Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Prejudice (not a book)

I got into a little discussion on a Facebook page the other day. It was a public site where local people and school alumni can reminisce. Someone was talking about a problem at their job and one thing led to another and finally someone else blamed everything on those towel heads. I didn't say anything right then but as the afternoon wore on, I kept thinking about the term he used and it bothered me more and more. I finally went back to the site and that post and I told him I found his use of the term towel head to be offensive. He apoligized at that time but came back later to ask if the terrorism acts of 9-11 hadn't bothered me. I don't see how one thing has to do with the other but I responded by telling him that I was as patriotic as the next person. My brother fought in both Desert Storm and Operation: Iraqi Freedom. I told him I had had the priviledge of having Korean, German and American Indians in my immediate family and blacks and latinos in my extended family. I told him I was a very tolerant person but I didn't tolerate intolerance. He never did get my point. He finally told me I was entitled to my opinion and he was entitled to his. (The next day that entire post was deleted.)
These day we all know not to use the 'N' word when referring to blacks. We don't call Asians chinks or slant eyes or Italians wops. (At least I hope not!)  How is calling the Iraqis towel heads any different? It's referring to a whole nationality in a very derogatory way. I know that their entire country was raised to hate the Americans. Are we going to raise our children to hate them in return? In my opinion, that just brings us down to the level of the terrorists. I never questioned his right to hate the ones who terrorized New York or the ones who continue to injure and/or kill our soldiers. I was only objecting to his use of the term towel heads. A couple of other people spoke up but no one really sided with me. One said that the other poster was free to say what he wanted on his own Facebook page but probably should watch what he posted on a public page. Someone said we should only make comments pertaining to the site. Someone else said they'd had job training to be more polically correct which his term wasn't. Only one told him he was entitled to his opinion even if it was wrong. I'm sure most people just didn't want to get involved and in my opinion that's a major part of the problem with predudice....people won't speak up. Maybe it's because I'm older now but I do speak up more often and I'll continue to do so. I hope you will, too, when you see someone doing or saying something that just isn't right. Speak up!
On a slightly different but related subject, we all talk about how patriotic and all-American our soldiers are (and I'm not saying they aren't).  But did you ever stop and think that those same soldiers bring a LOT of non-Americans into our country by marrying the people they meet in other countries? They certainly do their share in diversifying America even as they help protect it and spread democracy. As Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing."
........climbing down off my soap box now........

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