The Ignorant White Man.

Man with his head in the sand.
The Ignorant White Man

The definition according to the Cambridge Dictionary of Ignorant; not having enough knowledge, understanding, or information about something.

With that in mind, let’s move on. I was an ignorant white man for most of my life. Studying history at university and then teaching to the young minds of America, I thought I had a grasp on what reality was. I wasn’t prejudiced against anyone. I didn’t consider myself racist either, nor sexist. Not a bigot, or homophobic.

Thus, I was ignorant. I was all of them.

No, I was not them intentionally, nor are the vast majority of the white men of the world, and America specifically as a subject here. We were born into it. We were born into ignorance, racism, sexism, and so forth. Why? How? Because most of our parents were. Our country has been born into it for decades if not centuries.

In the coming weeks I plan to share some specifics about certain topics I’ve been exploring as I examine who I am, but for today I want to share this; white man America either doesn’t realize or chooses not to recognize, that things have been built in this nation from day one with White Man Privilege in mind, which in just a few generations became White Man Ignorance. Our nation has oppressed first the woman, then the Native American, and then the African. This is why people say racism is Institutionalized in America, it’s part of the framework.

As generations come and go they fall further down the hole of ignorance until we reach today. Today we Ignorant White Americans say let things be equal, but we, the majority, do not actively do anything to make a change, or we say things are already equally available to all and thus we show our ignorance by thinking equality is a reality.

Many years ago, Atlanta was home to something called Freaknik. It was like the Spring Break for young Blacks. Man did they go wild, just like the young people did at the beaches around the country, but were less reported on. There were news reports of cars being stolen, other thefts, attacks, and even defecating in people’s yards. I, however, did not let this deter me from attending the Atlanta Braves baseball game that I had tickets for. This was during their dominating years. (Sigh, those were the days.)

There I was, on the bus that was returning fans from Fulton County Stadium to the MARTA train station. All of us blissfully Ignorant White Americans, and one young black man. The bus was surrounded by Freaknik partiers. But you know what? I didn’t feel afraid. Not one ounce of fear came over me, even with some of the threatening gestures made toward us and the words shouted about us. I looked at the young man and he looked afraid but at the same time he was shaking his head at what was going on outside the bus.

Thinking back on that moment now, I reversed it all. What if that was an all-white crowd going crazy and that bus was full of Black Americans? Do you think they would not have had an ounce of fear? I can’t bring myself to think that. For one thing, we’re in Atlanta and the South in America still has that reputation from all those years of slavery and then the KKK during the Civil Rights Movement. So, I get it. (More on the truth of racism in the South and the US another time.)

The first step to shaking off your ignorance, and I am looking at you White Man, and yes, you too White Woman, is to realize equality does not exist outside of being a white man. And don’t begin to talk about affirmative action. What some companies consider a token position here and there just to avoid a law suit or to look good to others does not make a change, nor does a half white/half black President without the support of his Congress.

It’s time for each person to examine their own lives as well as the society they live in, wherever they live, and come to the truth. The Ignorant White Man might then be able to understand why Black Lives Matter is such a powerful and needed movement and why the #MeToo one is as well. But there is also an opportunity for the other side to realize the Ignorant White Man does need to learn, needs to realize the truth, but has a lifetime of ignorance to overcome. It all takes time, but as long as we move forward, always, then we are moving in the right direction.

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Paul and Don’t Judge the Non Christians.

Yesterday I wrote a somewhat controversial article. Reactions have varied but I have found them to be of the expected so far as of the writing of this article. I removed the article because I decided I don’t think it quite got my message across the way I wanted to and it has affected me a bit. Now after some thought I decided to put it back up. I figure, my blog, my thoughts, so why not? 🙂

Thus, I am taking my time for my Sunday Thought to make some things clear to Non Christians and Christians alike. Because I think both need to understand something that has not been emphasized enough in churches and the public domain.

1 Corinthians 5 NIV
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”~Paul to the Corinthians

The only people Christians are to hold accountable to New Testament teachings are other Christians. Paul’s verses above followed a section where he had to explain something.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. (Purple text refers to a fellow Christian.)

Don’t get these verses wrong. Not associating comes a long time after Christians attempt to help the fellow Christian to see what they are doing and get back on track. It’s not like, oooo we caught you at something and now you are to be gone from us you bad boy you.

Now, don’t get me wrong about not judging Non Christians, that doesn’t mean a Christian should say, “Hey, that’s awesome,” when seeing something that is against our faith.

Just like Non Christians may say, “It’s fine for Christians to believe what they want, but don’t expect me to applaud what they believe.”

A commenter mentioned it was offensive for Christians to proselytize and tell people they are wrong and bad. I think Christians understand the feeling when we are told we are wrong and bad daily in the media and by our government.

And please, don’t confuse Jehovah ‘s Witnesses’ dogmatic ways of Saturday morning door-to-door knocking and telling you that you are wrong with how Christians are supposed to do it. They even tell Christians they are wrong. Most of my family are Jehovah’s Witnesses so I get it. They and I have had some interesting talks in the past.

I taught my youth group to simply listen to people and if a reason came up to share their faith then do so, otherwise don’t. Forcing never works.

But back to the verses mentioned. Paul had a great way of bringing the focus of the early Christians back to where they belonged. Whenever the early church began whining about everyone else, he always said don’t worry about them right now, worry about yourself and the church first.

Romans Chapter 1 is one of the most misrepresented chapters in the Bible. Why? Because a letter was divided into chapters. Paul talks about what certain things are sins in Chapter 1, then in Chapter 2 he points out that the church members are doing those things so shut up and take care of yourselves instead of yelling about others. But because of the Chapter break people tend to study that first Chapter as a separate piece instead of looking at the whole.

Romans 2:1 NIV
1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.~Paul to the church in Rome

Gotta love it, right? Paul sure had a way with words. So Christians, the next time you begin to judge a Non Christian by our Christian standards, think about these verses in this article today. 

For Non Christians I hope there is an understanding that the majority of Christians don’t have problems with anyone. In fact our very faith teaches us to love everyone, no matter who or what they are. Sometimes Christians forget that part, I think it’s partly because it’s not taught enough or mentioned enough in the churches. And I hope people understand that more and more Christians are being told they are bad and wrong as a whole because of a vocal minority that gets the attention and brings negativity to us.

In closing I will say this, do not tell me I cannot speak my my beliefs. I don’t ridicule others, and I expect the same in return. Learn the difference between hate speech and a belief. I may say something is a sin but it does not mean I hate someone who does that sin. You shoplift, you are  a thief, you have stolen, you have sinned. I tell you that you have sinned. That is not hate speech. Oh, sorry, the government says it’s bad, so I guess I am covered…for now.

Much Love, Success, and Respect

Ronovan

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5 Ways to Connect with Your Children #1000Speak

Connecting with people is something you have to work at. Okay, so it comes naturally for some people. This article is being written with the 1000 voices speak for compassioncurrent 1000 Voices for Compassion theme of Connection in mind. Oddly it goes along with something I’ve been thinking of for some time now and carries over from something I wrote previously in my Let your Kids be them and not you.

I’m not a strong connector these days, and haven’t been for the past couple of years. I was prior to that but now I am more of a recluse. That being said, there are people you can’t and shouldn’t be a recluse from—Your Children.

I look at a lot of problems today and I personally believe a lot of them could have been prevented if a good and healthy connection had been established and maintained between the parent and child. Notice I said a “good and healthy” connection.

My son goes to school before I get up in the mornings. Often times I am asleep when he comes home. Chronic Fatigue is part of my Fibromyalgia so I really have no control over when I will drop off and sleeping problems mess things up as well. Thus, when I am with my son I need to make certain there is that connection. It may be only a look or a couple of words but there needs to be something positive and building going on.

5 Ways Parents Connect To Their Children

  1. Be Less Self: I know you don’t think of yourself as begin selfish but when you consider that very often you are molding your child to be what you want them to be instead of what they should be, you are being selfish. This is in regards to utilization of talents and intellect. We should all try to mold our children into being good people, so don’t even think about going off on me about that.
  2. Listen: Children like to talk, IF they have parents that like to listen. You may not like to listen—Pretend. Listen to your child and respond to them. Acknowledge you have heard what they said. Your child will grow in confidence, social abilities and even vocabulary.
  3. Be Aware: Paying attention to your child will give you ideas and clues about their likes, dislikes, desires, goals, wishes. You will see where they thrive. I know my son. From the time he could stand and throw a ball, and I mean literally just that, he could throw a strike down the hallway to me. I knew then that baseball would be the sport he would thrive at. Did I push him to it? No. I personally wanted him to play football, but through the years I changed my mind. Knowing my son, I see that he likes to know what his assignment is, do his assigned task and still be a part of a team. Also he is not a very aggressive type physically. Football is out. Basketball? He’s tried it and it is mayhem at his age because other kids don’t do their assigned tasks on the team. But baseball? He is the starting outfielder his first year playing. I mean that as in they put him where they know a team hits to most. He is also the clean-up hitter. That means he is their power hitter. His first year playing. I also can pick out a book I know he will like. Why? Because he is like me and I’ve noticed it. He likes non-fiction books and will be watching a documentary on public television he turned to.
  4. Patient: Here is a big one. Patience is a hard thing to be at times. But if you are a screamer, a yeller, you will not connect with your child. And if you are a physical punisher to a bit of the extreme, you will definitely not connect. I know that one personally. Kids do dumb things at times. You will think your kid is mature one moment and then do something completely their age the next and it will make you so mad. Just remember their age and take deep breaths and count to a million.
  5. Affectionate: Here is another tough one, especially for a lot of men. Hug your child, no matter their age. Why? So you can teach them hugging and being affectionate is normal and a hug is a sign of love. Left on their own and without a role model, they will turn elsewhere. Hugging will turn into something not simply meant as a sign of love and affection for someone. Also words are signs of affection. Tell your child you love them. Tell them you are proud of them for random things. Or maybe say “That was awesome” to something random. Don’t reserve those words for good grades or athletic achievements.

Connecting with your child teaches them to connect with others and that takes care of a lot of things out there. You may not realize it but they are learning all those things you are doing, each of those five things I mentioned above, simply by observing what you are doing. They know you are listening, they know you are being patient.

By modeling for them these characteristics we are helping the future.

Duke-Tip-Award

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

 

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Diane and Jack: Hater Hate?

diane-and-jack-diddy

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The Importance of Being You.

We are all different. A bit of an obvious statement but in parts of the world being different isn’t accepted, expected, or tolerated in the slightest. If we were all meant to be the same it would be a very boring and no-point-in-free-will world. improtance-being-you

Each of us is meant to give something to the world as a whole. No, that doesn’t mean I am going to go and invent something that will save the universe from the attack of the space amoebas. (Do I get nerd points for spelling that right the first time?)

However, I may be the person that influences the person that does invent that something. We look at ourselves at times and since we are different from the norm we sometimes turn ourselves into the ultimate anti-norm we can, feeling that is what we are supposed to be. It is our badge of honor somehow. It pushes us away from society and love and friends and happiness. Perhaps being alone is your happiness, perhaps it’s your norm. But I don’t think complete and total alone-ness is anyone’s norm.

Yes, society is part of the problem of our lack of acceptance of who we are. You may be a lover of punk rock with Goth influences and love watching Harry Potter while eating cotton candy. And you read Fifty Shades to discover how not to write a book for quality but for sensationalist salesmanship of secret desires you would like to explore but are ashamed to admit. If you admit all of that, people will look at you strangely and that look influences you without you even realizing at times.

But there is something you are missing. You are important as you. If you like to wear Polo shirts and khaki pants plus do all those things above then do it. Why, because that’s you. You are your norm. The only norm in the universe is what people are meant to be. Not what a society expects people to be.

The importance of being you is that you are meant to influence something in this world for something good. This isn’t to say you are to intentionally go about seeking out what that is. Just. Be. You. As a teacher I know of what I speak. There may be something I said that made an impact in a student’s life that then brought about something in them that then led to something in another and so on.

The power of positivity in life is an expanding phenomenon. It’s a building block on top of another and another and another leading to something. One harsh word, one sarcastic barb, one insensitive comment at the wrong time and you, yes you, may push a person over a line. What is that line? Perhaps it is not going to college, not getting a job, committing suicide . . . not asking for help . . . not asking for help again.

Whatever you are, that’s the line you should take without embarrassment or shame or feeling awkward. The ultimate expression of love—to me—would be to be you and not an imitator or fake. Truth is love. Therefore, you being who you are is love and that is so important in this world. Once you realize it’s okay to be you, it’s the norm to be you, then you recognize and accept it’s okay and the norm for other people to be themselves is okay as well.

The norm is in each form.

 For my first post in my BeWoW series click Get Positive: Sorting Your Life’s Junk.

I thought I would add a little mention after a reader thought of the above article. Do not think that if your norm is to be a murderer or child molester is something that would be considered positive on the world. The I idea someone might consider those lines of behavior as norms of positivity that I would think of never occurred to me and thus never entered the original article above.

As a follow up to this post I wrote Encouragement as a Norm not an Exception the very next day.

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