Friday, November 4, 2011

Don't Know, Don't Show or Don't Care.......



This statement cemented in my mind why Boyz in the Hood became one of my favorite movies. It was said by Doughboy after his brother was shot in a drive by shooting. The movie takes place in Crenshaw, CA. (Unfortunately this movie spawned a genre of movie that was difficult for me to watch...I couldn't do it).

The truthfulness as it related to the character's situation and the depth of that statement sums up what it means to be marginalized. The official definition is to relegate to an unimportant or powerless position within a society or group. There are many groups that are marginalized within our society which leads to a lot of the the isms we hate: racism, feminism, sexism, classism, etc.

The movie did not portray my reality but I know enough people who have lived what the movie portrayed and if it’s someone’s experience then it’s valid.

When I did my MS in Education there was a class where we researched the demographics of poverty in our educational system. The case studies were, to put it mildly, discouraging and one of the great thinkers in the field wondered if it was a conspiracy – that a group of people could be so broken by poverty who happen to be primarily Black or Hispanic, who within the educational system (at that point in time) were ignored.

Recently I met a principal at a charter school in Los Angeles. She lives in AZ, but commutes to LA for her job. One of my co-workers asked her why and she said “Racism.” In her experience, because she was female and Black, even though she had all the credentials she could not advance in her field, until she took this current position.

There’s a strain of poverty that when it intersects with race can leave one hopeless and angry as portrayed in the movie. Racism alone can do that to you, but to combine it with poverty or gender can sometimes make one hopeless or do things you normally wouldn't do.

This is why the Bible offers great hope; there’s more to life than this life. Some of us may have material wealth and some of us are scraping to make it from day to day; some of us may have perfect children and some we wonder “Did this child come from me?” Some of us are healthy and some of us are so sick we don’t know if the next breath is our last. Some of us skate through life, and others it seems as if there is always a trial because of our skin color. Life is complicated.

Hope from the Bible
Psalms 9:18 – But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.

Psalms 25:5 – Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Psalms 42:5,11 43:5 – Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalms 62:5 – Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.

Psalms 130:7 – … put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.

Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Hebrews 10:23 – Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.


I can only get through whatever unfolds in this life because I believe in God. It has been said within every human there is a God shaped void. Let God fill the void and don't become weighed down by racism or any other ism.

Have you ever felt marginalized? How did you deal with it? At what cost racism, or any other ism?

PS - I'm not oversimplifying racism, I know it exists in many forms. I don't believe in the post racial idea - until we get to heaven we'll always be dealing with our differences, race included.


6 comments:

  1. It is a shame that discrimination on all levels still exist. I just don't understand it, just imagine if everyone just got to know a person before they tried to pass judgement.

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  2. Sometimes hope in God is what gets me by too! And I so agree with the compounding issues some of us face that takes our hope away but knowing our real purpose brings peace to our hearts and minds indeed regardless of what goes on in the world! Thanks for this beautiful post!

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  3. I liked your line, "If it's someone's experience, then it's valid." So true! Many who do not understand something, try to blow it off and say it's not real. Well, it is to the person experiencing it! And as your commenter above said, wouldn't it be lovely if we all tried to get to know a person before passing judgment? I'm afraid only we will experience this in our new home to come. But, we can all make a difference in our own little part of this world by loving those around us, getting to know who God puts in our path.
    This was a great post!
    Blessings to you~

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  4. thanks for your comment

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