After Friday’s markers in the sand, I wish to bring your attention again to the image (above). While it continues to apply on multiple levels, this time, allow me to narrow the focus.
Montana is My Home. My very name is part of Montana’s maps. My children are born and raised Montanans. I pay taxes, I own property. I travel Montana’s roads and highways with joy and appreciation for its vast, spiritual and magical places. I get to view cattle, sheep, horses, bison and the Crazy Woman Mountains, on my way to visit loved ones in just one of Montana’s other towns. I don’t have to be told “good luck” – I live it daily. I am blessed 406 ways and counting and I am ever grateful.
That said, I am done with enablers.
I am done with putting up with passive-aggressive, contemplative side looks from strangers in my own community.
The last 8 months brought more people showing racist and supremacist colors (in particular, the last few weeks) direct and sidelong to me than in the decade I’ve lived in Lewistown, the more than 20 years I’ve lived in Montana, and the more than 40+ years I’ve been alive.
If you don’t like it but don’t know who to ask, ask me. I’m happy to take your sincere question to help evolve positive growth and change. I won’t write you off as racist just because you seek true knowledge and hope to gain understanding, strengthen your empathy.
Recognize and Evaluate your Empathy, because I appreciate those who put forth genuine effort to at least try. Recognize that my opinions are my own and I do not speak for all Black people (because that would be ridiculous); I can only share based on my own direct and indirect experiences. While I am in no way anyone’s “token,” I do recognize the reality that PoC (and LGBTQ, for that matter) are few and far between in our Big Sky state with its 1 million people. I can see how it could be difficult to have a fair discussion amongst people without having some sort of representation of said people.
However, I am done with lip-service.
“Talk is cheap and bullshit runs a marathon.”
You are all supposed to be my friends in our community. I should be able to rely on your support as you should be able to rely on mine.
I should NOT have to fear walking my dog alone on the trail because I don’t know whether friend or foe approaches.
I should NOT feel I need anonymity, strip my car of all personalization because I don’t want those who feel I’m not human because my skin is brown to recognize me and mine by vehicle.
I should NOT feel grateful for being able to park my car in my garage because it hides my family’s brown identity from those who would do us harm.
Those I call “Friend” should NOT be okay or complacent with ANY of those above-mentioned items.
Small towns should be havens, not hell.
Let me be clear:
I am not now nor ever have been Prey.
Whether skin color, LGBTQ, religion, financial status, political affiliation, it is un-American for others to even think that it’s acceptable to make people feel that way.
No true alpha Leader allows others of their nation to feel as Prey.
On Friday and these last few weeks, Trump and his administration showed their hand. He made his stance on skin color, sexual identity, religious preference and the very laws that make up America’s fabric unequivocally clear. He removed any possible common ground. And his rigid, divisive, racist-supremacist stance is absolutely unacceptable in anyone, in particular the President of the United States.
I hope that this post will help cut through any confusion and bring it a level you all can relate to personally; imagine if you were brought to the point where you felt this post was necessary. How would you feel?
I am glad for my friends and neighbors and the relationships I’ve nurtured over the years. I want to stay that way. Let’s make it so. ?