Posted on: May 13, 2012
People tell me that I must be doing something right if I’m ruffling feathers and the haters come out of the woodwork. I have to agree on some levels, but I don’t want the haters to come out of the woodwork, I want the haters to learn something.
The non-violent stance that Civil Rights era leaders took resulted in many young blacks getting beaten and abused. Many didn’t survive to see the day where blacks were able to vote, attend the schools of their choosing, to see a Black (multiracial) man be elected to President of the United States. When they were spat upon, when dogs were released on them, when cops cracked clubs on their backs like task master’s whips they did not clench their palms into fists to strike back.
It is because of these brave black (and white) organizers that I am the woman that I am. If those heroes had traded their compassion for hatred I may not be here. Through the bigotry of people around them, they fought and we continue to fight today, resisting ignorance and hatred and combating it with love. The Beatles said all you need is love, but I’m not so sure that it’s true. When people write nonsense on my twitter feed, in e-mails, or link my blog to their hatred I don’t feel love, I feel hate. I feel frustration, anger, and pity. I want to reply to their hatred with hate, but think of the people who came before me. Their fight, their blood, their tears are the foundations of my very existence. And while I took it for granted as a child, in my adulthood I know and realize that without those heroes, the very heroes whose shoulders I stand on to this day, I wouldn’t exist and you wouldn’t be reading my words.
It would seem, with a black man sitting in the office of the President of the United States, that the days of oppression, bigotry, hatred and ignorance are behind us, but they are not. As I open up my e-mail account, read tweets, or comments on my blog I’m reminded that while it may be illegal for someone to discriminate against me in the work place because of my gender, sexual orientation, race or religios people are free to think what they will and write what they will in their own private lives-muddying my tidy piece of cyberspace.
You’re gay, Jewish, black and a woman? Don’t those things somehow, mathematically cancel one another out? Are you trying to get people to hate you? Thank Gd you weren’t alive when Hitler was around, you’d be dead. That’s an oxymoron. You’re just confused.
It can’t be, can it?
Obviously it can be because here I am. I didn’t chose to be gay and I know that Gd will not punish me for simply being me, because I was made in Gds image. While Torah may tell you that being gay is an abomination, I don’t read it that way. Torah actually says nothing about being a lesbian. Why is that? Could it be that the Torah was written by men and men couldn’t dream of a woman having sexual satisfaction without a penis? The men of the Torah wrote about a man lying with a man, but nothing of a woman lying with a woman. The Torah says nothing about female/female interactions- the Talmud does almost 4000 years after Torah was written. And while Torah does state that a man who lies with another man is an abomination, it doesn’t say that marriage is between one man and one woman. Does this mean that I think that gay men are banished to hell while gay women are free from punishment? No, because it’s not my job on earth to judge another human being. It’s my job to love them. What the Torah does say is that all humans were made in the divine image of Gd. So if everyone is made in Gd’s image and made from Gd then it is my obligation as a human being to love every human being-even the fucking assholes. Despite the fact that they’re fucking assholes, incredibly ignorant, and bending and twisting the word of Gd to their liking I have to try to love them, even when it’s hard. The very section of the Bible that supposedly damns me also says that it’s perfectly fine to own slaves, to banish people who are deformed, that priests cannot be deformed and that you can’t eat shrimp, lobster, oysters, scallops or pigs.
I am a woman, born with a body that gives life and nourishment and sustenance to the children that I will bare. Being a woman means, according to some that I’m second-class, that I deserve to make less money and to be subservient to the male gender. Being a woman, I suppose, means that I’m to honor my father and a husband solely because of my gender. Thankfully I was born to a strong and independent woman who taught me differently.
Yes, I’m black. I was born black, though through genealogy I’m learning that that I may have Irish ancestors on my mother’s side. Does this all of a sudden make me Irish? Perhaps, but the world will only see me as a black person because we see only one another-through race-colored glasses. I need you to see my blackness, I don’t try to hide my blackness and I’d never try to deny my heritage as a black person. My blackness does not cancel out my gayness, just as it doesn’t cancel out my Jewishness.
Unlike being born female, black and gay-things I do not control, I chose to become a Jew. Not to check off another box, not to join the minority Olympics, not to be more unique, but because Judaism is where I found Gd.
So here I am, a black, gay Jewish woman. What to do with the continued hatred, ignorance, narrow minded folks who litter my cyber life? A blessing-I wish you a life of openness and understanding. I hope you never feel the sting of intolerance, of bigotry, of hatred, of misunderstanding. I hope that you are never judged by who you are or what you look like or what you believe. I pray that you learn the meaning of love and that you share that love-true, compassionate, unconditional love-with the people around you.
Now kindly get the fuck off of my website.