These signs have been popping up around my neighborhood, in part because someone in our local nextdoor.com community printed a bunch and offered them to neighbors.
I know I’m always the bad guy on seemingly innocent things like this, but they just tend to rub me the wrong way.
My problem with signs like this is that the people that post them would have you believe they love everyone and are trying to make people feel better.
Yet, it was as easy as one post to expose the person who offered these signs to the neighborhood. I simply asked why German wasn’t one of the languages represented and if she had anything against the Germans. This was her reply:
“Excuse me? Where in the world would you get that idea. I try and share something with my neighbors and this is your response? I don’t think the sign is big enough for every language in the world. Make your own sign. By the way, you are now blocked.”
And there you have it. As usual, the most loving and peaceful and tolerant among us are quick to block and exclude. It was all too easy.
Naturally, I replied suggesting she make a new sign that says, “I’m glad all of you, except Jon, are my neighbors.”
And that’s it, isn’t it. I can tell you right now, I’m not at all glad the people who live behind me are my neighbors. They let their dogs bark constantly and then yell at me if I politely ask them to solve it.
You can show your neighbors love, but that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily glad they, versus someone who may be easier to live around, is your neighbor.
People who make a spectacle of being all inclusive are so quick to exclude if you simply disagree with their attempt to be inclusive.
Regarding the sign itself, she’s right. It’s not big enough for every language. That means you have to exclude people who don’t speak one of the three chosen languages. What are they to think? If you can’t include them all, how do you pick the ones represented?
If one of the houses with this sign in front gets robbed, will they be happy the person who broke into their house is their neighbor?
Obviously, this sign is a reaction to the amped up fear of illegal hispanic and Muslim immigrants. But how silly would the person in Boston who lived next to the Boston Marathon bombers have felt if they had this sign out front? Do you think they’d change it to “No matter who you’ve killed, I’m still glad you’re my neighbor.”
I hate to take the fun out of it, but instead of posting a sign, why not simply get to know your neighbors?