Today a co-worker leaned towards me as we sat at our desks. "Did you hear about the coach in Salem [Oregon] who was arrested on sex charges?" I said I hadn't, but what a shame - there seemed to be a new case like this every month or so in our area. "And he's a brutha'," she whispered to me, clearly scandalized. I was surprised - Salem doesn't have a lot of black people. She nodded, "I'm so embarrassed."

I said, "Well, I'm not."

She laughed. "What? Oh, you always say that!"

I shrugged. "Why should I be embarrassed? I didn't molest anybody. He's the one who should be embarrassed. Maybe his parents want to be embarrassed. But it doesn't have nothing to do with me." I made a "pshaw" kind of sound.

My co-worker said, "I know, I know. You're right. But still ...." She shook her head in disbelief, "A brutha?"

I love my coworker, but she has some funny ideas about criminal behaviors being associated with particular races. So far as I know, only serial killers are overwhelmingly white males. Other than that, I think perversion and immorality are pretty non-race-specific. Reading Red Sorghum at the age of 14 was the beginning of that realization.
This article made me laugh. Not at the thought of a European American Heritage Month - no, that doesn't bother me; I'm all for putting European American history in perspective (though I'm not naive enough to believe that it will happen anytime soon). No; it was comments like this one (bolding is mine):

Calabro believes that a heritage month would reduce discrimination and defamation directed against European Americans as well as minimize negative associations of European Americans. “Everything taught in schools about European Americans is negative, like how [European Americans] took over the land from [Native Americans]. Why not focus on the positive? Why be ashamed to be European American? We made this country but now are a minority in terms of participation and numbers,” he said.

Understanding other human beings is the greatest challenge of all.



December 2013



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