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I Have a Dream

No one is "just" an anything

By Bekah JimenezPublished 2 years ago Updated 10 months ago 3 min read

“I have a dream.”

When I think of this phrase, I - like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before me - think of my children.

I was recently watching the movie Stardust with my daughter and the main character, Tristan, was offended when he was referred to as “just” a shop boy. My daughter couldn’t understand why Tristan was so upset by this. I had to explain to my daughter, no one is ever “just” anything.

“Just” a black person.

“Just” a white person.

“Just” an old person.

“Just” a gay person.

“Just” a mean person.

All of the “justs” that someone may see on the surface when they look at others add to the pattern of the rich fabric that make up each individual human and creates a magnificent patchwork quilt of our world.

That someone who looks like “just” a mechanic is proud, hardworking, bilingual, raising his kids, doting on his wife, caring for his mother, helping out his brother, not always honest and knows he should go to church more. He’s saving as much as he can because he wants his kids to be able to go to college one day.

That someone who “just” is a cashier at Wal-Mart is an exhausted, divorced mom of three kids, one of whom has special needs, worries about her elderly dad who is living alone, isn’t sure where her ex-husband is, and can’t figure out how in the heck she’s going to pay bills this month. She’s hoping that one day she can buy her own house so her kids can play outside in their own front yard without getting tattled on by nosy neighbors.

That someone who is “just” a grumpy old guy that doesn’t want kids on his lawn actually adores children but is afraid that he’s going to trip over one of them or a toy and break a bone like his late wife. He’s very lonely because his old Army buddies are dying off one by one and he’s hungry most of the time because it’s getting harder to grocery shop and cook for himself.

No one is ever “just” anything.

A lot of people see me as “just” a white mom in an SUV (probably named Karen!).

I am white and my ex-husband is Mexican. He gave me four beautiful girls ranging from older teens to elementary school age, all of whom have individual, complex needs. My parents are aging. I worry about my sister and my best friends. I have two college degrees and am fluent in two languages while working on another two. I’m trying to start my own business, become a published author, and buy my own home.

My oldest kids and I have all experienced racism from whites, Hispanics, and blacks. It’s my job as a mother to ensure that these experiences don’t stain their world. I want my children to “be judged, not for the color of their skin, but for the content of their character.” I demand that they do the same for others.

The colors of our world are not something we should be blinded to. The skin of everyone around us drapes a full, three-dimensional person with an interesting past, a present reality, and hopes for their future. We are all different and unique. These differences should be appreciated and celebrated. They should be explored and valued.

I want to have friends of all types – every creed and color. My children do the same. We learn so much from our friends who have different backgrounds and traditions and different perspectives on the world. We teach others about our own perspectives as well. If they decide not to learn, our friend group shrinks.

We are not “just” not racist; we are anti-racist.

I don’t consider myself an ally because allies are fighting a battle between parties who merely disagree, oftentimes with no clear answer as to who is in the wrong. This is a war between what’s wrong and what’s right. You should never marginalize someone because of superficial characteristics.

That’s “just” wrong.

I won’t let myself do it. I won’t let my children do it. I won’t let my family do it. I won’t let my friends do it. I won’t let my enemies do it.

I too have a dream.

I don’t ever want anyone to see me as “just” an anything. I try not to see others as “just” an anything either. Our souls are so much more important and so much deeper than what you can see on the skin. My strongest dream is that we can all see more than “just” the surface of every other person in this world, not only because we want to be treated well or because we want others to think well of us.

But because it’s “just” the right thing to do.

humanity

About the Creator

Bekah Jimenez

I love writing. I've been writing since I learned how. I'm currently working on three novels - two fantasies and a psychological thriller. I can't wait to find a publisher!

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    Bekah JimenezWritten by Bekah Jimenez

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