“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” ― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
I read that book when I was a teenager. I was astounded by her. The ability to have compassion, hope and faith in the middle of such horror is humbling. It is also a beacon of light for the rest of us.
Regardless of where people come from and where they go, human nature reveals itself time and time again. The problems we face are the same throughout time. It’s just that now we have so much more to contend with.
If you are following local news it seems as though every time you turn around there is another racial incident involving citizens, guns, violence and the police. It’s hard to believe that racially bias and profiling still exists. Are we as humans still so far behind the curve on this topic. I am not one to side with any particular race because to me All Lives Matter! We are a nation of a incredible ethnic and cultural diversity, it’s time to embrace this with both arms. The topic of police, shootings and violence is a topic all on to itself and has deeply rooted systemic problems. Problems I am not prepared to expound upon.
I can however speak of experiencing racism and racial profiling. As a child I identified with one aspect of my heritage. I suffered at the hand of discrimination. I grew up in a predominantly Italian – culturally Jewish community. Children displayed incredible racism and this was an indication of how their parents raised them. In grammar school I had a little boy spit in my face because of the color of my skin. When I told the teacher she did nothing. Instead of becoming really bitter, I learned to adapt. My parents were very different looking from each other and my father definitely suffered from discrimination. He rallied and has made a success of himself (career wise) in spite of the harsh truth that existed in NYC in the 70’s. I realized growing up that there were not only prejudices against being a darker skinned person, but also because I was a girl. I shocked folks where I lived because I read, wrote and expressed myself articulately. I have my parents to thank for this. I was taught to read, write and think for myself at a young age. I imagine that my inquisitive and quick mind also helped me to adapt. I also suffered discrimination amongst the folks that were in ‘my camp’ because I was not like them. As I grew I wanted to know more about my heritage and found out that I had German Jewish heritage, French Catholic, North African Muslim and a few others. Funnily enough my mother’s blood type is very rare and upon research I found out that this blood type is primarily found in China, Japan, Hungary, Mongolia(Genghis Kahn) and Turkey. Finding this out made me smile to myself. I have gravitated to all of these cultures throughout my life. It cracks me up when people tell me ‘I am 100% so and so’. Really, have you done a DNA test. I bet you’d find out a lot more than you bargained for. Especially if you are so wedded to be a part of an Elite Race. Which doesn’t exist. I am happy that I was born in the US, but I would much rather be a citizen of the World than belong to one particular group. We are a global community and none of us is free from the other’s actions. Let’s face it folks, biological diversity creates strength amongst a species. Too much over breeding of a particular race or culture can create genetic and social problems, like feeling that you are better than someone else.
The thing is if we look at a particular group of people and think we are better than them this is going to create a heap of sorrow. I will admit stereo-types exist for a reason, but to judge everyone with this set of criteria is incredibly short-sighted and ignorant. The Golden Rules exist for a reason. Do unto to others as you want done to you. I know it’s so easy to say and yet not so easy to do. It starts from infancy or even before. The drama that we get pulled into for the simplest of reasons snowballs and then we don’t even know why we are doing what we do. STOP, LOOK & LISTEN – THINK.
I just watched a bit of an interview with Dame Oprah & Raven Symone – This gal is on to something