Thursday, April 15, 2010


...and bigotry came up in class again last night. I was very much up when the question was asked and sincerely wish that I had a tape recording or a transcript of what I said in response. Anyway, this is what I remember now that it is 4:33 am the following morning. What I said was that people who are hateful, prejudiced or bigots suffer from a severe lack of intelligence. They come from a point of being stupid to the point where stupid has become their life. People with those attributes think in a very narrow world where they are sincerely afraid, fearful of people who are black or are Muslim or are brown or speak Spanish. I told my students about living in Georgia in 1961 when everything was still segregated. Black people would step into the street when I walked down the sidewalk. There were two waiting rooms in the Greyhound bus station. There were two water fountains side by side. Two rest rooms next to each other. A black person would never look you in the eye. A black person would never fail to call me sir. Keep in mind that I was 18 years old and just a boy from Iowa farm country. People who are hateful, prejudiced or bigots live in a constant state of fear that a minority will somehow marry their daughter or steal their job. They are so very threatened by that potential competition that they throw reason out the window. I will not waste my time naming names. They know who they are and you know who they are. Just be careful about who you listen to or agree with during these times. I heard a commentary yesterday about how we are moving into another period of McCarthyism where we will start to see threats to our way of life everywhere. But if you listen carefully to both sides of any issue you will quickly see that only one side professes love and forgiveness while the other side professes hate and fear.

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