Discrimination Hurts Us All!

Immoral

 

Discrimination of any kind and for any reason is not only immoral and hateful but is destructive toward our society as a whole. We all need to remember that we share this planet that we live on and we need to coexist peacefully and harmoniously. Discrimination hurts those that it is directed at, but it also hurts the person who is doing the discriminating. Every time someone discriminates against a fellow human being, they cut away a little piece not only of their character, but their humanity as well. We are all members of society on this planet we call earth. No matter what colour of skin, hair, or eyes, we are still human beings; we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, not reviled or put down because we are not a mirror image of you.

We are all here on this earth for one reason or another, not to make life on this planet unbearable for others. In most cases, Discrimination is learned from the people that you grew up with; if you remove those influences, the majority of Discrimination will disappear.

We must all remember that no one else on this planet has the same skin colour unless we come from multiple births. Every single one of us is different! We all have different viewpoints and outlooks, which makes this world of ours so great. DIVERSITY!

If everyone on this planet were precisely the same, the world would be a very dull place to live. There would be no culture, no innovation, no art, no creativity, nothing that comes from all of us being different.

Stop and take a look at the so-called “White People”, you will undoubtedly see that there are a multitude of shades of “White”. Some of us have yellow-toned skin, some pink-toned, some brown, and on and on.

Another interesting thing is the appellation Caucasian being applied to supposedly “White Skin”. Does everyone that claims to be “White” come from the Caucasus Mountains? That is an out-and-out impossibility! How the term Caucasian came about: Do White People Really Come From the Caucasus? How Caucasians got their name.

So, remember, when you start to discriminate against someone for being “Different,” you may be discriminating against yourself!

When you start to hurl racial epithets, or other demeaning words or phrases, stop and think of how you would feel if you were the recipient of those exact words.

 

Religion

 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

By discriminating against anyone, you deprive them of their Civil Rights, the same ones that you enjoy. James 1:26 – If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion [is] vain. To put down, condemn, or discriminate against someone because they don’t believe in the same god as you do, it is just as wrong as discriminating against someone for their skin colour, eyes, or hair. All human beings have the right to live and believe as we choose; not one of us is better than another. We must learn to treat everyone as we would like to be treated ourselves. While you may not like the colour of someone’s hair, remember they are not forcing you to have the same colour hair. Likewise, those who don’t worship the same god as you are not forcibly trying to change who you worship.

It is incredible how many different religions there are in the world. However, it doesn’t end there, as there are more flavours of Catholicism than I can count. The same holds true for every other major religion that I know of.

As far as I can tell, there isn’t a single religion that is better than another one; they all have something to offer their followers. For those that don’t know me personally, I am a Lapsed Catholic; before I left the Catholic Church as a sophomore in high school, I had been on a path to the priesthood. Then Vatican II happened, and that turned my thinking one-hundred-eighty degrees. I have occasionally attended mass for family events or keeping friends’ company. However, that is the extent of my involvement with organized religion.

I have looked into Presbyterianism, Rosicrucianism, and the beliefs of Native Americans. They all have had something to offer me. If someone asked me today if I was religious, I would answer no. However, I am spiritual.

Why am I mentioning all this? When I was growing up in the Catholic Church and attending Catholic School, we were practically forbidden to attend the services of any other religion. If we did, we were required to participate in a Catholic Mass the same day or as soon as possible. That was in addition to attending confession for that supposed “sin”. While I was in Catholic School, I was in the choir, and even if we sang for two masses, we were still required to attend another mass or face the wrath of Sister Superior.

So, as you can see, some of the Discrimination for religious reasons is caused by the religions themselves!

Before you put someone down for their religious beliefs, “Try walking a mile in their shoes.”

 

Ageism

 

Unfortunately, Discrimination of many types runs rampant throughout the world, and that is a shame. I have been told that, as a Caucasian person, that I know nothing about being discriminated against. However, there can be nothing further from the truth; I have suffered several kinds of Discrimination, some subtle and some not so subtle.

I have been called Bookworm (before Nerd, and Geek, came along), I have also been called shrimp, Potato head and other Irish slurs. I have even been called a Spic and wetback due to my slightly brown skin tone and, at the time, Jet Black hair and moustache. I kept that moustache for several years, just so those folks wouldn’t win. When some friends found out, they thought it was hilarious as I was of Irish, English, German, and a smidgeon of Cherokee descent. As I later found out, I was actually of Manx descent and not Irish.

However, the worst Discrimination I faced was Ageism, and that started happening once I hit Forty. It steadily got worse and was almost impossible once I hit Fifty. The standard excuse I received was: “We can’t afford to pay you what you are worth!” So, they then hired two people with far fewer qualifications and knowledge than I did and paid both of them three months of training before they got any actual production out of them. Ageism is very subtle, hard to spot and even harder to fight.

You Don’t Judge

You Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover ~ So Don’t Judge A Person By Their Skin!

©2018 By The Story Lover, All Rights Reserved.

It isn’t a person’s skin that makes them a person,

It is their heart, and their soul that makes them a person.

It isn’t the colour of their skin that makes a person,

It is the love and caring for humanity that comes from inside, that makes a person.

It isn’t the body parts attached to the skin that makes a person,

It is the knowledge and wisdom that they share, that makes a person.

It isn’t who someone loves that makes them a person,

It is the fact that they love that does.

So, don’t judge a person by their outer shell,

Judge them by the person within!

Remember, it is the heart and soul, the knowledge and wisdom,

It is their love and caring for humanity that comes from within,

Along with the fact that they love, that makes a person!


Colour/Ethnicity

I was first exposed to Racism by colour and ethnicity in my sophomore year in high school. Two African Americans joined my almost all-white high school. Other than a few Filipinos, and Latin Americans, there were no persons of colour in the student body. The faculty wasn’t much better; there was only one non “white” faculty member, the Japanese Dean of Students.

To me, being around people of colour was not a big thing; I was born in the city of Bellflower, California, spent a lot of time in Compton, and went through the Watts Riots, which were blown way out of proportion by the media! When I was eight years old, we moved to Cupertino, California, in a small quiet neighbourhood consisting primarily of Mexican Families. We went to school together, had sleepovers, everything kids of that age did. We then moved to a different part of Cupertino to a neighbourhood carved out of Apricot and Plum Orchards. One of my best friends there was a Filipino named Rosendo, whose nickname was Rody. We became the best of friends and rode the school bus to Junior High. He also gave me rides to High School; we were part of the lonely few from our neck of the woods that attended that high school. We only knew each other as most of the kids at that high school came from several other Junior High Schools from a different School District.

So, when Azelle, and his sister came to our high school, I naturally became friends. Part of the reason was the fact that Azelle was in six of my seven classes. He was also as bright as I was and even more of a cutup in class than I was. It only dawned on me that they were African American when someone asked why I was hanging around with those black people. The question was posed as if they were second-class people and not fit to hang around with. I responded, “Because they are my friends, why shouldn’t I hang around with them?”

After that, I went out of my way to introduce Azelle to all of my friends, particularly those on the Water Polo, Swimming, Football, and Baseball Teams. Azelle was a star on the JV Track Team, which helped him get to know more people. My friends on the Sports Teams put out the word that Azelle and his sister were good people and to treat them right. There were a few times that some idiots spouted off. However, they were either taken to task by an athlete or dragged bodily to the Dean of Boys Office.

From that day on, I always judged people by the person they were and not the colour of their skin!

While I was still in high school, I volunteered to take care of the Dean of Students, two young boys, whenever he had to bring them to school with him. That included when I was working at the Football Games, either taking care of the Snack-bars or working on the Chain Gang. The boys were happy because staying with their Dad was boring. The kids were terrific and a lot of fun to be around. They were no problem at all. They liked being with me because I didn’t take care of them because their Dad was my boss, but because I wanted to. They also appreciated the fact that I treated them as my brothers and not Japanese. Little did I know how important that would be later on, one of the saddest days of my young life. I had to attend the funeral of my dear friend, the Dean of Students. It was a Buddhist Funeral, and I felt alone and out of place because I was one of the very few non-Japanese there. However, that ended as soon as the boys saw me, they ran over and gave me hugs with tears in their eyes, and I returned their hugs with tears in mine as well. They dragged me over and introduced me to their Mother and a few other relatives. As soon as they told their Mother who I was, she hugged me and said a bunch of words that I didn’t know.

Luckily the two boys translated for me; in fact, they became my personal translators the rest of the day. When the service was over and all of the relatives began to head toward the Funeral Luncheon, I made to leave. However, the boys would have none of that. They dragged me to the Luncheon; actually, they dragged me to my car and told me to follow everyone else. They sat with me at the Luncheon and acted as my translators whenever one of their relatives stopped by. They also explained what all the different foods were; they also told me what I should eat and what I shouldn’t eat; they even taught me how to use chopsticks. They were very sad to see me go but smiled when I told them I would see them at the Memorial at the high school, and they could sit with me. That made them happier, especially when I told them I would be one of the speakers at the Memorial.

You never know when a small act of kindness to someone that is “different” than you will be paid a hundred times over!

So please, as my poem says: You Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover ~ So Don’t Judge A Person By Their Skin!


Author’s Notes:

My raison d’être for writing this piece was to try and show how discrimination in its many shapes and forms is pervasive and inherent everywhere. This was written mostly from my perspective, and, my life’s experiences.

One thing that I didn’t mention is that people aren’t born discriminatory, or racist, they are taught those things by their family and local environment.

Like Homophobia, the cure for Racism, and Discrimination is Education, and love, pure and simple.

Thank you for reading, and if you find these words helpful and insightful, please share them, just give me credit.

TSL

Arts Comments:

I found this to be one of your best commentaries. It is especially relevant in today’s world for a number of reasons. Take care, my friend.

Art

Darryl’s Comments:

I didn’t see much to change, but I had tears in my eyes when I finished reading it.

When I was a kid, one of my friends at school was a black kid His name was Jimmy Crockett.

We hung out together at school and had a lot of things in common, but when I asked my mom if I could have Jimmy come over for a sleepover, she told me that he couldn’t come to stay the night, “What would the neighbors say?”

I was totally shocked to hear that from my mom.

That was the first, but not the last time that I realised that I was living with people who were racists.

I never told Jimmy that he couldn’t come home with me for the weekend, although he was allowed to come during the day sometimes.

I somehow managed to avoid the idea of having a sleepover, and at that point, I made the decision that I would never ask any of my friends to come over for a sleepover since I figured that if Jimmy couldn’t come, I would treat everyone else the same way,

I never discussed it with my parents, I just didn’t invite anyone.

It really hurt me, but at least as far as I was concerned Jimmy was no different than anyone else. I never had a sleepover after that day.

I still consider my mom to have been a hypocrite. When she talked to Jimmy she was as nice as pie, but I knew what she had said when he wasn’t there.

I still loved my parents, but I had lost a lot of respect for them. It changed my whole outlook toward them.

My whole attitude changed in terms of the things I kept to myself and never told them. A whole lot of my life from then on, became out of bounds for conversations with them.

I will never understand how the color of someone’s skin should make a difference as to whether they are a friend and or a loved one.

Hugs,

Darryl


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