Really??? Really? … Well, now I’m mad. Cause it just got personal.

Yup.  Personal.  And I’m taking it personally.  And I’m a tad bit peeved.  Meaning…my danders up…I’ve got my Irish on…I’m seeing red…you get the idea?

I’m mad.

And not in the “off-my-rocker, insane, nutso, cutesy, madranchwife” way.

This time I’m seriously ticked.

So I called the momster (always a touchstone for when the world just isn’t acting correctly).  (I just realized that if you were reading that quickly, you might think I wrote “m-o-n-s-t-e-r.”  NOT.  I wrote “m-o-M-s-t-e-r.”  As in…my mom.  You know, the one who always loves you no matter what, who kisses the hurts and makes everything better.  Yes, I still call my mom when I need all of those things.)

Anyway…I called mom.

D: “You will not believe what just happened.”

Mom: “Are you OK?  Do you have a headache?”

D: “No.  At least I didn’t have a headache.  I just got out to my car {in the parking garage at the hospital in Cheyenne–for those of you who don’t know where I work on the weekends} and someone had plastered a huge, orange “DEFEAT OBAMA” sticker on my car!!!  Can you believe that?  What jerk thinks they can touch my car????  I feel so violated.”

Mom:  “Well, honey, you do have all those bumper stickers on it.  You know that when you put it out there, your support of President Obama, you’re making yourself a target.”

(Honestly, I’m not sure if these are the exact words, cause I was still trying to stop seeing red and trying to come back down to the surface of the planet.)

D: “But that doesn’t make it OK for someone to attack my car!  I have just as many rights to display my support/opinions as the next person.  I don’t go around vandalizing other peoples’ cars.  Are you saying it’s OK because I put the stickers on my car, announcing my belief in President Obama?”  (Note: voice rising in tone and volume with every word)

Mom: “No honey.  Absolutely not.  It is not OK.  But you need to be careful.  Just like you wouldn’t walk by yourself in a questionable neighborhood after dark, you need to be aware of the possibilities that could happen as a result of your actions.”

D:  “So they win.  I get intimidated.  I remove my Obama stickers and they win.”

Mom:  “No honey.  It is not black and white like that.  They do not win.  You simply have to be careful.  What if Gracelyn and you were driving somewhere and someone threw something at the car, injuring her or you?”

And with that thought, right there, I came back down to the surface of the planet we inhabit.  And the next thought was one of supreme sadness–the mad started to evaporate and was replaced by sorrow for the people that we have become.

I will have to explain to my darling daughter that there are those among us who would hurt us for our beliefs.  There are those among us who would vandalize others’ personal property simply because they hold a different opinion.  After all that I have tried to teach her about respecting others’ opinions, that other people may think differently than us and it doesn’t make them bad, that we can’t all be the same because what kind of world would that be…after all of that, I will have to explain to her why her “Obama Girl” sticker on the window next to her booster seat had to go.

And what do you think I should tell her?  That her mommy got scared of what could happen if some crazed person took offense to our personal beliefs displayed on our car?  That her mommy caved, tucked tail and ran, quietly shut up and fell back into place with all the others that have been silenced over the years?

??????

Is that what this country has come to?  What happened to my freedom of speech?  Displayed on my own personal property?  How did I infringe on anyone else’s freedom of speech?  (I’m seeing red again…just wanted to let you know.)

I thought we as a country had maybe learned some lessons.  You know…the one about an entire race of people being slaughtered because one blond-haired, blue-eyed German Catholic thought it his duty to exterminate the lesser ones.  Or the one about the Japanese Americans being herded up and forced to live in, let’s be honest here, prison camps because of paranoia.  Or the kind of big one about how people with different color skin couldn’t have a seat on the bus, or had to use a different drinking fountain, or were considered less than human.  Or the one about the signs posted in windows stating “Irish need not apply” or “No WOPS allowed.”  (Now granted, that doesn’t equate with the most egregious listed above, but it helps to prove my point.)  Or perhaps the one where the people that inhabited this continent first were also slaughtered, rounded up and forced to live on reservations (big word meaning ‘land that noone else wants?’).

When on this earth are we going to learn that we are all the same??  We are all human.  Period.  We may look different.  We may talk differently.  We may think differently.  But take all of those things away and we are the same.  Period.

So then why has it become alright to persecute those we deem to be less than?

Now…and this is extremely important…EXTREMELY IMPORTANT…I, in no way, equate the vandalism of my car with the attempted extermination of the Jewish race or with the abhorrent way in which people of African descent (though, really, if you think about it, don’t we all ultimately hail from Africa?) have been treated through the ages.  Or the Native Americans.  But it is a symptom of the greater problem…that there is an element in our country that belies civility.  There is no civility anymore.  We have lost the ability to engage in civil discourse.  To respect others differing opinions.  To allow others the opportunity to express themselves even if it differs from our beliefs. 

So, again, I ask…what do I tell my innocent, trusting daughter?

That, just like the woman who is assaulted when walking alone in a bad neighborhood after dark and ends up being castigated because she should have known better…I should expect my personal property, in this case my car, to be vandalized because I choose to display my personal beliefs and opinions?

That doesn’t seem like a very good lesson.  That doesn’t seem like a lesson that would empower the leaders of tomorrow.  How can we ever hope to change the trajectory of this nation if we cannot teach our children, the hope of our future, how to be civil with one another?

I’m rambling now because I’m tired.  But more than anything I am heartbroken.  The mad has been replaced with a deep grief.  Grief that instead of reveling in the wonders of this world, in the wonders of us as a human species, our children are growing up learning how to be cynical and jaded, or worse, thinking they have to hide their true beliefs to be safe.

How is that part of the American Dream?  How is that part of what the Founding Fathers had intended for this great nation?

On our recent trip to South Dakota (you know, that whole RV thingy we had going on), I wasn’t sure Gracelyn would get Mount Rushmore.  She is, after all, only 5 1/2 years old.  We haven’t done a lot with United States History yet in our home schooling sojourn.  She’s definitely got the whole American Government thing, but not so much the history.  I was blown away with what it meant to her.  She got it immediately.  Immediately.  And within seconds of us telling her the names of each of the carved presidents, she had picked her favorite.  George Washington.  She immediately saw something in his face that spoke to her.  Without hearing the history of the man, without knowing a thing about him, she knew she liked him from his face. 

That is the trust of a child.  The innocence of a child.  And we, as a nation, are dangerously close to losing it completely.

I will let you know what I decide to tell her.  I have already decided to take the stickers off the car.  I simply cannot take the risk that some lunatic out there would resort to physical violence against myself or the reason for my existence…the reason that we should all have…the blossoming of a child, the hope for the world.

I shall close with my most favorite quote from a phenomenal man, one that I will ponder tonight as I lay awake waiting for sleep to come.  Because somewhere, deep down inside, I simply cannot, I must not, let go of the hope or the dream.

“The work goes on.  The cause endures.  The hope still lives.  And the dream shall never die.”  Edward M Kennedy

About madranchwife

Mother, Mad Ranchwife(as in--at times-- crazy, nutso, loco, off-my-rocker insane), Veterinarian, Physical Therapist, "Liberal, pinko, gay-loving, Subaru-driving Socialist" (as I've been called), proud to be a totally tree-huggin', climate change believin', granola girl environmentalist, ObamaGirl, Pro-Choice (don't even get me started here...), and in my younger days a feminist vegetarian as a result of time spent at CU Boulder (this lasted approximately 14 months, until all the Jimmy Buffett I was listening to caused me to crave a cheeseburger). Now I just get pleasure out of swimming against the stream and ruffling a few feathers here in the wild west state of Wyoming!
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