PRIDE week. Sitting in a coffee shop, I overheard part of a conversation from the table next to me, “When is MY day? I wanna know, when will there be a day for me, a straight white male. When will there be a day to celebrate me?!!!” Shocked, stunned and disgusted, I gathered my things and removed myself from the situation. At that particular moment, a response from me would not have been pleasant.
One Mother’s Day many years ago, as we were getting ready for church, I asked my mom, ‘’Why isn’t there a Children’s Day?” My mom answered, “Everyday is Children’s Day.” I nodded as if I understood.
Today I nod, because I do understand.
As children we assumed the world would take care of us, and for the most part, it did. Adults looked after us, fed us, dressed us, protected us and provided a place to lay our heads. Television programs were designed for us. Family vacations were planned with our schedule and our enjoyment in mind. The world revolved around us, and everyday was “Children’s Day”.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are days set aside to remind us (children) that someone else (Mom, Dads and other adults) are out there working to make life comfortable, and safe for children. They are days set aside for children to take a moment and say, Yes, you ARE an important part of my world and you help make me who I am. I honor and respect you as you have honored and respected me.
So… Dear Straight White Male, I say to you, everyday is Straight White Male Day!
Pride Week, Black History Month, Native American Month are special days set aside to acknowledge someone other than the Straight White Male, but they are days created for your benefit, for you to look closely at those who are not like you.
These special non ‘Straight White Male Days’ give you a chance to examine your privilege, your entitlement, your history, your place in this world. It’s a time for you to recognize the role diversity played in making you YOU! You can acknowledge the other people who struggled to make life work in a world that did not value their existence.
Consider the non-‘Straight White Male Days’ a time to renew your spirit and give honor and respect to those who have done the same for you throughout history.
Reflect and give thanks, we all have reason to celebrate.