Prejudice My Father Taught Me

Community Corruption and Lies Environment Liberty/Politics Personal Development Relationships What Your Father Should Have Taught You

13 AUGUST AUC 2776

I have to admit that I was raised with the prejudices of my father. He passed on his prejudice that the French are selfish and only out for themselves, Poles aren’t the brightest, and Blacks and “Indians” work harder than white men and complain less. Over the years I married my wife who was of French dissent, learned that not all blacks nor first peoples work hard and that all races have good and bad, and that the Poles and Germans, led by King Jan Sobieski had saved Europe from a massive Muslim army that had laid siege to Vienna.

Its Not Race But Culture That Defines Us

It was probably understandable that my father would pass on these prejudices. He was of German decent and Germans have a long history of contending with the Poles and the French. In fairness when I was older I met a French woman at a religious retreat – she worked with the admin personnel – I could tell she had a European accent and I kind of missed Europe and being able to speak something besides English and I asked her “Sprechen Sie Deutsch?” “No,” she glared at me. “I’m French.” She never spoke to me again during the retreat. Yeah, Germans may be prejudice against the French but it goes both ways and, in case you didn’t notice, they are both white. Its not race but culture that defines us.

The idiocy of today teaches that all whites and blacks think alike and they do so as a block. This is a Marxist belief and is foreign to the American way of thinking. Marxists believe there no individual opinions – only racial and class prejudice. Another lie we endure today is that apparently everything is black and white and Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, Eskimos, Poles, Italians, Greeks, Dutch, Danish, Swedes, Russians, Czechs, Romanians, Arabs, Persians, Israelis, Nigerians, Tanzanians, Kenyans, Sudanese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Koreans, Chinese, and an almost limitless other delimitations don’t exist. “Hispanic” is as ridiculous as “black” or “white.” These monoliths don’t exist. I know Mexicans, Puerta Ricans, Argentines, Chileans, and others and they all have different viewpoints and ways of doing things. They don’t even speak Spanish the same way and, because no one seems to know this anymore, both Spanish and English are European languages.

My Dad did teach me that judging people solely by a couple millimeters of skin color that they are sheathed in is not very smart. Further that there is no “white” or “black” but everyone is varying shades of brownish from very pale to almost, but not quite black. And again, its not skin color that guides our beliefs it is culture. I don’t dislike “black” people. I tend to dislike people that are raised in big cities. They don’t have my values.

Of course I grew up in the racism of the 60s and 70s. We had the Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, and the Bill Cosby show on TV as well as Lt. Uhura, Lt. Sulu, Ensign Chekov, Lt-Cdr Scott, and Commander Spock on TV in our homes every day. We also had All In the Family where a racist Archie Bunker entertained us with the most racist statements about Japs, Jews, Wops, Wetbacks, N—-rs, and every other concievable prejudice we had ever heard of. He even used slurs I had never heard before and I had to ask my parents.

The one thing that was consistent was that everything he said gave everyone the impression that only close-minded idiots actually believed you could judge people based upon their race. We made racism into a joke and racists were stupid, uneducated, or backward. In today’s world we apparently are overrun with idiots, who are stupid, uneducated, or backward because today racism is everything and apparently everything is black and white (I guess Asians, Jews, Arabs, and Hindus no longer exist because no one talks about them.)

One of the few episodes I remember entirely. Had Archie in the hospital for his heart and he made fast friends with a Frenchman in the next bed. Because of the curtain he couldn’t see that the Frenchman was black. His family knew but Archie didn’t. When he praised how intelligent and cultured his French friend was they would just look at each other knowing that he was praising a black man. At the end when Archie’s new friend was released he came around the curtain to shake hands with his American friend. He continued to chat as Archie was in shock trying to reconcile his racism with the feelings and opinions he had developed for his friend – before he knew the man’s skin color. This was one of the most popular shows on prime time Television in racist America before you were born when we had only three channels on TV.

And we thought we had banished that racist crap from society in the 80s and 90s. As Thomas Sowell said, if racism wasn’t dead in the US it was certainly on life support. But people are so much smarter now.

My son told me that he never remembered seeing race in school until he was about 8. “Do you know what happened when you were 8?” “No,” he answered. “America elected Barack Obama president and somehow the race-baiters all came back into the limelight declaring that, somehow, electing a black president somehow proved we were racist. ” I almost voted for him too. Until I realized that I would be voting for him only because he was black and it would be good for us to have a black President – voting for someone only because of their skin color is racist and my Dad taught me that would be stupid. I have often lamented that our first black president wasn’t Colin Powell, Condeleeza Rice, or Herman Cain (who I did vote for because my nephew worked for him and he was impressive.)

I don’t want to pretend no one was racist when I was growing up.

When we were driving through Tennessee we stopped for gas. My Dad never got gas on the interstate because he said it was cheaper if you drove a few miles off the main road. We stopped at an old country gas station and I went to the bathroom, (I was about seven.) When I got there a black boy was urinating on the wall by the door. He pointed to a sign that said, “Whites Only.” “Who are the White’s? Do they own this gas station?” he looked at me like I was stupid. I wasn’t – at seven years old I had already read the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein. But I was unfamiliar with prejudice. I went back and said I couldn’t go potty because they had a sign up and I didn’t know if I was allowed “it was just for the Whites.” My Dad stopped pumping gas and said “Get in the car, if this place isn’t good enough for black people then its not good enough for use either.”

A few years later I encountered racism again. My friend Steve and I had been playing with our friend Sekar whose father was a university professor. He had just climbed the ladder our neighbors had up so that kids could go over their fence so the kids on Cotner could play with the kids on Washington Street without having to go all around or climb the chain link fence. After Sekar disappeared Steve looked at me and said “We can play with Sekar.” I didn’t understand him. We had just played with him for hours, it was now dinner time and we were all going home. “My dad says its OK he isn’t a n****r. He’s from India.” My mouth dropped open and I didn’t know what to say until I said, “I play with whoever I want to and I don’t I need your Dad’s permission.” (I was about 9 so it was 1969.) “What about James?” I asked. James was my friend from down the street, a lanky black boy and we were always doing stuff together, playing “cowboys and Indians” kick the can, and kick ball. “I can’t play with him anymore.” “You’re dad’s crazy I!” I said. “James and Sekar are my friends and I play with who I want.” I ran off and was really mad at Steve. I didn’t play with him or even talk to him for more than a week – which is a long time in the life of a nine year old.

After that we would see Steve and his sister in their yard watching us play across the huge grassy triangle shaped field we played football on. You see James had a little brother in diapers they called Bubba and he couldn’t leave the yard so we all played in his yard when Bubba was out. We would play kick ball or T-Ball. Bubba would try to kick the ball and the first baseman would all for Bubba to run for him while the rest of us would kick, drop, or otherwise fail to get him out for however long it took him to get to base. No one every said it but we all just let him go. We switched which team he was on because Bubba was always a guaranteed point and we all wanted to win.

Please don’t misunderstand me. My neighborhood wasn’t some polyanna paradise.

I remember fighting downstairs with my brother. He had his legs around me in a vise and I had him by the ear as we pounded on each other…until my mom called down “What’s going on down there?” Simon and I froze, our fists raised in mid strike and we both answered in unison “Nothing!” “There better continue to be nothing going on down there or I’ll break off your arms and beat you over the head with the bloody stump!” My mom was Irish and no pacifist. She traveled to California to be closer to Dad when he was in World War II. She never talked much about it except to say she worked in a coffee shop during the war. Like many young women she hoped to be a performer and sing in movies. She did say once, after I was older that she was scared of the pimps in their “zoot suits.” That was the first indication I had she wasn’t in a good neighborhood. My dad was furious when he heard where she was living and wanted her to return to Nebraska.

We didn’t grow up in some pansy “zero tolerance” society back then. In the neighborhood someone would get mad and we would have a neighborhood “War” splitting into gangs (the Viet Nam war was on TV every night), James and I were always on the same side our groups were not based upon race. We used stick swords and spears until someone actually got hit with a “spear” or whapped on the knuckle with a “sword” and ran home crying … which got the parents involved and the whole neighborhood got in trouble. There was none of this neuroses about guns and violence that single mothers and wussies have dreamed up. No one would dare bring a weapon to school. Our dad would kick our ass.

Life was simpler then, all my Dad had to say was “Do I need to take off my belt?” or “Don’t make me pull over” and whatever was wrong would get fixed…fast!

Back then boys, and sometimes girls, got in fights. “Boys will be boys,” is what our parents said. I remember my Social Studies teachers heavy hands upon our shoulders as he said, “Enough of that. You boys shake hands and apologize.” Today everything is in chaos, no one has a dad and we’re making boys into girls and girls into boys.

We’ve come so far.

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