Open Minded was the word for the week. I sat for a moment thinking about what that meant to me. There are so many areas it could relate too. Open Minded is an interesting subject at this point in the world. The world is fighting for open minded-ness, only everyone has their own version of being open-minded. Many people prance around in their fantasy world pretending that they are open-minded, they may even think that they are open-minded but they aren’t. They are what I like to call compartment open-minded. To me, it means that they are only open-minded to the extent that their small mindedness will allow them. Let me give you an example. Sally and Johnny Smith are the typical, average white American family living in the suburbs with the standard 2.5 kids, a cat, a dog and a canary. Sally works part-time at the kid’s school library and the Johnny works full-time as a defense lawyer. This lovely couples best friends are Sasha and Tyrese Jones whom live next door also with their 2.5 kids and multitude of pets and are African American. Sasha is the school nurse and Tyrese is a stockbroker. Johnny and Tyrese carpool into the city together. They have a lovely life together for years and years and years. All the Smith and Jones children go off to college together. Several to the same college. But uh oh, little girl Smith becomes knocked up by little boy Jones second year of college. Mr. Johnny Smith is not to happy at the idea of having a multiracial baby in his family. He won’t come right out and say it. But his attitude towards the Jones changes, he can’t look at his daughter the same. Everyone assumes it is because of the pregnancy at first. Soon it’s obvious that isn’t it. The dynamic in the family changes. The bigger little girl Smith’s belly becomes the less Johnny spends time with Tyrese. He claims he isn’t prejudice and in his close minded way he wasn’t, as long color stayed out of his alabaster family. Our country has become a symbol for that.
If you want to know if you are open-minded, think about the comments you make. If you make a statement about a same-sex couple that sounds like you don’t care what “they” do behind closed doors, or live and let live, what you are really saying is let’s be stagnant. Or let’s not grow, or let’s not develop as people. A person is not open-minded when they say I support gay people as long as I don’t have to see it. Please, stop. Stop saying self comforting statements like I support gay people, because you do not. Those false statements are only being said to make you feel better as they certainly do nothing to help the gay community. I support the gay community. That is the statement. It does not need to be followed up with a but and does not need to be followed with a “as long as”. Also, to be clear, a human, does not need to have a family or relative or compadre in the gay community to be able to support it. And you don’t have to SAY that statement. A person can support programs that provide help/support/safe harbor for LGBTQ communities. A person can volunteer on crisis hotlines, donate clothes, time or personal effects to LGBTQ shelters. Do not wait for a personal connection to become involved. The time is now. The day is today to become evolved and educated and open-minded. Gone are the days that gay is about sex and perversion but about lifestyle and family and normalcy. But still, hate crimes happen, innocent people are still frightened and fear strikes the hearts of those whom only want to be who they were born to be. Shame on those who bring that on. And shame on those that sit idle by claiming to be “supporters” while doing nothing.
I suppose those are the same people who want to beat up women trying to use the bathroom in peace. Those are the same people who wait outside the public bathroom doors daring to ask for licenses, or proof of genitalia to assure them that such a person has gained appropriate access to said bathroom. In what world do we live in that a man has the right to stand outside a women’s bathroom and frighten them as they come out. Justice for a women peeing, or straightening her pantyhose, or applying her make up, or checking her bobby-pins is a possible punch in the face from a man who has the need to feel manlier by threatening a woman caught completely off guard exiting a bathroom? That is America’s open mindedness at its best. The bathroom debacle has nothing to do with men going into to women’s rooms. If parents were truly concerned about their children we would also be hearing about women dressed as men going into men’s rooms and attacking their son’s but no one seemed overly concerned about that. Not to mention if your child is young enough to be abducted, or molested, they are most likely in the bathroom with an adult. This is closed mindedness, racism, sexism, hate and isolation just for the sake of having someone to point a finger at. The world sucks right now. We have no jobs, low pay, terrible economy, and terrible prospects for the future of leadership, and the horizon looks as though napalm would be best. Everyone has gotten extremely pissed off and when bullies are extremely pissed off they hit the weakest group. What could be possibly weaker than the transgender community? Transgender women, especially transgender women of color, are the single most targeted group for hate crimes. And the least frequently talked about. Why is that? Because no one gives a shit. Why does no one give a shit? Because transgender folks are seen as having a mental disorder and not for what it really is. And no one takes the time to figure it out, or learn about it. Transgender people are not freaks. They are not A transgender like A schizophrenic. They are not pedophiles or child molesters. They are sons and daughters and mothers and fathers and have jobs and go to church and have beliefs. When people take the time to open their mind to the beauty they have to offer the world, it is awe-inspiring. The bravery it takes to be the person you know in your soul you should be when the whole world is telling you its wrong is super heroic. Closed-minded individuals lump those that commit sex crimes dressed as the opposite sex into the same category as regular citizens. Transgender citizens are people. Those who commit sex crimes, are not human. The two should not be confused.
There are other things we as a world need to open our mind, too. We as a race of human beings should wonder why we see someone overweight and regard them as less than instead of someone who may have a medical condition, a mental condition, or self-esteem issue. Why do we see someone parking in a handicapped spot with a handicapped placard but walking perfectly fine only to assume they are a cheater, skimper, skimmer, scammer instead of seeing someone who has MS or MD or Fibromyalgia or a seizure disorder but is having a good day, not a bad one. Would that persons limb, pain, agonies make you feel better about parking a few spots down? Would those extra steps you have to walk into the store take a lot away from your life so it deserves your bitterness? When the mother of four is standing in line of the grocery store using her new Iphone but pays for her purchases with her government EBT card, are your sneers really important? Does it matter that the phone was a gift from someone else? Or that she also works 2 jobs, and a phone is important because both jobs post their schedules on their mobile App as most do in the digital age. Or would it matter if she told you that she is only getting the EBT now until she is done with nursing school. Or would it matter if she went home to her boyfriend who is also scamming the government by saying he is homeless so he can an EBT card. Wouldn’t we rather pay for a few deadbeats so we know that the kids that need help are getting it. Is it worth condemning that woman in line when you really have no idea the story? No, it’s not. I don’t want to make her feel like crap if she is a hardworking mother trying to do the best she can. One woman to another, I will take my chances. If she is a jackass, living off the state, milking her life away, that sucks, but I don’t want to judge. I don’t want to live as a closed-minded, judgmental and questioning the morals of someone I don’t know.
There are a lot of reasons to be closed minded. Being open minded is much harder, takes a strong constitution, a firm will. Entitlement is free flowing, and judgment is readily available. Laziness, excuses, finger-pointing and fighting over flags, sitting during ceremonies, presidential campaigns full of lies, name calling, discrimination and encouraging isolation is what our country has come too. None of that speaks to being open minded. Since the course we have taken hasn’t proven to be super successful wouldn’t another direction be better? Wouldn’t it at least be better to open our minds to another possible solution or possibility?