When my younger son was a teenager, he said something to me that has stayed in my mind: We’re here for a good time, not a long time. I think none of us know how many years or days we have to wander this planet, so we should live each day as if it’s our last.
I recently liquidated my life in order to travel. I’ve lived in Mexico for many years and since I started writing professionally, I’ve met people from all over the world. It opened my mind to opportunities to see a world that I’ve only ever read about or observed in film. Nothing prepares you for the real culture of another country, nor the kindness of a countries’ people. You must experience this.
I have a mantra that’s been running through my mind for the last couple of years: We are all one. If the Universe is to survive, it’s not about climate change but about a definite shift in how we see each other and the tolerance we have for each nation and culture around the world.
The birth of the www. gave us an opportunity that no prior generation ever had. It opened the door to the possibility of friendships from all over the world. These friendships forge the way for us to understand that regardless of the color of our skin, the languages we speak, we have a common thread running through our lives: love. We all wake up in the morning, study, grow, form family, have children—or not—worry about our families, careers, putting food on the table, our health and our love. We are all one.
At the end of my life, I know that all that will matter is how much I loved.
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.
Because of the division that’s going on in our world right now, the hate that’s being stirred up and spewed by these White Supremacist groups, we felt it appropriate and extremely necessary that we share a piece from our President, Nonnie Jules, that needs to be wide-spread.
I am a black woman, and because of the shade of my skin and coarseness of my hair, because of the fullness of my hips, my lips and the bold colors I wear…some don’t find me as attractive as my fairer counterparts. You see, I’m no longer your house-maid or here for your sexual pleasure; no longer Mamie to your children, I’m now someone’s Mother…a treasure. But, does my life matter?
I am a black man, and because of my dark skin and the boldness of my stance, because of the kinky in my hair, the anger in my stare, and the wear and tear shown on my hands…some still don’t see me as a man. You see, I’m no longer your field property or your whipping post. I’ve freedom papers and own land now, maybe, more than most. You build cages to hold me, guilty or not; where you should build institutions of higher learning, you lock me away for little things, then leave me there to rot. Do you forever see my bed as a cot? But, does my life matter?
I am a white woman, and because of my milk dove skin and cute, pinched nose, thin ruby red lips and fair skin that glows…with my pearly whites and prominent chin…some still look at me and despise the skin I’m in. I was never privy to the pain that was caused. I was born into that hatred…those God-awful laws. So, does my life still matter?
I am a white man, born into privilege and wealth, easy life, perfect health, yet…I’m still persecuted and referred to as “the man.” I, too, hate the ways of the Ku Klux Klan. My neighbors are black, white, green and red…still, I haven’t fled. To be where everyone looks more like me, is not where I want to be. I, too, would like to one day be FREE. Yes, FREE! It also applies to me! FREE of the labels that bind because of the color of my skin; I’ve never owned any human or degraded any man. But, does my life still matter?
I am a brown-skinned woman and because of my accented words, you think I should be silent…quiet and not heard. I can do more, than clean your windows and floors. Just ask me what I’m capable of, you’d be surprised, I’m sure. I may have come here via the back of a truck, or even the legal route, if I was blessed with such luck. Maybe I was born here, and my parents, too. In your eyes, would that still make me less American than you? Does my life matter?
I am a brown-skinned man and though maybe a bit stocky, I’m no less in appearance, than your brawn and cocky. I’m not a rapist, a thief or thug…but a man like you, with kids to hug. I’m not ashamed to tend your lawns and trees, but Executive, also a title I wear with ease; whatever it takes…my family to feed. Don’t dismiss, or overlook my face; I may not have been born here, but I’m here to stay. And, with that said, does my life still matter?
With all that’s going on, there’s much racial unrest. It’s time to put differences aside and put real LOVE to the test. We can’t keep fighting each other, when there are real wars going on. We must come together in love, heal and stand strong. There are real enemies among us, and their names we know not. We must stand on the front lines, together and talk.
The differences between us are fewer than those in our heads; and in the end, until we draw our last breath, we all still bleed red. Yes, that small matter is what makes us brothers, and binds us tighter than any other.
That stream of red flowing thru our veins, is what should force us to… release all blame, stop the pain, forge ahead, no more blood we’ll shed.
Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today! We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan. WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs. Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent! Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author: Nonnie Jules