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I Wanted

I wanted to write about something that’s been on my mind a lot recently. I wanted to write about race. I wanted to convey sentiments that I’m newly discovering. I wanted, I want, I want. I want so much lately, and get so little. I am a sponge. I want to absorb, absorb, absorb. I could very well explode with the knowledge that I’ll never read all the books, watch all the movies, look at all the paintings, see all the plays, and hear every piece of music I want to. I am overwhelmed with the largeness of life sometimes. But life’s largeness is not what’s been on my mind tonight.

I’ve been having very strong emotions about history. I cannot express them. I seem to live in constant surprise and confusion, because in the realm of race issues, I am generally ignorant. Not ignorant of history, not ignorant of fact, and not wholly ignorant of experiences. Just ignorant of human nature, I guess in a way. I forget how differently other people think, because (and I know it sounds a bit naïve) it just wasn’t ever an issue in our home while we were growing up. We were, to be fair, rather isolated. Not from other races, but racist people, I guess. Anyone we didn't want to be around, we lived far enough from people, we could just avoid anyone who treated people in ways we didn't agree with. I mean, I’m not saying my family is/was perfect. We have/had plenty of problems, but racism was never something we dealt with at home.

Even today, I don’t think of race issues unless someone else brings it up. Culture, I would argue has a bigger presence in my life than race does.

I do not agree with everything I see in front of me, but I’ve never let it keep me up nights either.

Is that even worse somehow? Or is that the ideal? Not to consider a person’s race, just consider people?

It’s like the more you know historically, the more you don’t want to know, but you need to know and to remember or else there’s the risk of history repeating itself.

I was watching a documentary recently, called “Freedom Riders” (Which I HIGHLY recommend by the way http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8CAKAXR-AM). I think about how hatred and the Civil Rights Movement blows my mind, then I think: if it blows my mind what must kids younger than I am think? Are they even able to take in that kind of history? When it comes down to it, am I?

Embarrassingly, I tend to cry (A lot) when I ingest certain bits of history. Mostly, anything related to The Civil Rights and The Holocaust. It’s not that I’m so sad, and I do get sad, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that the unfamiliar shock of well, hatred I guess can be so intense for me. I can’t really do anything but cry. Essentially, it’s cry, or explode. Not much of an in-between.

That’s the second time I’ve mentioned exploding, but I don’t know how to explain the feeling in any other way.

There is a place in our heads I am sure of it, where we file away the most disgusting aspects of humanity and intentionally forget about it. The Holocaust for example, if we thought of it with any kind of regularity and were able to process what happened, we wouldn’t even be able to function. Or we shouldn’t be able to function…or something.

*sigh* I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore.

I wanted to be so much more clear and expressive when I decided to write today. I wanted to be fluent and feel satisfied at the end. I wanted, I wanted, I wanted. I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished any of those things, but at least I don’t feel quite like exploding or crying (not right now anyway).