At the suggestion of an old friend, I have decided to give my two cents about this whole monstrosity that is the Galliano nightmare.
As a Jew living in the present day in a metropolitan East Coast locale, I must say that I do not feel any sort of negative feelings toward myself nor my religion on a daily basis. I have never felt bad about who I was in terms of my religion. Although I grew up in a city and went to public school for my entire life (pre college), pretty much all of my friends were Jewish. And when I went to camp for the summer, being Jewish was normal. Those who weren't Jews were the minority.
And I don't mean to sound ignorant. I understand that most people do not grow up where I grew up and didn't go to school with a class that was made up of as many nationalities and ethnicities as I did. But what I am ignorant to is the reason certain people hate other people so much based solely upon one facet of that person. To me, the idea of hating someone because they are something having nothing to do with you is impossible to figure out. What is the reason? My best friend moved to Nashville after college. Having been raised in an environment much like mine, he was incensensed when he moved and realized that things are not the same everywhere.
Hate on a more acute level is understandable to me. Hate such as "I hate the new Cavalli studded thong por hommes" is okay with me. In a colloquial sense, it expresses an opinion. Rarely do people realize how strong the word hate is when using it in this manner, and even rarer is the individual who will ask "Do you really hate the thong? Or is it just not your taste?" Personally I prefer to loathe something rather than hate it. I try to reserve hate for when it is absolutely necessary.
"I loathe the look of dark lipliner paired with nude gloss"
"I hate Bernie Madoff for what he did to his victims."
Do you see the difference?
But this little tangent is really not the point. I want to talk about a more obtuse kind of hatred. One that encompasses lives and takes no prisoners. A type of hatred that is sometimes sudden but more, insidious. A type of hatred that sometimes includes violence but always includes the creation of bad feelings. Did you ever realize that there is never a victor to come out of hate? The victims are not victorious, they are not happy that they are hated because of the way that they were born. The haters are not victorious. Even when they stand outside measly high school productions of the Laramie Project with signs that say the most vicious things, they have to go home. I'm going to take a guess and say that usually they don't bring anyone new home with them. And what do they celebrate when they get home? What do they think about? The snicker of the proud parents who walk past them and think to themselves, "Do these grown people have nothing better to do than to try ruin my child's performance?" Do they go home and celebrate the fact that they are Arian, heterosexual, and void of any compassion for people that are different than they are? Are they content living a life that is so plain and mild and boring that they have nothing better to do than pick on someone whose hair color they don't like?
So here's the thing. We all don't have to love each other. But I'm not going to not love you because you are black or straight or gay or Episcolpalian or Korean or Canadian or Jewish or any other birthright. Because that is not who you are. It is a part of who you are, but an entirely superficial one most of the time.
Because sure, I am Jewish. I categorize myself as Jewish all the time. But is that who I am entirely? Lyndsey Claire Fox, Jew.?
No. I am Lyndsey Claire Fox, daughter, sister, designer, cook, lover, creator, reader, writer, painter, indulger, lush, charmer, explorer, entertainer, and believer. I am judgmental, stubborn, idealistic, anxious, nosy, insecure, dependent, proud, bitchy, (sometimes) vulgar, calculating, indecisive, diplomatic, romantic, tolerant, observant, engaging, forgiving, caring, and cheeky.
I am more adjectives than I can tolerate in one post!!! And so are you. And so are the people that hate you, but they have no time to realize that because they are too busy making signs with hateful words and shameful messages and talking to each other about how much they hate you.
I don't hate these people, I feel sorry for them. I feel sorry that they cannot expand their minds enough to find a spirit of their own that takes them out of the realm of hate and into the realm of understanding...the age of aquarius or something like that.
Anyway, I do not know Mr. Galliano, but I am sure that before he was the John Galliano that he is today, he too suffered a prejudiced life. He is fifty years old, which would have made it about 1980ish when he would have come out to his (Spanish) family. I can't imagine that this was an easy task. I can't imagine that it would have been something that his family was entirely comfortable with either. I mean, I obviously have no idea what the actual story is, but in my mind, it seems like sometimes people who have had to deal with oppression in their lives take it out on other minority groups (another idea that is entirely far from my personal grasp).
His comments, which I will not repeat on this blog nor does anyone REALLY know the context in which they were said, were entirely awful. But is it any of our business what he does when he's drunk and angry? Should he have said those things? Absolutely not. Is he aware that he is a public figure and that anything he says can and will be used against him? I surely hope so, but I guess alcohol does strange things to people.
So how can we amend situations like this? Dior fires Galliano, citing a no tolerance policy, Natalie Portman stands up for herself because she has ties to Galliano through her campaign with Dior, but all the while it doesn't take any of the hate out of Galliano. Doesn't Dior or Portman want to why Galliano is full of this wretched hate toward Jews? Don't they think that something must be wrong to have this brilliant, talented, almost regal designer say these things about one certain type of person?
I mean, if you've made it this far, bless you. I've got to go and drop out of school now.
Love you all and can't wait to hear YOUR thoughts.