle of friends and acquaintances. What I don’t have are gay friends, straight friends, black friends, Buddhist friends, Jewish friends, handicapped friends, liberal friends, conservative friends….you get the idea. I just have friends.
While many of my friends may identify with all those labels, that isn’t who they are. It doesn’t define the relationship we share. It doesn’t change who they are in their heart and soul. If I start identifying them by a label, I have lost the person I know.
Here are my labels…white, straight, Christian, old, liberal, intelligent, a writer, an actor, a student, mother, grandmother, a feminist, and more. In my lifetime, I have also been labeled a drunk, a heretic, fat, irresponsible, or stupid. If you know me, then you know ME, not my labels.
If we continue to label people, we are contributing to an environment of hate. This time the “homosexuals” were attacked and murdered. The shooter didn’t see the mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, friends, co-workers, aunts, uncles, cousins, sports enthusiasts, teachers, lawyers, doctors, law enforcement, military, or anything else beyond the LABEL. Some hate blacks, Mexicans, Muslims, poor, rich, white, women, and a multitude of other “labels”. They do not look beyond the LABEL.
Maybe next year it will be older white women with blue eyes. Sound preposterous? Couldn’t happen? Are you sure? No one ever imaged hated so deep it could kill almost 6 million Jewish men, women, and children. No one believed a person could hate enough to walk into a church and kill people in prayers. No one wants to believe a single shooter hated enough to kill and injury close to 100 people.
Hate knows no boundaries.
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside. Lin-Manuel Miranda 2016