RACISM

RACISM

Today I had to ask myself another question.
Why so much deep seeded racism?
You know, some of it is heavy and some of it is a little lighter, but its still Racism.

This past Friday afternoon I got a phone call from a person that I had never spoken with before. I could tell that he was an older man, maybe in his seventy’s or eighties. He was calling for one of the people in our office. I told him that this person was not in and that he may not be available until Monday. The old guy said “you guys open on Monday”, “yes,” I said. He responded with this: “better be careful, they might march on you ‘cause your open on Monday”.

Again, this morning I was talking with a younger woman on the phone from a company that we do business with. I told her that I was not sure if they were open today or not because of the MLK Jr. Holiday. She said, “my skin aint dark enough for me to get the day off”….

Maybe I’m a little sensitive because I have an African American daughter, maybe I’m not. But I have to say that these two incidents were completely unexpected. Two perfect strangers, on the phone portraying racism as if it was acceptable and they both assumed that I embraced their ideal.

I feel so much sadness today contemplating this deep rooted resentment that even today, rears its ugly head. I guess it is par for the course for the “pale face” American population who are used to feeling superior to all other races. As far back as the inception of this country, we categorized some as inferior and evil. The first to feel the great wrath of this were the Native Tribal people who inhabited the land originally. Remember the savages who did not speak the ‘King’s’ English and lived off of the land? Not only did they suffer through a type of ‘ethnic cleansing’ they also were faced with:
Impartial Justice by the set government agencies
Regulated land loss
Assimilation of their children
Enforced enlistment in the early National Military

We then can move on to the enslavement of African Tribal People. Again, considered savage’s by the pale faced Europeans who believed that they were a far superior race. We should all know the History of this abomination, and if some don’t, Shame On You.

In the late 1860’s and 1870’s there was great prejudice and racism against people of Asian decent. Laws were drafted and passed in the Pacific West with Anti-Chinese sentiment. There was in fact a large riot in the City of Los Angles in which eye witnesses were Chinese. The perpetrators of the riot were acquitted because the only eye witnesses were Chinese and they were considered to be ‘less than credible’ in the eyes of the American Law.

Starting after the Mexican American War (1846-1848) another culture was considered to be inferior to the ‘pale face’ Americans. The American’s again, decided that they wanted someone else’s land. So they went, and took the South West region from the Mexicans by force and blood shed. After the war, from 1848 to 1879 Mexicans were being lynched, (yes, strung up by their necks to die) at a rate of almost 500 persons for every 100,000 in population.

Let us not forget the Anti-Semitism during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Hundreds of thousands of Ashkenazi Jews escaping from Russia and Eastern Europe were subject to all forms or racism and prejudice. In the early 1900’s Jewish communities in the Southern United States suffered at the hands of the Klu Klux Klan. In 1915 an American Born Jew was convicted of rape and was sentenced with life in prison. The Klan took the law into their own hands and Lynched the Texas Born man.

The 1940’s brought us anti-Japanese sentiment in the form of internment camps. Thousands of Japanese Citizens were relocated into what was known then as War Relocation Camps. Sixty Two percent of the people who were relocated were American Citizens.

Today we have a new ‘evil’ culture and that is the ‘Muslim’ peoples of the world. Most think that this is a Middle East group, but it encompasses vast lands including Indonesia, India, Turkey, Pakistan and Iran. We have been brainwashed by the Government and Media that these are the new enemy. Not unlike any of the above people groups that I have talked about in this post.

On this day that we celebrate the life and vision of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr, I hope that people can get past this prejudice that invades the core of culture. I hear so many people talking about ‘getting back’ to a better time. When life was good and things were better. I have to ask. Better for whom? Better for the white authority? And what times are we talking about?
The time when whites were murdering the Native Americans.
The time when whites were lynching Africans and people of color.
The time when whites were lynching Mexicans.
The time when whites were lynching Jews.
The time when whites were relocating Japanese
The time when Chinese were considered less than human
The time when women were not allowed to vote
The time when ………

It is never time to go back, its always time to move forward.
I want to finish this article by saying that in all of the above listed incidents the majority of the prejudice come from Americans who considered themselves Christian and attended Church on a regular basis.

Today is a day to repent from prejudice and move forward with a heart of love and tolerance. A day to stop believing the lies that flood the political and media arena’s. It is a day to break the shackles that bind our minds and hearts with Racism.

PEACE

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Meanderings again

As life continues to move on and my next birthday will bring me into the beginning of my fifties, I have been pondering, what it is that I desire for myself and my family for the next thirty or so years. I look around these days and see such a polarization in the current political and religious movements that we seemed to have lost the one thing that made us all strong. A middle ground of tolerance, patience, understanding and acceptance. My meanderings in the past have been full of judgments and accusations and I do not apologize for espousing some of these attitudes. But, in my current state of mind, I’m tired of it all. Its hard work to be on the offensive or defensive on any given subject, whether it be politics or religion.

Some may call this an apathetic attitude, and thats ok, I guess. A year or so ago, I would have been the one calling myself apathetic. But now it seems as if the pendulum has slowed it’s oscillation between the extreme’s and is now moving a bit slower and is settling into a calmer more definite swing pattern.

I’m not sure what I want to be when I grow up, but I am sure of what I don’t want to be.
I don’t want to be the guy who’s always bitching about politics and the current status of this government. I know that I don’t want to be the guy that’s complaining about immigrants and people of different nationalities. I surely don’t want to be the guy that judges the faith or religion of others and most of all I don’t want to be the guy that simply listens to (what we once called the BOOB TUBE) the talking heads telling us that this people group or that people group are bad, evil or out to bring ruin on the whole world.

I look at the lives of people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jesus of Nazareth and even the writer of many letters to the early Christians, Paul of Tarsus. The one note that he wrote to the community who gathered in Rome resonates in my mind every day.

Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
These comments by Paul bring me back to what I wrote in the beginning of this meandering. A middle ground of tolerance, patience, understanding and acceptance.
Paul is clearly telling us that we are not to be the judges or the ‘avengers’. We are to be the lovers, the ones who tolerate our neighbors who have differing opinions or beliefs.
We are to be a people that promotes hospitality in every form and uses love, patience, tolerance and understanding as a tool for peaceful living.
I will leave with this, a story from a friend who spent many years living among the Muslims in Azerbaijan. She told me that she could not tell her Muslim friends when anyone was suffering from any kind of ailment or simple sickness in her home. You see if she did, the people from the community would show up at her house and sit, waiting until the person who was sick returned to health. Can you imagine that? She said things like a simple influenza or cold would bring people to sit and pray for restoration to health.
I know that the Muslim faith differs from that of Paul’s, but the actions of that faith speak louder than words. I want to be that person that Paul is asking us to be.
I want to grow old knowing that I am not the man who considers his opinion right and the opinions of others wrong. I want to be the man that is comfortable knowing that good will always triumph over bad and that the only way to a peaceful existence is to love, understand and tolerate. I seek to be like my Maker, One who DOES (and that’s present tense) NOT condemn me for my wrongs. One who loves me in spite of my defects and ignorance on most everything. And finally One who is ALWAYS willing to invite me to HIS table to eat with Him, talk with Him and Love with Him.
And what I really desire for the rest of my life is this: TO DISCOVER BEAUTY IN EVERYONE, just as Paul said.
I say now to my family and to my closest, dearest friends, I want us to enjoy the rest of our lives together, holding true to what we know is good and fruitful by shedding the attitudes that we were all raised with and embracing a life of tolerance, understanding, patience and above all LOVE.
Again, just another of my rambling meanderings.
PEACE

Its been a long time coming, but in light of some special circumstances I thought it appropriate to ‘B’ log in.  Just recently in Livonia, Michigan a small child was jeered at and had a cup of soda thrown at her face by some men in a pick up truck as her and her parents were walking to their car from a movie theater.  They comments coming from the truck were things like “porch monkey” and “nigger’.    I have to say when I saw this on the news it boggled my mind, hurt my heart and made me sick in my soul.

You see, my Caucasian family and I adopted a ‘non Caucasian’ child.  She is the most beautiful color of brown that I have ever seen and I cant imagine anyone jeering at her they way that these people did to this child inLivonia.  What the hell has happened to our society?

Well, in light of all of these feelings I was just standing with some people that I know and someone started talking about a news report that they had heard on television about howDetroitis changing and moving ahead.  They report spoke about how the city is working to get people to move back in from the suburbs. One fella’ said “ you could give me a house with ten bedrooms and ten bathrooms in that city and I would not take it”.  “Those Niggers would burn it down or steal me blind”….  “I would not move anywhere near them Niggers”……

In chirped another fella who said, yea, we should start burning crosses in Detroit, then ‘they’ would know what they are dealing with.   I stood dumb founded. I could not believe what I was hearing.

Well, instead of getting all bent out of shape and cussing them out, I decided to take the attitude that the little girl fromLivoniatook.  I’m going to pray for them and everyone else who is racist in any way shape or form.   It’s a sad truth that this society is so set in a Colonialist, European mind set that they cant see past their own history.  The history when the Irish we stoned at the docks ofNew Yorkas they fled their impoverished country, the Jews and the Germans, the Japanese and currently the Middle Easterners.

Its time to stop this madness, I said that I would pray for them, and I will.  But today this offensive behavior will not go un answered.  I cannot be silent.

Dr. King said, I have a dream… and I have a dream too.  My dream is that people will STOP looking at my daughter and asking “what is she”?

Please consider your attitude toward EVERYONE, not just a specific cultural or ethnic group.  We are one family weather you like it or not.