Sunday, December 4, 2011

Three Signs That America Has Long Way To Go In Ending Prejudice

I am a news junkie, one of my TV's here in my apartment turned to CNN pretty much 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Yesterday, in the course of just one hour I was surprised too hear not one, but three stories that show we still have a long way to go in ending prejudice in this nation...though we have made great strides forward.

The first story involves the Milton Hershey School founded over 100 years ago. A thirteen year old boy with the HIV virus (AIDS) has been denied admission...the reason given for his rejection of admission is his AIDS. Seems the school is afraid he might eventually have unprotected sexual intimacies with another of their students. Never mind that A) he is a great student, B) that he is on proper medications, and C) even with unprotected sex, the chance of infection is less than three percent.

The second story involves a Kentucky church that has decided not to recognize interracial couples, has decided not to marry a interracial couple.
A small Kentucky church has chosen to ban marriages and even some worship services for interracial couples. The Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church, located in Pike County, made the vote in response to a longtime member who is engaged to a man whose birthplace is in Zimbabwe.
We have a President who is the product of an interracial marriage, and yet old prejudices still run deep, many Americans refusing to let go of long ago nurtured and fostered prejudices about race. Too think we can have a church and its members voting to outlaw interracial marriages in their church is truly a sad commentary.

The third story involves Newt Gingrich who doubled down on his prejudice attitude towards poor people. Without coming out and saying it directly, he pretty much said that black kids living in Ghetto's don't do work for money unless said work is illegal, then went on to suggest that maybe it is time these poor children learn a work ethic by becoming janitors in their schools. This is the man leading the Republican Presidential Primary?...of course there is the fourth unspoken prejudice here in that the Republicans want to elect anyone but a MORMON.

Such stories are shocking in 2011 in America...hearing so many stories of this nature in the course of one hour truly sad. What happened to the phrase in our constitution that, "All men (and women) are created equal? What is needed to eliminate such deep seated prejudices that are based in unrealistic fears? As I went about my tasks, CNN playing in the back ground I heard yet another story involving prejudice....this one involving Ben Stein railing against the protesters in the "Occupy Wall Street" movement.

Apparently, this former "Vietnam War Protester" now one percent'er sees all OUT OF WORK AMERICANS as lazy, continued the myth that "Illegal Aliens" only take the jobs that Americans will not do. Of course, our dear misinformed Mr. Ben Stein fails to point out that there are NOT ENOUGH JOBS to go around, fails to mention that Illegal Aliens DEPRESS AMERICAN WORKING CLASS WAGES by over $200 Billion a year. Seems Mr. Stein feels Americans in the lower and middle class should take slave wage jobs rather than be a burden on society.

Yet another prejudice...five news stories really, all of them seeing supposedly educated leaders in our country expressing outdated falsehoods, perpetuating prejudices as their words are spilled across the airwaves, reaching the ears of millions if not tens of millions of our citizens, stinky thinking being presented not only as news, but as acceptable opinion and thought.

What is Prejudice?

Prejudice is a baseless and usually negative attitude toward members of a group. Common features of prejudice include negative feelings, stereotyped beliefs, and a tendency to discriminate against members of the group. While specific definitions of prejudice given by social scientists often differ, most agree that it involves prejudgments (usually negative) about members of a group.
What is a Bigot?
Bigot is a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

Since the news media refuses to say it, I will. The members of Milton Hershey staff who denied admission to a child with AIDS are bigots. The members of a church who VOTED to ban interracial marriages in their church are bigots. Newt Gingrich's views on children's work ethics in impoverished neighborhoods are bigoted, making him a bigot, and yes Ben Stein's stated views on those in the Occupy Wall Street movement make him a bigot.

We have come a long way since the early days of the Civil Rights Movement, but yesterdays news stories on CNN show that we have such a long way to go.