I was looking for a live blog on the France/Croatia FIFA 2018 Final and came across a video that ripped my heart to pieces and had me crying so hard.
I don’t have a lot of great memories of my early childhood, but I remember one thing my mother taught us: in our household, there is zero tolerance for racism. And I’ve lived my entire life feeling strongly about culture and race, and ashamed of the inequalities and destructive racist world that exists today.
I’ve never understood how cruel man can be to a fellow human being. I told my kids when they were young that even what they felt might be a harmless joke about a group of people is unacceptable in our world. I grew up in a white household with Anglo Saxon parents, a freckle-faced blond child with ringlets and pretty blue/green eyes. I never experienced what it was like to be lesser than anyone else. I never knew the painful rejection so many have because of the color of their skin or the place on this planet where they were born. I’ve made a lifelong effort to be inclusive of culture and race all around me. On a gut level, I don’t understand racism. When I witness prejudice, my heart aches.
So here I am, writing a blog at the very same moment I should be enjoying the FIFA finals listening to all my French neighbors singing and rooting for the championship. I know it’s crazy, but I also believe in messages. The video down below popped up on my radar and I had to watch it. I’ve finally stopped crying; but it hurts me so much, and I feel so frustrated that racism exists in the world, particularly in such an inclusive sport as Soccer/Football.
Last week I was invited to do an author podcast interview for RRBC Rave Reviews Book Club an extremely supportive group that I’ve been a member of for a couple of years.
Before I realized what I was saying, I got on to the subject of this year’s most beautiful insight. After writing three poetry books, a memoir, and several novels, this is what I’ve learned about myself. Every book or novella I write tends to deal with an important social issue as a plot or a side plot. I’ve delved into insatiable greed, murderous megalomaniacs, indiscriminate espionage, cyber-hacking, illicit money-laundering, savage drug cartels, brutal ISIS and the insanity of racial intolerance. My list is endless. And within these stories I’ve also woven into my plots, racism, the way nations like Mexico, where I live, are marginalized and grouped into a label as a country of rapists and drug cartels. I’ve addressed child sexual exploitation, women who purchase sex and the men who service them, the refugee/migrant crisis, mixed-race relationships, ageism, sexism, sex trafficking; and the underbelly of the human condition. I know my stories consist of entertaining, fast-paced, thrillers, and contemporary romance themes; but they are also more than that. And through this creative medium, I hope to shine a light on these important issues.
This year I realized that writing it out is how I deal with the hurt and pain I see around me. It’s my way of making my mother proud, of letting her know that I have taken up the challenge and will not sit idly by while warmongers and racists control the direction of governments and world thinking.
I’m using my writing voice to increase awareness that we are all human beings trying to get by in a world that creates pain and heartache for something as unimportant as the color of our skin, or the status of our families, or the sexual preferences of our children, or the country where we were born.
And I, for one, am sad today, when I should be rejoicing a well-deserved FIFA win for France, a sport that should unite the world and not be a stage for ugly racism.
And this is what made me cry.
And still I offer my congratulations to FRANCE. I’m in multi-cultural Paris right now and the whole city is rocking! And as Mish, a friend in my WIP Layla 2 believes: Football can unite the world!
I hope you’re right, Mish, I hope you’re right.