It is not the politics of our country that is breaking my heart, it is the hatred that is being displayed. At the beginning I believed that this administration did not bring out any more hatred in people, they just made people believe they could be more forthright with their prejudice. I thought that perhaps we were better off seeing who hated us, rather than having it hidden beneath false smiles. I was wrong!
Remember those days in elementary school and that one hateful boy who made you feel uncomfortable? You knew he was thinking vile thoughts, but he was afraid to put those thoughts into action. Then a few more kids let their bigotry show, and they all became a much braver group. The bullying became physical and school became an unpleasant place to be. The spineless draw strength from numbers, and the more cowards that show their faces, the more likely they are to act.
It is difficult for me to believe the number of people who feel so venomous towards people who are different than they are. What was in the mind of the attorney, for example, who began ranting about two women who were conversing with each other in Spanish, their native language. He was standing in a take-out type of restaurant in New York and began yelling demeaning things to these women and threatening to call I.C.E. and have them deported. The positive twist to this story lies with the number of people coming to the defense of these women.
Or how about the group of black Sigma Gamma Rho sorority sisters who were performing community service in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania? A state trooper stopped them as they cleaned a part of the highway and began harassing them. Even after they explained what they were doing and showed valid I.D., he continued the harassment as he demeaned these community minded young ladies. Unfortunately it is not possible to insure that all police personal are without bigotry when they are hired, and the tenor of the country at this time encourages the worst of these bigots to show their true colors.
These incidents are happening throughout the country and in all economic and educational levels. A black coed graduate student at Yale University was studying in the common lounge and fell asleep. A white coed called the police who asked for identification even after she used her key to get into her dorm room. When the young woman explained to the policemen that she paid her tuition and deserves to be there, one officer responded “We determine who is allowed to be here or who’s not allowed to be here, regardless of whether you feel you’re allowed to be here or not.”
Each of these many stories that we read each day takes away a bit of the humanity that America was built on, and makes us lesser in the eyes of the world. Whether or not one believes that illegal immigrants should be deported, surely we must agree that all people should be treated with respect and dignity. Separating families, threatening to call I.C.E. and demeaning these people who are only searching for a better life, is not the answer.
I am saddened and worried by these actions, but I am heartened by the people who are stepping up and defending those who are being tormented. In each of the cases that I mentioned, and in the hundreds of cases that I haven’t mentioned, there were many more people standing up for what was right then there were people showing their bigotry. Hopefully, those of us who believe in equality for all will show our beliefs in the voting booths around America this November. Hopefully, we will spend time researching each candidate and then vote for the one (no matter the party affiliation) who represents the humane side of our country. America has always been great, and we must ensure that she will continue to represent the best of humanity.
To lighten the mood this week, I read a light mystery. There's Something About Marty (A Working Stiffs Mystery) by Wendy Delaney was just what I needed during those sleepless nights.
As always a complete review of this book follows my blog.