Recently my neighborhood has experienced an increase in brutal muggings.

Apparently, the same gang have been spotted over and over again, terrorizing the unfortunate locals they prey upon.

I was quite worried and asked for a description of these people while chatting to other neighbors the other day.

Here is what struck me: none of them thought it was appropriate to tell me what the gang actually looked like as that would be offensive and possibly racist (depending on what they actually do look like).

They were described as “obvious when you see them.”

I have been wondering since then, if our need to be ”one of the good guys” is actually blinding us.

Are we sacrificing our rights to express what is obvious for fear of standing on our own?

How Do We Choose?

A couple of years ago I was attacked on the tube by a gang of youths very early in the morning.

As they poured an entire bottle of alcohol all over me and pulled my hair, none of the other fellow passengers in a packed tube carriage came to my aid.

The attack went long enough for me to realize two things:

  1. People chose to stay out of it because colour and race were involved.

The train eventually stopped and the police arrived.

It was only then that some of the passengers expressed their reason for not getting involved.

Apparently, things always “get nasty” when colour & race.

“Are you alright, love?” – I remember a woman asking me.

I just stood there, in a carriage full of strangers who left another human being in harm’s way cause she happened to be the wrong colour.

2.While those kids were kicking me, I quickly saw how I had enough rage in me to react and hurt them all.

My urge to be physically violent towards the attackers was both new and eye opening.

When a woman is aware of the anger she is feeling, of its scale and force, she can use it to create or destroy.

I chose to stay still, while the attack carried on.

In that moment I saw how my strong emotions were not mine.

I was tuning into something way bigger than me, dark & very old.

I suddenly felt the rage, desperation, humiliation of the world.

Of those on that carriage and the ones who came before my time.

And at that moment I knew with all my being that, had I reacted to those kids, I’d have kept that old story alive.

The story that turns us all into victims & perpetrators.

The police finally turned up & complimented me on my nerve & composure, ”cause apparently racial attacks never end up well.”

“Yes, yes I get it….I have heard that once or twice already” – I felt like saying to them. But I also felt like adding that it never occurred to me that there was another colour involved in that carriage.

I only saw three very broken & lost young people, who could not choose better in that moment.

Moral Bullying

I have decided to openly share this today, because I have felt lately that we can no longer be authentic and honest.

I know some of you may be sharing my same feeling.

Unless our opinions conform with what most people believe, they will be considered offensive and unacceptable.

In our need to belong and fit in, we are sacrificing our ability to stand on our own and let others do the same.

Most of all, we are sacrificing our ability to listen from the wisdom of our heart and not our beliefs.

We act like proud paladins declaring war on injustice & discrimination; we are actually turning into little bullies terrorizing and belittling the ones who are different from us.

And bullies never go on their own, but always feel the need to be surrounded by those like them.

Our good intentions are slowly being swept away by righteousness and moral arrogance.

This year I have not been a clapper, or a “knee bender.”

It has been my choice and it does not make me any less of a person than someone who’s been clapping every week or bent on their knee in sign of a protest.

It certainly does not mean I care less about our world.

Writing A New Story

People are often accused of “spiritual bypassing”, to which I always say that not all warriors need a sword.

Perhaps they have chosen to stand aside and let others process what they must, because they have touched with their hands the sorrow and heartbreak to be victimized.

Not once, but many times.

They have come so close to the hatred and hopelessness stemming from victim-hood, that they made it their path to move beyond this.

And show others a new way.

Perhaps the ones who have chosen to remain silent have done so to start writing a new story for the world.

A world where each one of us can stand tall within our story, knowing that the story of one is the story of all.

And it’s only when we let go of it, that we can see through our colour, race & culture.

Only then, we shall be able to see our humanness before the rest.

I have read somewhere that apparently the game of chess is now considered racist as white moves first.

It’s been hard not to laugh at the ridiculousness of this unfortunate statement. It was only last week that my husband was trying to teach me how to play.

Because it’s a fun and relaxing game, and it expands the mind.

Mostly, because if we stopped feeling offended and outraged by the very air we breathe, we’d really start writing the greatest story of all.

And so it is,

Antonia Lyons

 

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