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Imagine the Three Kings carrying their gifts to the Holy Stable. They weren’t from Bethlehem and some scholars believe they were probably black. Dark-skinned immigrants! A shepherd (self-declared friend of the family) comes out, seizes the gifts, and tells the Wise Men to get the #$%&*! away and never come back. “We don’t need your kind! Pay your tourist tax and leave.”
How often in human history has society snatched up the wonderful gifts created or discovered by people who were not mainstream—those of minority races, religions or nationalities; those with different gender identities, social standings, or abilities? We conveniently forget that huge medical advances in heart surgery were made by a black man, while a female nurse from Australia instituted the best treatments for polio (and was chastised for it), or that many of our favorite songs were (and are) written or performed by people of alternative gender preferences. Clothing styles, comedy, dance, music, medicine, art, film, football, basketball, soccer—you name it. Someone not embraced by mainstream white America made—and is making—huge contributions. You don’t read about that part.
The people who want to persecute those they identify as being unacceptable don’t refuse to accept the gifts. If a transgender person pulls them from a flood, they don’t say, “Go away. I can’t let you touch me.” They don’t refuse to study Stephen Hawking’s theories because he’s a man in a wheelchair. When they need something, they don’t care so much who provides it. Even if they, themselves, have never created, invented, or discovered anything meaningful, they feel superior. They want to distance themselves from the “others” as though being different could be contagious. It isn’t and neither is being extraordinary.