Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Thursday, December 5, 2013

8-25-13 RMB The Butler

8-25-13 RMB The Butler
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
On a Sunday evening I joined a friend and my sister for an evening out at the movie theater. The Butler played on the big screen. I expected something lighter, something that focused on the white house and a man that worked there several years, a true story. That was all I knew about the movie.
It wasn’t about the white house, nor one man who worked there. It was about a generation of people that fought with words and fists and even silence to make our country better for everyone, for every one.
It was about the roles we play, how they affect our loved ones and how they affect our nation.
As I watched the movie, I watched it from two perspectives. From my own, a white California girl who, although warned about mixing company inappropriately, had never experienced rampant discrimination.  And I put myself in my friend’s seat, someone that had lived it, the decade or so between us and the shades of our skin, making that much of a difference in our life experience.
Movies like this are important…to remind us…to move the hearts of generations that would not otherwise feel the experience. Tears aren’t shed over history books, but in that theater, that night, tears fell.
I walked away with a stronger resolve. To do exactly what, I don’t know. To write RMB letters? To be a better, stronger, louder voice for the greater good?
As a nation we fought for equal rights, equal rights regardless of gender or color, neither of which can be hid, although some may try and a few do succeed…think of the women that fought as men in the civil war, as you pointed out in High Hearts.
Now, as a nation, we fight state by state for marriage rights for all. As Macklemore sings in Same Love, "A certificate on paper isn’t going to change it all, but it’s a damn good place to start.” Some stand on their God soapbox, not brave enough or wise enough or strong enough to speak for themselves and from their own heart. Those are angry words coming from me, perhaps even hypocritical because I am someone who depends so on guidance from unseen forces.
Maybe that is why it angers me that some use that source to enforce prejudice, because I have drank from that well and tasted kindness, not prejudice. Yet, as their words preach love, their actions promote selfishness, ignorance…treachery.
We can clearly see that equality among black and white, male and female was the right thing to do. How can other forms of equality be so hard to grasp to so many. When will we stop killing each other…and ourselves…over our differences in religion, brand of love, nationality, skin color?
Mixing causes, the variations of equality, some say they are vastly different, that Martin Luther King marched for “his” people, not “those people”. As I told my brave niece, “whenever you defend anyone against prejudice, you are defending everyone against prejudice.”
The greater good is all encompassing,

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