punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

A standard in defining "purists"

A recent entry in someone else's journal prompted me to post something that I think needs said.

My parents got married in 1958. My father was a cruel man, but loved his wife, and every picture I ever saw of them together before I was born seemed genuinely happy and carefree. One of them was a picture of them in front of a hotel/lounge somewhere (they traveled a LOT), where the marquee said Lena Horne was going to sing. In the back, you can see part of a sign that points to a "Colored entrance." So they grew up when bigotry was pretty commonplace, from an era where women were subjugated to being housewives most of the time.

I was born in 1968, during one of their times they lived in Europe, and was the dividing line of a before and after in my parent's happiness. My father stops being in photos (although there are a few), and my mother gains weight, starts to look sad and distant, and I don't have a single photo of the two of them together since I was born. The fact I was born was a mistake that led to their unhappiness was a constant theme growing up. My mother became an alcoholic, and my father couldn't decide between neglect and abuse as his clumsy attempts to coexist in the same house with me led to countless nights of dark terror.

Horrible life, my first 18 years.

And yet, with all that, not ONCE did any of my parents disparage against anyone of any race, religion, or sexual orientation. It was never even brought up. If a synagogue was marked with Nazi symbols, my mother remarked that it was "wrong to spray graffiti." If someone was obviously gay (Paul Lynne, for example), he was "flamboyant and witty." It wasn't black crime, it was crime that happened in poor neighborhoods because there wasn't enough money for cops or something. The words nigger, kike, wop, guinea, spic, gook, chink, and fag I had to learn from fellow students. Hell, my father never once made fun of me for being fat. What an easy target, but even when I was very round, he never once said anything about it. He called me "dummy," "stupid," "moron," "idiot," "useless," "lazy," "failure," and all kinds of unkind words about my mental capacity... but never that I was fat. I can't think of what that would have done to me because the only physical defect he pointed out was he teased me about how big my nose was, and I *still* have a complex about it.

So when I hear about someone making comments about why lesbians shouldn't be allowed to raise children, or that blacks are "naturally inclined to be poor," or that Jews control the media... I think, "Man... even my PARENTS didn't say that..."
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