Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Cartoon
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
By the way... there's a crossword at the bottom of this page
Friday, July 15, 2011
It's just not black and white, is it?
[Please forgive the use of certain words in this piece that may be offensive. I felt they were necessary to the point]
I live amongst bigots. It's to be expected, I suppose. After all, I live in the South and I saw that bigotry in full sway back in the early 50's. Separate restrooms for "colored" and "white", separate drinking fountains, separate changing rooms (if "coloreds" were allowed to try on anything at all) in department stores, signs that read "No niggers, spics, or jews" and so on.
Here I was, a young boy from the suburbs (what would now be called "exurbs") out on Long Island, finding myself in a place so alien to me that I might as well have been on another planet. Until I realized that I hadn't lived in a mixed neighborhood and saw few, if any, "coloreds" in stores or restaurants in my small town. The difference between the two places was the difference between "de jure" and "de facto".
In the South, it was both. Jim Crow laws coupled with bigoted attitudes and practices were what kept black people and white people apart. In the north, it was all attitudes and practices but the laws seemed to be in favor of equality. They just weren't enforced that way.
I came to realize something over the years, bigotry will never go away. You can pass laws against it, you can enforce those laws; you can sue and demand and win over and over again but you won't get rid of it. The reason it's a losing battle is simple: Few people believe they are bigots. And it is universal, not confined to the South or to this country.
I readily admit that I am one. I don't practice it, mind you, and I have no power over anyone else so I can't inflict any real harm on others. But those feelings are there in my mind. They are not limited to ethnic differences. No, I am quite heavily bigoted when it comes to stupidity. I have to force myself to be tolerant of the ignorant and stupid. It is especially difficult dealing with the ignorant. The stupid are just born that way and, therefore, more easily tolerated. The ignorant choose to be that way.