Okay so let’s talk about what happened today
So I was sitting at my grandparent’s house while the rest of the family was out doing whatever, and Fox News was on because Fox News is always on when I am around family. There were two people on Fox at the time and the guy has this smarmy little smirk on his face and he says something to the effect of multicultural studies (“ethnic studies”) are pointless and propaganda designed to make American students hate America, and I commented on how he was being dumb and that’s not what those classes were about and my grandpa (Pop) got legitimately angry and was like, “No, he’s right. All those classes teach you is that America is evil and blah blah” and I was like are you kidding me? “I’ve taken like five multicultural classes in college and I can tell you that everything you’re saying is not true,” and he kept giving me this no you don’t know how it really is despite the fact that I AM IN COLLEGE RIGHT NOW and my maw maw was like, “Jill, I know you are smarter than this, don’t be tricked by their revisionist history.
They try and teach you that all the white men were evil and that those other folks (meaning anyone not white) did great heroic things that they just didn’t do. It’s fact, Jill: white men wrote the constitution, they wrote the bill of rights. What did those other people do? I’m all for people who do great things being recognized, but they didn’t do anything. White men built this country.” and I didn’t want to say ‘this country was built on the backs of slaves’ cause I knew that’d just set them off and she said only Frederick Douglass was worth noting and I said Harriet Tubman and she EXPRESSED DOUBT THAT HARRIET TUBMAN EVEN EXISTED and was like “how could someone like that get the power?” and just ugh a nightmare
and then I was like okay revisionist history, give an example of this. And she was like okay well you aren’t allowed to teach that Christopher Columbus discovered America anymore, because the liberals~ say how Native Americans were here first, and I just looked at her like she was crazy and said, “BUT THEY WERE HERE FIRST!” and my pop was like “how do you know that, though?” and I was like WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT OF COURSE THEY WERE HERE FIRST (didn’t say that f course I just looked at him like he was crazy) and just like every time they’d mention something the ~~~~liberals teach I’d be like oh my goodness but what you are saying is historically true, it actually happened
and then she started talking about how the Muslims and Buddhists (?!??!) are going to destroy america and how this country is founded on God so when they try and take in God we trust out they are going against the foundation and how the freedom of religion doesn’t relate to that and it was just a big tangled mess and basically my Maw said that the only history worth knowing is the white history that created America, and anything that makes America seem less exceptional is sent from the Devil. Like, she told me that if you are an American you basically have to be a white Christian otherwise you aren’t an American. I finally just had to get up and leave because there was just so much about everything they said that was wrong.
so yes I am now very frustrated and I just don’t even want to be around them just
The thing is, my Maw Maw has always been this sort of intellectual guide in our family, you know? She just has this attitude about her where she seems very intelligent and like she knows a lot of things about a lot of things, and I’ve never really questioned that. But having her look me in the eyes and say, with complete seriousness, that white men are the only people who have seriously contributed to history??? (and by history I of course mean American history, the only one that matters) That was painful.
I have to keep telling myself that they are from a different world. My Maw was raised in an abusive home and escaped it by marrying my Pop at the age of 15 and she gave birth to my mom when she was 16. Within six years they had four kids. They were children raising children in one of the poorest, most racist small towns in Georgia. The two of them were able to start from nothing as kids and successfully raise a pretty big family, and they did that with love and commitment and faith. That is phenomenal, and for that I respect them a lot. But I also keep in mind that they were of age before/during the civil rights movement, and I know in my heart they were against it. They were below the poverty line and surrounded by racism, and they deeply internalized it. My parents have told me how racist they used to be and how far they’ve come, and that’s wonderful that they’ve progressed to the point they’re at. But that deep South confederate mentality is still in their heart of hearts, and it’s not something that is going to just go away, not when they sit in their house all day with their dogs watching Fox News on repeat. I just have to accept that, as much progress as they’ve made, they are never going to be at the level I’m at because I was raised in a more liberal and accepting environment.
This is probably my most horrible thought, but I honestly pray that they are long gone before I ever come out to my family. Considering the look of haughty disgust and disapproval they gave me because I supported multicultural studies, I can’t even imagine how horrible their reactions would be to my sexuality.