Why It’s So Important To Have Your Friend’s Back

The first time I ever had to use four-wheel drive was when I carpooled with a friend to a wedding out of town. Margaret (the name of my vehicle) climbed what seemed like a full 45-degree angle up a rocky hill. I was wearing dress heels, a floral-patterned cutout dress, and had to brush the hair that got stuck in my lipstick to watch all of the other cars behind me struggle to reach the top of the hill where our friends were getting married. It was a beautiful ceremony. However, there is something that happened on the way there that has stuck with me.

My friend and I ended up meeting in Bakersfield since it was in the middle of where the two of us lived. It was easier to meet there since both of our parents were still living in Buck Owens’ paradise. Before getting on the freeway to leave town, my friend pointed out the gigantic Confederate flag that used to wave alongside the busy long stretch of road.  

“How does it make you feel seeing that?” she asked, referring to the flag that was designed to represent a divided nation, and that turned into a symbol of hate.

“You know what?” I said, still barreling down the stretch of road out of town. “I don’t like to see it, but I rather see boldness and honesty when it comes to racism than those who are quietly racist behind my back.”

Continue reading “Why It’s So Important To Have Your Friend’s Back”

Be Quiet, It’s Christmas

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. -Elie Wiesel

Photo by Jessica Neuwerth via Flickr
Photo by Jessica Neuwerth via Flickr

“It has gotten to a point where I am genuinely annoyed at everyone else’s annoyance – be it social, political, or otherwise. It’s the week before Christmas, folks. Make some cocoa, sing a song, and get on with life.”

I saw the post on Facebook. An acquaintance had typed a message meant for peace, but rooted in disgust and ignorance. I couldn’t help but think, yes, it’s Christmas, but what are we going back to? Our “annoyance” was for police brutality, the injustice that has occurred in our “justice” system, and the racism and prejudice that has been embedded deeply into our society.

So, I read the comment on the Facebook status below. Continue reading “Be Quiet, It’s Christmas”