Monday, June 27, 2016

But First Let Me Rant.☝

First and foremost, this will be a rant. I apologize for it not being inspirational as many other posts are but feel free to check out some other uplifting content up above.

Earlier today, I was riding the local bus home when I overheard a conversation being held behind me. I didn't immediately turn around; just imagine how awkward that would've been. But I continued to listen for a minute or so and it was downright disgusting.

The conversation was held between two middle-aged white women. Not the most attractive individuals to look at but who am I to say. They were talking about a lady that was sitting diagonally from us on the opposite side of the bus. She was African-American, appeared to be middle-aged herself, and was completely oblivious to the conversation being held about her. Thankfully. She was sporting a pixie cut that for some odd reason, made the white women uncomfortable. 

"She may as well shave the rest of it off...."

"The least you can do is use a hair spray to add volume to it..."

"'s bad enough it's spiky already.."

Just a few snippets I heard from the exchange. I tried to ignore it for a second or so but it was alarming to me that they had the audacity to speak about this lady openly. As if she were disrespecting them simply by being there. It was a self-righteous attitude they both evoked and that's what bothered me the most. 

Granted, I didn't speak up. I honestly didn't know what to say and I'm a non-confrontational person. But I wrestled with what-if's the entire ride home after they stepped off the bus. 

This self-righteous attitude is not new; we're all too familiar with it. It lives and breathes with us every day in different manners. In some ways it can be less obvious, in others it's very blatant. Even though I'm a native of the South, I've never encountered blatant self-righteousness on behalf of a white individual. It's always been subtle. Call it southern hospitality if you'd like. 

Since moving to Kentucky, I have noticed that attitudes here appear to be much different. Perhaps it's just been a matter of the types of people I encounter or the areas I venture into. But whatever the case may be, it has consistently put me on edge. And after overhearing that conversation today, I was pushed off it. The fact that some individuals feel entitled to belittle others who don't look or live like them still baffles me. In many ways, I feel it's due to the culture of Louisville. Many people do not ever have the opportunity to venture beyond Kentucky; this is all that they know. I firmly believe that isolation breeds ignorance. When isolated in this area for years at a time, their perspective is so narrowed that anything beyond it is odd/disrespectiful/disgraceful/ugly/unprofessional, etc. People don't accept what they do not understand and clearly these women don't understand Black hair. 

In order to prevent myself from taking things so personally, I always attempt to understand the motives behind a person's behavior or thinking. Not that they are justified by it, but doing so helps me realize situations from the perspective of other people. Ignorance is pervasive nowadays so you can only imagine how difficult of a job this is. However, I see the value in it. I would rather try to understand someone's point of view (even if I disagree) rather than getting upset over it. Otherwise, I'm only modeling their behavior. And that's just not what I do. 


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