"What's that, mom?" Georgia asked as she pointed at my forearm.
It was a bump, a little mole that appeared when I was carrying her and has lived there since. Thinking about how my body changed during those nine months brought a smile to my face and I explained that it was a "present" she gave me before she even got here.
A year or two later, someone else asked about it and I told the story. Concerned, the person asked if it had gotten bigger, or if it hurt. They suggested it might be worth having a doctor look at just to be sure it wasn't cancerous.
Geez. I hadn't thought of melanoma. The doc checked it out and it was the harmless present as I first suspected. Even so, I began to play it safe and religiously slathered on sunscreen from that day forward.
Now enter Donald Sterling - He of bazillions of dollars who flaunts a girlfriend while married and airs bigoted, heartfelt rhetoric, He who has been sued for housing discrimination - is like my mole.
Just stick with me here...
There's been enough shock, indignation, condemnation and fist-shaking done, and I'm not about to pile on too, partially because I wonder what the endgame of all the shock, indignation, condemnation and fist-shaking is.
What is it all supposed to accomplish?
Rescind Team Ownership Because He's a Bigot? Bigots have rights too.
I don't agree with bigots, in fact a good portion of my ancestors were first enslaved, and then others were lynched by bigots. So I don't like bigots. But as long as they aren't enslaving and/or lynching and/or discriminating -- you know, illegal stuff (which would in fact, make them racists), stupidity like Donald's is just stupid. You can't take someone's stuff away for being stupid.
Make Bigots Feel Bad? Bigots don't feel bad.
Not about how they feel anyway. You'd have to pry their cold dead hands from their convictions. Twisted convictions guide them and help bigots make sense of their place in this world. Be as angry and outraged as you want, bigots will sleep peacefully knowing they are in the right even as your rage bubbles over.
Shame Bigots Into Hiding Underground? Because we certainly can't change their bigoted hearts.
Despite all the strides made in race relations and civil rights, there are still people who don't like -- even hate -- people of ethnicities, religions, races or any combination of the above that are unlike themselves.
I think we forget that sometimes.
Such bigotry is carried close to the vest and usually held in check...until some affluent, high-profile public figure has an outburst of bigoted spillage. And then we remember that, oh yeah, there's still some people lurking around in the shadows thinking those thoughts.
...and here's where the mole comes in.
Remember my harmless mole? I needed to know whether it was cancerous or benign. Now I keep an eye on it and slather on glop that'll give me added protection against something bigger happening. I'm not freaked out about it. Just highly aware of its existence.
Bigots like Donald are the moles on society's hind end. A kind of ugly reminder that that type of stupidity is alive and well. It forces uncomfortable conversations and most of all reminds us how truly twisted bigoted thinking can be.
Shocked and indignant over bigoted sentiments? Don't be. That stuff goes on in words and hearts alike.
Take away property over bigoted thinking? No. Bigotry's stupid thinking, and there aren't any laws against stupid people owning things.
Shame the bigots? They have no shame.
Drive them underground? Please don't.
Give them a megaphone. Let 'em shout what they think from the highest hill. I want to know where and who the bigots are because I want to be aware of where bigotry's ugliness lives and in whom it is living.
I want to know not because I can change bigotry in people, or even so that I can protect my family and myself from them or it, but to also reassure myself that there in fact, are more people who aren't bigoted than who are.
And in of itself, that's kind of a nice little present. Just like my mole.