I wound up in a short, somewhat intense Twitter spat with a local news anchor today. She quickly and incorrectly decided I was angry and I just had to laugh.
But when a former acquaintance of mine, who became a former acquaintance during the last Presidential election season, “favorited” the Tweet calling me angry, it nagged at me.
No, I don’t consider myself an angry person. I vaguely remember taunting my former acquaintance over his enjoyment of Chick-Fil-A and/or his support of Mitt Romney in 2012, but I genuinely don’t see myself as an angry person. I guess that’s how I come off to some people.
But I have to wonder…
How angry would you be if you were denied basic governmental benefits and protections because of your hair color?
What if the owner of a multi-million- (billion?) dollar company donated his profits to organizations that strove to make being Caucasian a crime punishable by death?
Would you be angry if you awakened every single day of your adult life and despite being a good, ethical, caring person, you were reminded that you and your partner and your relationship and your family were invalid in the eyes of the law?
You got married last year, Former Acquaintance. How was that for you? Did you enjoy it? Did you enjoy standing up before your friends and family and declaring your love for, and commitment to, each other and having that commitment legally bound? Do you rest easy knowing your wife will be taken care of financially if anything should happen to you? Did you have to hire a lawyer to make that happen? Is it nice knowing you can stroll into a hospital and see your wife without any questions being asked? If your wife gets pregnant and decides to stay home, how wonderful for you that she will be covered by your insurance and that the child you raise – even if you’re not the biological father – will be yours in the eyes of the law simply because you are married.
So yes, maybe I am angry. Maybe it simmers below the surface and causes me to muck it up with people on occasion and make them aware of how their actions, whether knowingly or unknowingly, contribute to making me and people I care about…less.
Because that’s what it comes down to. We’re less. Until we are afforded the same rights and protections that you take for granted, we’re less than you.
Enjoy your chicken sandwich.