In spite of the fact that I sometimes wish I could transform myself into another species, like a rabbit or a snake, I am stuck in this body that is human. I’m often reminded, by way of a cold, the flu, injury, mistake or mind change, that I am fallible and mortal. Sometimes, because I’m not perfect, I have to ask for forgiveness from people and often, they accept the apology and we continue down our paths.
So I started thinking about some of my old blog posts and things I’ve done or didn’t do, and I remembered an event that took place where I wronged someone, nay, an entire people.
I had just arrived in Atlanta, GA and walked out of the airport. A driver had been sent for me, and she was there greeting me with a sign bearing my name. I climbed into the back of the car, which was open to the front, and prepared for the ride to my hotel. We exited the airport and drove up to the ticket booth, where we were barely greeted by a young woman in order to pay for the parking. As I reached for my wallet to hand the driver some cash, she yelled at the lady working the ticket booth.
“What?” This got my attention and I looked out at the woman in the booth, “I can’t understand you.”
The lady behind in the booth repeated the parking fee amount, was paid, and we drove off. Upon exiting the parking lot the driver turned to me and said, “I can’t understand those monkeys with their fat lips flapping.”
I didn’t say anything. I didn’t acknowledge her in any way actually, choosing instead to believe I didn’t hear those remarks. In fact, the only action I took against her was to report her to the company who hired her to pick me up and suggest they no longer use that car company. But I didn’t do for “those people” what I would have done for myself. I didn’t tell her I disagreed or say she should reconsider her racist rhetoric or even pelt her with a Pepsi bottle. I failed.
Now, as I stand before people on the streets asking them to support Human Rights for ALL people and support the LGBT community, I realize that I am a hypocrite as I didn’t stand up for ALL people. I hope that I have grown a little in the last five years since the event occurred. I hope that now, I’m secure enough in myself to stand against those that discriminate in any form and stand up for those that are discriminated against.
Surely there will be another test. If so, I intend to pass it.