If I had a penny for every time I heard someone say that I would be filthy rich. The statement is true. But what if we changed that statement by adding something to it? What if we tacked on something meaningful at the end of it? Let’s just change the whole damn thing!
Hi. My name is Leah. While I am southern born and not responsible for my ancestors choices, I AM responsible for making a positive change in my community so long as I walk this earth. Doesn’t that sound SO much better?
Just because my ancestors were ignorant doesn’t mean I have to be. I owe a debt of gratitude to my mother for choosing NOT to carry on family traditions. It was not an easy choice for her because of the hell her family gave her. It was however, the only choice she could live with.
My mom had one of the worst childhoods you could imagine. There was one bright spot in an otherwise bleak life. Her name was Bertha. Bertha was the family’s “black” maid. She provided the only arms my mother felt loved in or safe in. I think my mother would have committed suicide before 18 if she hadn’t had Bertha. She loved my mother without strings or expectations. She loved my mother just because. Just because she did. I probably wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for that wonderful woman. My mother might not have been so quick to turn against her family’s beliefs if it weren’t for Bertha’s love. I thank God for putting Bertha in my mom’s life.
I guess my grandmother was too good to do her own cooking and cleaning. Instead, she hired Bertha to do those chores that were beneath her. If you fear and hate a particular race, why in the world would you hire them to work in your home? I have never been able to understand that choice. In the end, it would be the greatest decision my grandmother ever made. In my opinion, anyway.
Just how deep did that fear run? Bertha had her own plate, bowl, silverware, glass and coffee cup. Again, I don’t understand. If you are frightened that this woman is harboring some secret disease, why bring her into your home? I will never understand.
My mother ate many meals with this nurturing woman. The only adult that actually cared about my mom’s thoughts, opinions and feelings. My mom was 12 and 13 years younger than her sisters. She wasn’t really welcome at their dinner table. Bertha welcomed mom with loving arms and a joyful smile. Bertha didn’t see skin color. She saw a child that she loved. No more. No less. What if we could all be like Bertha? What a wonderful world it would be!
Instead of walking around with your head held high and accepting no responsibility, why don’t you get off your tiptoes and accept that change is indeed your responsibility?
One more thing. If ever there were a flag that needed to be burnt, it is the rebel flag! I am so sick of hearing people talk about it being their heritage. Please. I bet 95% of the people that say that have no idea who created that flag or what he said about it. The only thing you are saying by waiving that monstrosity is that you are an ignorant white person and you are better than ever other race out there. If you really think God created all of us but only the white folks are any good, then you will most likely rot in hell!
A big thanks to my mom for teaching me about love and acceptance rather than fear and hate. Bertha, you were gone before my time but I pray that someday I will get to hug your neck and thank you in person. You were a much needed role model and hero to a tormented little girl.