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Jul 22, 2008

The ugly truth about Racism

Racism.

The word by itself brings to mind vivid pictures that I think the following words describe pretty accurately: Ugly, Unfair, Biased, Ignorant, Hurtful, Stupid.

I am sure there are many other descriptive adjectives that could fit here as well, but those should paint a fairly good picture. Last night Delia and I watched a program on the History Channel about the origins of Nazi-ism in America. Its roots come from the fact that we as a country support the idea of free speech and deplore the idea that a government can censure the same.

After world war 1 many Germans came to America. These people were looking for the American Dream. Freedom of Everything. You could be who you wanted to be. You could do what wanted to do under the protection of the 1st amendment. But what has that led to?

Now, here in the untied states, under the protection of the United States Government, you can proclaim your belief that one race is superior to another with no fear of retribution. And that belief grows and festers with nothing to put it in check.

I work in an environment where racism is real and alive. Up until this point I have never really made a public show of my employment, except for vague references and innuendos. Now, feeling the way I do about things, I feel the time has come to be a little more specific. I work in a correctional institution. And there, in the facility, racism is alive and well. A white guy can not mix freely with a black guy without fear of being punished. I won't go into all the intricacies of it all, but its ugly. Its hurtful to people. Its a sad, realistic view of the nation as a whole.

Look at the southern states, were the "Rebel Flag" is displayed on flag poles over the American Flag. Where there are certain areas where people of color are not welcome and areas where white people won't go because the colored folk frequent them.

Where have we gone wrong? Why has this idea been allowed to take root and cement itself in the very fabric of "freedom" that we so dearly embrace?

About 5 years ago I made the choice to date a Hispanic woman. In certain circles I would have been looked at as a "Traitor to my Race."

I myself look at myself as a human being, and my wife, as the same human being. I don't get the idea Racism. I can't understand how one person can look at another as being inferior simply because of skin color. My wife was once referred to as being "one shade lighter than a nigger." The person who made this comment I would classify as being the basest of people, with no education and a history of drug use, violence, and prison time. But in the end, it still makes real the idea that racism is alive and well in America.

I love this country. I love the freedoms afforded to me by those who were willing to fight for it. But do I hold my own prejudices in my own heart? Do I hate the uneducated? Do I hate ignorant? Do I deplore their use of the constitution, that gives me the same freedoms to hate them, that gives them the freedom to hate others? Yes.

Certain freedoms were granted with an intent. But the founding fathers intent was a constitution that would be forever binding, one that could adapt to new eras and new ideas and still hold the same truths to be true.

I hate them for taking advantage of that, and taking those privileges and twisting them to their own diabolical ideas.

I love my wife. I love other people. No matter what their nationality, no matter what the color of their skin.

People are people. And we should all be able to get along.

6 comments:

  1. Adam, thank you for this. Not only were you willing to discuss a topic that most people avoid, but it shows us that our son has integrity and fairness in dealing with others. I wish that life was fair, but it isn't. And you both deal with a job that deals with unfairness everyday. We love our new daughter-in-law and know she is special to you. One day I hope that there will be no difference between race, creed or religion. Until then, we can only do our best to show respect to everyone. Love Mom

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  2. AMEN!!!
    Thank you for expressing your thoughts on a very difficult subject.

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  3. Well said... we love Delia too and we figure if she wants to spend the rest of her life with you, then she must be an angel!!! :) You are one lucky guy to have her in your life!!!

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  4. the only race that matters is that of the HUMAN RACE. Only when one drops out of it may they claim identification with another. I think it would be good to take a deep breath and consider that the little box we work in DOES NOT represent the real world. The problems we face are amplified and magnified beyond rational comprehension. When people have all of their worth stripped from them (or they throw it away), they are left with only the visual reflection that is presented to them. It is much easier to open a jailhouse conversation with-(I'm white and I am proud) than with-(I'm George, and I am scared.)I don't accept their mindset but I try to understand it. I probably never will.

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  5. Shelly Lenich in PAJuly 29, 2008 at 8:07 PM

    Hi! I'm another friend of Delia's named Shelly. Haven't had the pleasure of meeting you yet, but am really hoping I get to on my next visit to Humboldt, which just happens to be starting this Friday! It truly warms my heart to read about how much you love Delia! I've always known how wonderful she is, and am so thrilled she's with someone else who sees it, too!

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  6. Thanks Adam for this...I too have recently experienced some surprising attacks regarding our desire to adopt a child that may not have the same skin color as us. We don't have a problem with it, I don't see why anyone else should.

    It is a shame that this kind of garbage exists. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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You went to all the trouble to get yourself here, you might as well say something about it.

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