I just haven’t been wanting to be around people much lately.
I think I have given up on people this week.
There was this viral story that made it’s way across my feed this week about a group of women who didn’t know each other at an airport who teamed up to help another woman crying because her toddler was having a crazy tantrum and not boarding the plane. And everyone was sharing it out, “Oh! See! There’s good in the world!” and normally I would be sobbing while just emitting love of women into the universe for seeing a Mom in need and stepping up.
But that was NOT my reaction. And I realized in that moment: I’m becoming bitter. Because, I read it and just thought, Yeah, but if this had been a black woman whose toddler had been having a meltdown at Wal-Mart those same women would have just judged her and blamed parents like her for the discipline problems in our schools today.
This has not been a good week (or two) for me and people, I guess you could say.
Between attending a forum discussing youth criminal justice reform, attending a community meeting about desegregation in our schools, and the news about SNAP benefits being cut, I have been privy to at LEAST a dozen people saying things like, “The problem starts in the home. If these people would just raise their kids to be good and respectful we would not have these problems.” I MEAN THIS WAS ALL IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS.
So now, I think I’m becoming jaded. I’m seeing that if poor black or brown children are causing problems in schools, then we have no desire to gather around as a community to see what we can do to help. If children commit crimes and get punished as adults, stripping their futures away in a single decision in a courtroom, we blame their absent fathers and do not consider it our responsibility to remember they are still children. If SNAP benefits change to preselected items, making it harder to feed picky children, the parents just have to suck it up and maybe they’ll be motivated to improve their lives to have more food choice for their children.
But if a mother is traveling with her toddler who is throwing a tantrum at an airport, suddenly we want to be the silent tribe of support for a mother in need.
I don’t know. Y’all? This week has sucked. It has made me (hopefully temporarily) bitter and jaded. I’ve gotten the ultimate of ego blows in my professional life, I still have a family member who has blocked me on Facebook (WHY DO I KEEP CHECKING TO SEE IF SHE HAS UNDONE IT?), I got stupid-defense about poverty shaming and caused some unnecessary drama, and then…THEN…I accidentally read this comment on a news site.
IT WAS AN ACCIDENT, it was the first comment below the article! I was just scrolling to the end of the article!
This was all part of why I decided to take a break from social media this week too. I need to figure out how to check events on Facebook without checking EVERYTHING ELSE. I also need to figure out how to quit having bitter responses to stories of beautiful moments of support. Hopefully this is just a bad week and my loving sobbing at stories like that will return to drown out the bitterness, BUT NOT THIS WEEK, Y’ALL. Not this week.