ALL ONE CLASS
By Lisa Whittle: I’ve always felt, even in the gut of my little girl belly, that classifying people was wrong. I learned from my father – a rebel turned preacher – who defied the big white church rules of downtown Atlanta in the early 70’s and baptized its first black man.
My experiences in school taught me, too – about hierarchies, cool kids, and the superior student line for hall walking that freckled, speckled Mr. Hoyle created in 6th grade that I never made it in.
And I did not understand then what I do not understand now...that if we are all in the same class, why do some people get treated better … different … special?
Because we are, you know. All in the same class.
I realize that the world says something different. I know that demographic charts suggest that where we live means it’s who we are and even in religious circles there are some who look shinier than the rest.
And I know that we can say words all day long like we are all the same and everyone is equal and we all struggle but we still create the silent lines everyday that categorize the differences.
And those lines create distance … frustration … fear … that we will never be enough, that someone will always be better, that we are relegated to an existence of living invisible as we journey through life while others get to walk in a brighter light.
But what if, today, we began to do something different?
What if we kicked the barriers down, erased the lines, told each other we cared, looked for ways to unite rather than ways to stay divided?
Maybe the churches would not have all the rules.
Maybe the people would not have all the misperceptions.
Maybe some of the arguments over differing philosophies would change. Maybe we would run to things we can do together rather than run away from things that might make us come face to face with how human we all are.
I know that one post from the daughter of a rebel-turned-preacher will not do that.
But I also know that if enough of us decide that classes are made for school and lines are made for paper and everyone has value, access, worth, opportunity, purpose … things can look different.
I raise my hand to say ... yes.