As a liberal Californian mother of three boys who have Jewishness in their blood, going into the Deep South had some reservations from me. Especially when the majority of them voted for Trump. Not just voted, they believed in him. When doing so, they believed in so many things that basically decry on the very humane aspect of love and humanity. When one goes against it, how is it possible for them to have a speck of iota of spirit in kindness (when they are extremely conditional and selective)?
Needless to say, my judgment and reservations toward the people of the Deep South is harsh, filled with bitterness and resentment… and disbelief. Trumpets, I call them. When I call someone a “Trumpet,” consider it the deepest level of offence I can offer, with such disdain. To this day, I still hold them accountable for the hatred we have in our society, especially to the people of color, to the people who want to love equally and ultimately, personally close to my heart, to the women.
We were knee deep into the south the past few months. I’ve come to a conclusion. It’s with profound sincerity when I say this, the Deep South has the heart of the country, but it’s so flawed. They were the friendliest, sweetest, kindest and charming bunch. They were patient, they were helpful, they handled our Deafness far superior than those people in the blue states. It shocked me to the core. Everywhere I went, be it a drive thrus or at a general store in the middle of nowhere, they all somehow knew sign language. They all called us “honey” or “sweetie.” They did not make me feel inferior, but rather treated us as a revered novelty. They welcomed us as if we were family members and offered us kindness even if we were complete strangers.
But, how in the world can they be as heartless as my label, “Trumpet”?
The other day when Oisin made a new friend with a complete stranger, I sat and watched them play and chat together. The boy’s mom was also watching. We waved at each other and I went over to her and we started talking. It was beautiful, us getting to know each other, and my son getting to know hers (they were talking about the book titled, “wrinkle in time.”). She asked me if Oisin’s name was Irish and I almost started telling her that my kids’ names all had both ancient Gaelic and Hebrew names because they are of Jewish descendant. I hesitated and decided to jut say, “yes, we chose ancient gaelic names.”
She smiled and looked at our boys, the sun was descending, it was super warm and you could see both boys laughing as they were trying to communicate.
It was beautiful, but my fears in telling her that my boys are also Jewish disturbed me. I don’t think that the mother realized that she made me feel uncomfortable in the fact that I would have potentially endangered my boys if I told them that they were not just Irish, but also Jewish. To be fair, she probably is a kindred soul and not deserving of my assumption.
That’s how it is here, for me, in the Deep South. As sweet as their iced tea are, they coated sugar over their self-serving steeped beliefs into what makes America Great. Being sweet and all, but totally going dark on what really matters and that is, being a humane human.
just a mother who fled from society's constraints and is super excited to wake up to the outdoors, remain braless daily and teach her boys the art of boredom and discovery.