Friday, September 1, 2017

We Are Houston

In a few days the disaster of Hurricane Harvey will be old news and the media will move on. Before they do I challenge you to watch closely what’s been happening down here in Tx.

Soon the media will go back to trying to convince you that all white people are racist, white supremacist, and all black people are criminals and thugs. They will have you believe that all Hispanics are illegal, and all Christians are hate-filled homophobes. Do not buy it. 

We may have differing opinions on things, even very important things, but when the waters rise we’re all in the same boat. I think I can say with some certainty that no one was asked for proof of citizenship or political affiliation before they were allowed in the rescue boat. I’m pretty sure that no one was denied access to a rescue chopper because they were black. Statistics would suggest that there were probably some members of the KKK rescued by black people. How awesome is that? That’s got to change your way of thinking. 

 I saw a video of a group of young black men pushing an older while lady’s car back up out of the flood waters, the caption stating something like “Young Black Men in Hoodies Coming to the Rescue.”

It is my belief that this is the norm. This is what happens every day on every street corner and in every grocery store and school and church. The media does not see it because they’re too busy filming the extremists. They would have us believe that the extreme hate-filled are everywhere and we should look with suspension at anyone who looks differently than we do or believes differently than we do. Do  not buy it.

My America, my every day, is young black men in hoodies coming to the rescue of the older white lady. My every day is a Hispanic man smiling and talking with two silly little black girl who’d been too long in the grocery cart, so their mom could check out. My every day is white men holding the door for a Hispanic family. This is so much the norm that you don’t even notice it. It’s just how we live.

My every day is sitting at the car wash with several people who all look different than me, watching CNN while we wait and knowing by their conversation they’re about as far from me politically as one can get, and yet we smile at each other and pass the time talking about our children and the weather.

My America is Houston. My America is the stereotyped ‘southern good ol’ boys’ rescuing a group of ‘black thugs’ and watching them hug and thank each other and smile and cry together. My America is a giant black man wading out into the water like the current didn’t even touch him, to rescue two smaller white men who were clinging to a street sign. My America is every color and ethnicity and political affiliation and gender and sexual orientation working together to rescue the elderly from a flooded nursing home. 

The media would have you believe that Charlottesville is the norm. Charlottesville is not the norm. Houston is. So when life goes back to normal and the talking heads once again show photos of hate and division, do not buy it. We are Houston. Turn off the TV and go outside. Hold the door open for the Hispanic lady behind you and smile. That’s the real America.