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Sunday, July 16, 2017

BURYING UGLINESS

Years ago, growing up in elementary and high school, racial prejudice ran through the core of everyday life, we took on the values that were taught to us and we set about believing everything we read or heard, including the teaching of our parents. But we grow, we learn to reason and question everything, and with social media and the Internet, we have large opportunities to be better human beings.

Recently I had a conversation with an old schoolmate from high school that left me extremely disappointed in him. He feels he needs to speak out about politics and his beliefs, is a Fox News junkie and is still living in the past. He has a habit of saying things that he hears, reads of thinks are accurate because he read it somewhere on the Internet. He was intent on telling me that for a fact, 80% of black families are missing the father. I suppose he feels this is a fact but when I asked him where he got that information, he stated: It's a fact!" Again, I questioned him and still, he persisted. His fact is not a fact. There may be a high rate of missing black father, and I know it is a social issue from way back, but there is no point in discussing history with the idea that it is still the truth.

He asked me to listen to a 12-minute presentation about how the Democratic party was racist in the past and the Republican was the hope of blacks in the past. That is true, but not the case anymore. He failed to mention that part. Conveniently he forgot about Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights act that went into effect in the 1960's.

It makes me sick that we need to single out race or religion and portray it as inferior to what we believe, regardless of how false it all is. I recall 9-11 and the reactions of the people fleeing the scene of the disaster, I saw American citizens running for their lives, not black and white, I saw people, everyday Americans, not Christians, Jews and Muslims, they are all my people.

My ex-friend is a good person, he was fun and we laughed at each other and ourselves, but I can't condone that kind of talk, that kind of observation about blacks or anyone.

Long ago my grandparents, just like his, came to this country not speaking the language. They became loyal Americans, paid taxes and worked hard. Yet, they were hated because they were different, they were a threat to others in a mindless fear, how could I ever betray their pain and the discrimination held toward them by being prejudice?

I have given up religion, politics and have taken a secular attitude toward both, I need to be more accepting of all in terms of their politics, their religion, but not their hate.

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