Monday, March 10, 2014

An Apology

I need to apologize. 

In my last post, An Open Letter to Matt Walsh, I made an assumption. Nevermind that I simply parroted an assumption that Matt made first. 

I wrote:

It is very probable that if a business refused to serve someone who is gay or someone based on their color, word would spread and that business wouldn't last long. 

I fully believed that to be true when I wrote it. It seemed ludicrous to me to think otherwise. In my very straight, very white world I believe the best of people because I've never experienced anything different. 

My reasoning was as follows:

I would stand up for someone who was mistreated based on skin color or sexual identity, therefore everyone would. 

I have seen black people and gay people treated fairly, therefore they are always treated fairly. 

It wasn't until someone commented on my post and used my faulty logic back on me that my eyes were opened to what I had done. 

There are some you tube videos of diners standing up for an autistic child. It was an experiment done. The answers may surprise you, but public sentiment may actually be on the side of the disabled.

I scoffed when I read it. "Oh, a you tube video? Well there's proof right there against the myth of discrimination! Let's completely disregard the experiences of people who are actually living it, and throw out the law."

This person assumed that public sentiment might actually be on the side of the disabled because of something they saw. They have no idea what it is like to live with disability, day in and day out. 

And then it hit me.

I have no idea what life is like in someone else's shoes, either. 

My assumption was based on the idea that discrimination against certain groups is so frowned upon by the general public that it doesn't actually happen that much anymore. 

Yeah, I know. (Did I mention my world is very straight and very white?) 

I cannot pretend to know that a business owner would be shut down for discriminating against a gay person or someone of color. I cannot pretend to know anything, really, about either group because I don't live it. 

These are shoes in which I have not walked. 

So, I apologize for my assumptions. I'm sorry I presented them as fact. 

Feel free to comment and share your experiences. Let me try on your shoes, if only for a moment. 

4 comments:

  1. Great points Tara! I also try to withhold judgment from the business owners who may have felt led by the Lord to not participate in a gay wedding by providing the cake. How can I say God Himself did not ask them to do that? How do I know whether they may have been willing to do all the birthday parties and other occasions but felt a specific conviction in this instance? Always being challenged by my narrow perspective . . .

    Wendy Schindler

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    1. What if God told a business owner who feels lead by God to withhold service from a person with a disability? Is that a "specific conviction" that the law must respect?

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    2. Is homosexuality a disability?

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  2. “Every black mother lives in fear of deadly trouble befalling her young sons, whether she lives in the New York City governor's mansion or the Brooklyn projects. The other day on Facebook, I saw my brother-in-law counsel his 24-year-old son, who had overheard a white man reviling blacks and Mexicans in a bar, to ignore such talk for his own safety. My sister had the requisite talk with her three young sons about being polite and respectful to police officers when they are pulled over for traffic stops.” http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2014/march/our-brothers-keepers-brokenhearted-black-woman-speaks-out.html

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