Being Prejuduced

Trump has opened a very ugly can of “deplorables” who feel that it is ok to wear their prejudism and hatred on their sleeve.  What is scary about it is the transparency of anger.  That somehow it is now ok to be uncivilized to our fellow man because of an indifference towards others who are different.

Anger, biogtry, prejudism and hatred is something I don’t understand.  I get it but I don’t get it.  What scares me is to see young children being raised as bigots.  Not surprising if that you are being raised by a bigot that you become a bigot.  Although it doesn’t have to be that way.  I know people who are liberal Democrats that grew up in a conservative left wing household.

Why do people grow up with different political values than their parents?  More than likely they grew up in a family that believed in education.  Those kids went to school every day and were allowed to form their own opinions.  They went through the world with their eyes wide open not closed.

Decades ago there was a revolution when schools became desegregated.  As neighborhoods become less mixed the schools end up being one dimensional.  You can go into Chinatown in NYC and the elementary school is mostly Asian even though NYC is an insanely multi-culture city.  The importance of growing up with people from all different walks of life is the key to acceptance of others.  How you can grow up in an all white alt-right family who never comes across anyone who looks different than them until they are in their late teens (if) then how can they grow up to be accepting and comfortable around people that don’t look like them.

A few years back we went to a wedding in Las Vegas.  The wedding took place at a huge hotel that none of us stayed at.  A group of us went over to the hotel for the ceremony and weren’t really sure which way to go.  The place is huge.  An overweight middle-aged man in shorts, a floral Bahama shirt, a fanny pack and birkenstocks came up to us as we were trying to figure it out.  He said “people who look like you went that way.”  We all got a good chuckle out of that but it speaks volumes.

Our country is becoming less white.  This election might represent the last grasp of white power.  Let’s hope so but more important we need to figure out a way to educate the youth to accept their fellow man/woman no matter what they look like, their sexual orientation or what their religious beliefs are.  Hatred is evil but somehow it is harder to accept others with grace and dignity.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Susan Rubinsky

    “This election might represent the last grasp of white power.” This is exactly what I’ve been saying for some time now. The current spike of hatred and anger from the Alt-right is twofold. There are powerful people behind the Alt-Right. Then there are those they are using to gain power by leveraging fear.I feel so lucky, so blessed, to have grown up in a town that was very mixed demographically, black and white, wealthy and poor. While we may have been a bit segregated in elementary school, we were all united in middle school and high school. I don’t think I realized at the time how meaningful that experience would be for all of us as we grew up into adults and moved into the future. Because I grew up in and have always lived in the Northeast, however, I don’t think I had enough of a nuanced understanding of the limitations of living somewhere where it is all white. It’s incomprehensible to me in some ways.One time, about ten years ago, I was interviewing for a job in Kansas City. The company had flown me out for two days. After the first day, the president of the company and his wife took me and a few co-workers out to dinner. We were walking down the street and passed a cool looking BBQ place. I looked in and said, “Let’s go in there!” The owner looked at me, then looked inside, then looked back at me and said, “That place isn’t for us.” I looked back in and realized it was all black people inside. I said, “So what?” and the guy said to me, “That’s not how it works here,” and steered me away to another BBQ place down the street. Once we were at the dinner table, I said, “Why didn’t you want to go to that other place?” He said, “White people have their own places and black people have their own places here.” Now the president of this company was a Jewish guy who had grown up in NYC, he said, “It’s not like the Northeast here. If we socialized with black people we’d loose almost all our contracts.” I was incredulous. I just did not know how to respond. Here was a tiny symptom of what I suspected was a whole systemic social order to maintain advantage for whites and create disadvantage for blacks. I was offered the job but I just could not take it. I didn’t want to become part of that system nor could I live in a place where I would have to self-segregate (I’m incapable of it anyway). I often think about how I got that one little glimpse and how it was most likely only a sliver of the whole truth.I met a young woman this summer who was visiting Bridgeport, CT, from Idaho. She told me that she was so surprised when she got here because she thought it was going to be all ghettos with black people shooting at each other. She was very serious. It was the first time in her life she had seen black people. And it was not at all what she was told it would be like. She liked it here and made lots of friends. I think a good first step might be to get young white kids who live in predominantly white areas to travel to see other places that are more demographically mixed. Some kind of in-country exchange program.

    1. Gotham Gal

      what a story. incredible that it is reality in this day and age….although it took place a few years ago but not that long.

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        It was one of those pivotal life moments. It has always stuck with me because it gave me a deeper glimpse into how systemic prejudice is. I never really understood before that how pervasive it really is.

  2. Julie Lerner

    GG, would love you to post about the Russian (Putin) hacking of the democrats and its most certain affect on the US election. There will be no recourse because Trump and Tillerson are in bed with Putin. I know we are in crazy Trumpland, but it seems like he will get away with it. I don’t get it.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I don’t get it either.