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  • Michelle Lowe-Sterba

Be a Voice

It has been a hot minute since I have blogged. I don't know if this is a blog or a place to bare my soul. I have so many topics I want to write about but 2020 has got me in a spot. A spot where I feel like I complain all the time. And I do. A lot. This pandemic is killing my vibe. But it has opened my eyes. I see a lot of things more clearly and people I thought I knew are not what I believed them to be. I need to say that there are people that I have not cut out of my life that do have some of the "problems" I talk about here. But, they are people that allow me to voice my opinion to them. They listen. And some, I am leaving the decision to walk away up to the other individual. If it is too hard for you to hear what I say, the issue is yours. Everyone has a right to an opinion. But basic human decency is not an opinion.


These people I thought I knew are unconscious racists, bigots, and homophobic. Some are actually raising the next generation to feel and believe the way that they do. I am embarrassed that I was so oblivious. Ignorance is bliss. But it is not an excuse. We accept what is easy. It is easier to ignore or be oblivious. I am a little slow at seeing the bad in some people. They hide behind being a "Christian" or "Good Mom" or even "friends". And possibly some family. What is a struggle for me is navigating and figuring out what I can accept and what I can not?


Realizing these things about the people in my life has put me in a position of doing a lot of soul searching. What part do I want them to play in my life? What part do I want to play in theirs...if any? How many and who am I willing to lose? Can I love them through it? Do I want to? Can I just be the voice that screams loud and advocates for the underdog?


I look at the family my husband and I have and I KNOW, I will lose almost anyone to protect the rights of my kids. And I have this fight in me that wants to fight for everyone else that feels lost, or not seen or heard. I want to fight for people of color who struggle every day. I want to fight for the rest of us to see our privilege and be willing to make the necessary changes. It feels like a losing battle. Every. Single. Day.


All my kids are beautiful young women. A melting pot of sass, love, life, feminism, LGBTQ+, artistic, hetero, loving, funny, accepting, beautiful women. I know I will take on anyone who does not see the obstacles they have. I will take on anyone that doesn't believe they are entitled to all the same rights as everyone else. I will take on anyone who does not see that they have to worry all the time about being treated equally or worry about their freedoms. And I will most certainly take on anyone who is a threat to those freedoms. And in that process, I will be that voice that is screaming as loud as I can for others. I won't sit down. I won't shut up. I won't back down. And if that has me losing people who do not want to hear what I have to say, so be it. I am leaving it in their hands to cut the ties. They can either deal with hearing me or see their way out of my life.


It is hard not to get tied up in the politics of it all. But it should be less about politics and more about just being accepting of people and acknowledging and understanding of privilege. Human decency is alarmingly missing in so many people.


The question is why? Why? When these same people are accepting of lies. Lies after lies. They are accepting of misogyny. They are accepting of bullying and tearing families apart. They worry about things that literally have zero bearing on their everyday life. I can not wrap my head around being so ugly on the inside and not even realizing it.


I get that these same people will say all of this is just my opinion or my own take on what I see and hear. But the truth of the matter is, if you say something derogatory about any human, YOU are the problem. If you are accepting of the type of people who spew hate, misogyny, or outright lies that affect other people's ability to live, you are the problem. Each of us needs to take a good hard look at our lives, beliefs, and who we support. Stop bitching about fake news and do some real research. Stop accepting bad behavior. Stop allowing leaders a platform to belittle women, POC, LGBTQ+, immigrants, people with disabilities...I mean the list goes on. Just stop. Educate your self on and learn about privilege and unconscious bias. Accept that you have privilege and these other humans do not on your level or at all. Accept that this is wrong in so many ways. And if you are a woman and support this other crap, do some research. You have lost a job because of your gender. You have been paid less because of your gender. You have been passed over for that promotion because you are a mom. If you are a white man, sit down. You are the poster child for privilege. While you are doing that research, you will learn that having privilege does not mean you do not have hard times. Please, just learn and accept.

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