Upside Down—Inside Out

It’s Father’s Day and if there’s anything my Palestinian father taught me it’s that prejudice is pain.

I find it ironic that the movie “Inside Out” came out the week of one of the worst hate crimes in our history. Not because the theme is relevant, from what I understand “Inside Out” is about emotions, wearing them on our sleeves, saving them a place at the table, validating their need to make themselves known—then again, maybe the theme is relevant.

I’ve been quiet during these turbulent times of recent. I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around senseless killings, bullets to the backs, lives snuffed out more like some video game than the harsh reality that the trigger happy world we live in leaves behind.

Inside out. What if that were our reality? I can’t imagine a world where one would say “Her bones aren’t white enough.” “His blood’s not red enough.” “Those lungs aren’t pink enough, and therefore, he can’t stay.”

Turn us inside out and we all look the same.

My insides ache for those who sent their loved ones off to worship on that fateful Wednesday. My insides ache for the young man who allowed hate to take hold of the course of his life, setting him on a path of jailbird jumpsuits, painful hearings and the knowledge that he turned lives upside down. My insides ache for the fact that the powers that be in South Carolina can’t see the confederate flag for what it is, a symbol of prejudice. A symbol whose time has long passed. A symbol that, like floral wallpaper and trans fats, has to go.

I take refuge in the display of compassion from those who lost and those who embrace them. They are focused on the inside, the broken hearts, the frail attempt to look toward a future that no longer sees difference—only what makes us the same. Today the emotion that longs for a place at the table is grief. Grief in that we haven’t ventured very far from the days of 1963 when four young girls were killed for no reason other than the color of their skin. Grief that we have revisited hate, yet again.

We all bleed red. Our common color. Perhaps we should focus on that.

About Writestuff

Look around. There's a story every five feet. They tug at me to give them a home on a page...and that's what I do. Tanya Besmehn is a freelance writer and agented screenwriter living with her husband, daughter and loyal lab on the shores of Dana Point, California -- sometimes dreams do come true.
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6 Responses to Upside Down—Inside Out

  1. Jennifer Meyer says:

    My aching friend, that was exceptionally well written. Exceptionally. Your words remind me of the other reasons I fell in love with you. Your heart aches for what is right, for connection, for community and most of all for a family that in spite of differences and challenges will come together. You will fight for that connection. I know this firsthand. I remain in deep gratitude that you were able to see beyond our differences and in to our sameness when I could not. I believe the change always starts there. With a single connection that overcomes differences.

    Let your heart ache but allow your eyes to also see the deep beauty and goodness that surrounds our every breath. Your father would want that.

    I remain, forever and ever, in deep awe of your life force and pregnant with the love I hold just for you.



    • Writestuff says:

      Thank you for the reminder to seek the good. You’re right – and right on time. My father would expect that of me. It was his core. Love you so much. ❤

  2. I have a dear friend who recently posted this on Facebook:

    “Hey guys, I don’t think your ‘Coexist’ bumper stickers are working.”

    So true. So sad…and so true.

    This is a beautiful post. And I can totally understand your need to write it. But I f*&^king HATE that you needed to write it.

    • Writestuff says:

      From one blogger to another, thanks for reading – and thanks for understanding. Can we move on now? I live in a town of tanning beds and bleached blondes for God’s sake — f&%k color!

  3. JUDY JACOBSEN says:

    Beautifully said, Tanya..what a gift you have in writing, plus of course, other things!  Prejudice is an evil thing, and seems to be getting worse by the day.  God help us all, bless us all, and pray that this evil will end.Love you and yours, looking forward to seeing you when Ingrid comes out,Aunt Judy

  4. Writestuff says:

    Thank you for reading, Aunt Judy. I love you and Uncle E. I’m looking forward to seeing you and having Mom here. She will love NoCal and especially those waiting for her. xoxo ❤

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