Wednesday, September 21, 2016


I don't have the right
... to be considered one of you.
... in the Court of Personal Opinions, to be innocent until proven guilty.
... to be thought of as unintimidating.
... for my accomplishments to be ascribed to merit, rather than to Affirmative Action.
... to be viewed as an individual; for the content of my character to be judged based on my words and deeds, and not those of the many millions of people who you may find bear some resemblance to me.
... to be welcome in places that people would prefer were enclaves of homogeneity.
... to be seen as upstanding and law abiding.
... to be free of the fears, resentments and prejudices of those around me.

All of these things, and many more, are not birthrights. Instead they are gifts, things that are best when they are freely given and willingly shared with those that one wishes to have them. I recognize this, and when people grant me a gift I treasure it, and do my best to be worthy of it, and to reciprocate with gifts of my own.

I also realize that this means something else.

You don't have the right.
... to be considered just, impartial and a fair dealer.
... to be seen as brave.
... to be credited with a regard for the freedoms of others.
... to be viewed as exceptional, when compared to everyone else on Earth.

Those things are also gifts. And they are given, or withheld, as people choose. I understand the desire to demand them. I spend a number of years learning to free myself from it. But they are not owed to you, any more than they are owed to me.

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