Encouraging differences or encouraging divisiveness?

I just watched what I presumed to be a lesson learned by a student about encouraging people to embrace their differences.

Instead, it was the promotion of teaching kids to “sit down, shut up, and listen“; instead of standing up for what you believe in.

Around mark 8:20 is where I learned the most. Several students tried to demonstrate their point of view. Instead, it became pushing what the instructor believed onto everyone else as the main focus and exposing her divisiveness.

This goes back to the BIGGEST problem in education (don’t get me started)- not being allowed to be different and think differently.
Not being able to be YOU.

I had a black friend in grade school. I bring this up not to say, “Woo hoo, aren’t you anti-racist?!”, but to make this point:

I HAD NO IDEA SHE WAS BLACK. Sounds naïve; huh? Yep, I was. She was my friend. That’s all I knew.

Did I realize later she was black? Sure, but it was too late to be racially prejudiced against her- we were already friends. Sorry, too late to encourage me to feel sorry for her struggle. I will never understand her struggle. I never saw/felt her struggle. I didn’t contribute to her “struggle” (if she even had one). I’ve got enough of my own to worry about.

I’m not downplaying people who are racist, bigoted, anti-establishment, gay, straight, black women, white men, short, fat, free-thinkers, homeschoolers, rich, Walmart employees, Cowboys fans, Chevy owners, race car viewers, craft people, heck, that’s what makes us ALL DIFFERENT.

You know what? That’s a good thing.

I’m sick to death of egalitarianism. I’m sick to death of people wanting to make us all alike. I don’t want to be like you and you shouldn’t want to be like me.

I’m sick to death of “fitting in” and people who want us to fit in. We don’t, we won’t EVER fit in. We need to be ourselves.
Take it or leave it.

Like us or hate us. Just don’t abuse us. Don’t try to encourage us to examine differences because THAT’S what divides us. Stop telling people they’re black, stop pointing out that he’s gay, stop saying that she’s the one who doesn’t eat tofu. Who cares? Stop pointing out differences and no one will notice. They’ll embrace us…as people.

If being a Steelers fan is too much for you to handle and you can’t get past it- guess what? Buh-bye, I won’t miss you.

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If you don’t like my team; don’t talk football and we can still be friends. If not, better luck somewhere else.

Leave us alone or be our friends.

Get to know us and see what’s wonderful about us.

Or not.

It’s YOUR loss if you don’t.

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