About Racism and Prejudice: And The Blind Shall See
For once, I have a life lesson I did not learn from my parents. You see, my parents were racist. I cannot sugarcoat it and I cannot duck the truth; they were, indeed, racist. I can understand it but I cannot condone it in any way, shape or form.
Because of World War II and what he had seen and experienced, my dad hated the Japanese, the Germans, the French and the Italians. Later, because of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, he would hate anyone who was “Oriental.” Do not try to attach logic to any of this, because hate does not have a foundation of logic; never has and never will.
My father also hated Blacks and Native Americans. I have no idea why, nor do I care. I am quite certain that his beliefs and his feelings were deep-rooted in some history that may or may not have been logical, but was most certainly real to him. Can we ever make sense of racism and prejudice, belief systems that seem to be passed down from one generation to another, like the genetic predisposition towards cancer or heart failure?
My mother was also racist, and I suspect most of her leanings were in support of my father, who most definitely ruled the household. She was quieter about it, but watching her actions, as all children are prone to do when with their parents, I observed the way she reacted when around someone of a different race, and there can be no doubt she was uncomfortable to the extreme. I clearly remember back in 2001, two years before my mother died. She was watching a Seattle Mariners game on tv with me, and Ichiro had just legged out an infield hit. She watched the action and then said, “I can’t stand that Nip.” It was such an incongruous statement, so out of context, as to seem surreal. When I called her on it, she was amazed that I thought she had done anything wrong. To her it was a perfectly normal and acceptable thing to say.
No, I did not learn this lesson from my parents. College allowed me to leave my sheltered childhood and stand among people of different races, and in that interaction I learned that we all laugh, we all cry, we all anger, and we all love.
So you see….I don’t care!
WHAT COLOR ARE YOU?
Well, truthfully, I don’t care! You may be black, you may be white, and yes, you may be yellow, brown, purple or orange. I simply don’t care! I do care, however, about what kind of person you are! I want to know if you are compassionate towards others. If you are, then march along beside me, because we are brothers, one and all.
You see, I am color-blind! I do not see the color you are, and silly me, I believe we all should be color-blind. If there is a divine presence, then that presence made us all; if there is not a divinity at work, then we are all in the same lifeboat anyway, and what happens to one happens to all. If you are willing to pick up the oars and do your share, then I am willing to go through life with you in peace and harmony. I believe that is as it should be, and nothing will change that belief.
WHAT RELIGION ARE YOU?
I don’t care! I don’t care if you are Catholic, Baptist, Muslim, or Jew. I don’t care if you are atheist, agnostic, or a fire-breathing tent preacher. All I care about is whether you are willing to love your neighbor as you love yourself. All I care about is that you respect my beliefs as I respect yours.
Is it really important what I believe in regarding religion? In the reality in which we live, are there not more important issues than whether I believe in the power of Jesus or Muhammad? Here is an idea I’m just going to float out there: I’ll believe, you believe, and we will both spread the concept of love around the world. Surely the concept of love is a universal truth, is it not? How can someone argue with that and still be called a human being?
WHAT SEX ARE YOU?
Well guess what? I don’t care! I don’t care if you are man, woman, transsexual or gay. If God didn’t care then really, why should I? I do care, however, whether you show empathy toward your fellow travelers on this planet. I do care whether you are capable of lending a helping hand to those who are down, and I do care if you have a heart big enough to be a support to those in need. Show me those attributes and I’ll be in your corner every single time those who are filled with bigotry come a’callin’.
When are we going to learn? When will we come to the realization that the quality of a person is not measured by their sexual organs but rather by the size of their heart?
Let's find out about you!
Do you vote a candidate or a party ticket?
WHAT POLITICAL PARTY DO YOU BELONG TO?
Yes, you guessed it, I don’t care! More so now than at any time in my life, I see people judged by the labels attached to them. Well, he’s a Republican, so he must not care about the American worker! Well, she is a Democrat, so she must hate capitalism! It’s all hogwash, and it’s about time we all grasp the concept that we are all in this together.
There are no political affiliations worth discussing when injustice occurs. Do not tell me what party you belong to when poverty is an issue, or the abused are screaming to be heard. Just tell me that you are willing to work for a solution and I’ll work right alongside of you.
Tea Party, Socialism, Radical Right and Radical Left…..stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight, and for what? How can an ideology be more important than humanity? If you can answer that question to my satisfaction then please, give me a call, because I really want to know what makes you tick.
A wonderful article from my friend Michele
- Racism, Sexism, How Many Other 'Isms' Are There?
A look at the "isms" in society today
More on this subject, by billybuc
- Social Problems: Fear and Ignorance
It is the responsibility of each citizen to educate and bring an end to fear and ignorance.
WHAT SOCIAL CLASS DO YOU BELONG TO?
You see, I simply don’t care! He’s rich, so he doesn’t care about the poor! Tell that to Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, who have walked their talk now for at least a decade, spending billions to eradicate poverty and hunger.
Well, she’s poor, so she hates the rich! I don’t believe that for a second. I have worked with the homeless and the poor; I have broken bread with them, and I can tell you that they are humble, grateful, and accepting of anyone who does not look down on them as being less than human.
Character is not measured by the size of your bank account; never has been and never will be. When we die we do not face a financial audit at the Pearly Gates, but we are called upon to demonstrate what kind of person we were while living.
Millionaire or poor…..I don’t care!
How about another poll?
Is there racism and/or prejudice in your extended family?
SO WHAT DO I CARE ABOUT?
“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
Yes, the smile is the beginning of love, and love is what I care about. Simplistic? I think not, and to deny that most basic of facts is to deny the one commonality that we all share.
The Beatles can say it as well as I can…..”I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.”
We are in this all together, folks! I’m not concerned with the Indian Race, or the Islamic Race, or the Irish, Brazilian, or Kenyan Races. All I am concerned about is the Human Race, and the sooner everyone gets on board with that philosophy the better.
In case you haven’t noticed, we have some trouble in River City! I compare it to a parasite, nibbling away at our humanness from the of the core of our being. We need to bring back decency! We need to bring back compassion! We need to resurrect some basic beliefs about “love they neighbor” and not only talk the talk but walk the walk, because the parasite is winning right now, and we hold the magic pill that can kill it.
Let me ask you this question, and give it some thought if you will. If you were drowning, would you care about the race or religion of the person who is throwing you a life jacket?
So, Mr. Racism, move on down the road because you are casting a shadow on my PIPO! Mrs. Prejudice, hit the road, Jack, and don’t you come back no more, because I have no time for your nonsense.
If you want to hang in my neighborhood, then repeat after me….I DON’T CARE!
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)