Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Interracial Bird Couple

Being from the South, I guess it won't surprise any of you that my older relatives tend to be...well, how shall we say it?...racist. No need to sugar coat it. They would deny it to your face, probably...but they are racist nonetheless. I think over the years, the great strides our society has made to overcome racism has sadly only taught those older family members to keep it to themselves. They know it's not socially acceptable to use certain words or share certain opinions out in the open. It's not a topic we ever discuss in depth, but every now and again they'll make an inappropriate comment. Don't think I'm being all high and mighty - I've been guilty of it, too. I think EVERYONE (except for Jesus, maybe) has room for improvement when it comes to acceptance of ANY kind, myself included.

I remember a long time ago...probably 15 years ago...one of my grandmothers telling me that she didn't approve of interracial couples. She said to me, "Black birds only go with black birds, red birds only go with red birds, and white people should only go with white people because that's the way God intended." But even at a young age I just couldn't buy her logic. I don't know why, but that ignorat anaolgy has always stuck with me, and I still hate it to this day.

If I would've been more mature...if I would've had the words or the guts to argue with her, I would've said simply this: Grandma, do we have to do everything birds do? Did God intend for us to act like birds? Birds lay eggs, and we bear children. We raise children, we love them and nuture them. We teach them to be professionals, doctors, musicians, artists, lovers & haters, fighters & peackeeprs. Birds eat seeds and worms, but we feed our children not only with food but through their hearts and minds. We as humans are so much more developed than birds. So, why then, is it so impossible for you to accept that humans can love other humans regardless of their color?

What is color anyway?

Oh, it makes me so angry to remember that stuipd bird analogy.

Anyway, I started thinking about the birds and racism recently because I believe I witnessed something truly amazing. We have a bird feeder out back that's frequented by an array of birds. My favorite is the cardinal because he's so vibrant and beautiful. Every now and then, if we're lucky, we can spot a blue jay, but he never sits still long enough to eat at the feeder. Sunday while I was cleaning I spotted some birds at the feeder and stopped to watch them. I noticed that Mr. Cardinal was feeding another bird. Yes, feeding it right there on our patio. You might assume that it was his chick, but no...this bird appears to be almost full-size. It can fly, and I definitely don't think it's a baby bird. This bird is also NOT a cardinal. It's gray and kind of stuipd looking for a bird. And no, it's not the female cardinal. I know what she looks like, and this ain't her. This cardinal is feeding and presumably taking care of another bird from a difference "race." Sean, Amanda and I have now seen the 2 mismatched birds every day this week. We started referring to them as the interracial bird couple because it's so bizarre to watch! Sean was able to capture the weird feeding ritual on video, which I plan on posting ASAP.


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