The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

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.

Sorry for the rant but I am quite testy lately.


Mark, Bagman, and Butler said...

The best therapy for ignorance bigotry, I've found, is to spend time with people smarter than myself...although sometimes it is difficult to recognize that.  I have a theory that we can only perceive that which fits in our mind.  Consequently it is hard (maybe impossible) to recognize bigger minds.  If you take that postulate to its logical conclusion then every living creature is only capable of understanding lesser creatures.   So all of us believe we are the most intelligent beings in the world.  I know I am smarter than the cockroach crawling across the floor...but he can't comprehend me and probably thinks he is brilliant.

Douglas4517 said...

You're a wise man. I am not so wise. Unfortunately, someone told me my IQ back when I was 13. I began to realize I could manipulate people, especially those with less intelligence and knowledge. Some of them were teachers. It was my downfall.