If you watch the news, or believe that the way people are portrayed in the media is the way most of them really are, then: All Italians must be crooked and in the mob, all Blacks are thugs, all Irish are drunks, all police officers are bad, all English people are uptight and worried about class, all Muslims are hell bent on killing us and taking over, all Jewish people care about is money, all Christians want to take away our reproductive rights, all Californians are high and gay, all Democrats want to take away everyone’s guns, all Republicans have lost their moral compass…I could go on and on.
Clearly, none of that is true, and if you are one someone who chooses to believe the worst of any group of people, then shame on you for not looking deeper. Shame on you for believing and sharing every stupid video you see that shows the ugliest side of people without verifying its veracity first. Shame on you for being so dead set in your bigotry that you won’t take a step out of your comfort zone to look deeper, or give a group a second or third chance. Really, I’m so sick of it. Please stop.
It’s simply wrong to paint everyone with the same brush.
When I was a teenager, a friend’s father told me my dad was the only Italian he ever liked. It stung. I honestly thought, How sad, he must not know very many Italians. I knew lots of them and most of them were lovely people, just like in any group. Sure, there are stinkers in any nationality, religion, political party, if you choose to focus on them, but why would you? Why poison yourself like that?
It certainly can’t make for a better night’s sleep if you think most people suck. If most people sucked there would be lawlessness everywhere and there isn’t.
But there are some out there, without a conscience, who don’t care who they hurt with their words or actions. They’re the people who tag along with well meaning protesters, then break windows, loot and start fires. Or the man who must have wanted to rile people up by posing as a member of Black Lives Matter (he wasn’t) and posting a video of himself telling a white woman to kneel before him and apologize for her white privilege.
That woman wanted to help. But now she’s probably alienated. And it’s a good bet that all the white people who already hated blacks just because they’re black, now hate them more.
Know what will help the cause? Next time you’re in any group where some slur comes up about another group, have the guts to say something. Don’t just stand there and chuckle. The chucklers and the people who don’t have the guts to speak up are part of the reason we still have bigotry. Because we’ve put up with it, they’re emboldened to repeat their ugliness again and again, and spread their poison to others.
I know that seems like a small thing to do. Please feel free to do more. But change doesn’t usually happen in giant waves, it happens a little at a time. It takes years, centuries even, but it does happen if we all work for it.
That famous quote by Edmund Burke is more apt today than ever: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (or women) to do nothing. Please, let’s all do something because I have far too many black friends to believe for a second that most of them are anything but good.
Matilda S. NovakJune 17, 2020 at 2:17 pm
Well said Beloved Friend!
Fran TunnoJune 19, 2020 at 10:32 am
Thank you Matilda. It’s so nice to know that you still take the time to read my blogs. Thanks so much. I hope all is well for you! xoxo
LeslieJune 11, 2020 at 5:39 pm
Good words, Fran. So true. Every group has a variety of lovely people, and also a few who are not so nice. The world is full of good people, of every race and diversity. How fabulous it is when we keep our eyes and hearts open and very simply speak up for what is right.
Fran TunnoJune 13, 2020 at 11:15 am
Thanks Leslie for your thoughts and for taking the time to comment. I know that’s the only way to think, and if our premise is correct, which I know it is, then most people will agree.
Nancy LongJune 6, 2020 at 9:10 am
ZoeJune 5, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Right on sister. 👍🏾
Fran TunnoJune 6, 2020 at 3:03 pm
BrotherJune 5, 2020 at 11:02 am
Fran, I argue with your premise that we live in a country of bigots and/or racial bigotry is at an apex I believe today that is the exception rather than the rule in spite of what the media tells you. At least that is my experience. Simply look at the makeup of the protesters. At least half were non-black, IMO. My friends are not that way. I hope yours are not either. So the question is where are all these bigots? That some exist in some places is true but having lived through the 50’s and 60’s, I believe that we are the most tolerant society on earth. I certainly have not seen a mass exodus to the ROW, just the opposite.
Fran TunnoJune 5, 2020 at 4:17 pm
My Dear Brother, I never said we live in a country of bigots. And I never said that bigotry is at an apex. I said we live in a society where we feel it’s OK to make blanket statements about any group we might disagree with. There is good and bad in every person and there will be people you agree with and disagree with in your own groups, whether it’s your church, or your political party. We do live in a society where we tolerate bigots. They are out there. You don’t have to look far to find them. Yes, we are more tolerant than we were in the ’50s and ’60s, but thank God for that. We were segregated until 1965 in many states, and that was just not right. Thank goodness that many of the protesters were of different ethnicities, it shows we all know wrong from right.
BrotherJune 6, 2020 at 4:59 am
You make my point. You created a straw man argument about bigotry that did exist in the 50’s and 60’s and then made 2 blanket statements about it’s undiminished existence today.
To wit..”We do live in a society where we tolerate bigots” and “We feel it’s OK to make blanket statements”. Who are the bigots you have encountered and are tolerated? What blanket statements are you talking about? I certainly disagree that we are a society that tolerates bigotry! As for blanket statements, I find the blanket exposes more than it covers up about the person making the statement. Feel free to respond as this is my last comment on this subject.
Fran TunnoJune 6, 2020 at 3:02 pm
Again Brother, to your last comment. All you have to do is listen to commentators on Fox or MSNBC to hear an entire group of either liberals or conservatives all painted with a broad brush. It happens daily. Pay attention next time you watch the news, or listen to some politicians talk about certain groups with disdain, as though they are the worst of the worst. I have encountered bigots at parties, even at family events. They are out there and all I’m asking you to do is notice and if you do notice, then speak up. Because no matter what, there is no way everyone in any group is any one thing. Politicans do that to divide people. It’s how Hitler got everyone to mistrust the Jews and then get them exterminated. He lumped them all in one group of people who he said controlled all the money and businesses. He said they were responsible for Germany losing World War 1. If you think I’m taking that too far, you can research it and see that’s true. It’s the lumping of everyone in one big category that people can easily hate — that’s what I’m against, no matter who the group is. And I’m very happy whether my blanket is covering or uncovering who I am.
Petrea BurchardJune 5, 2020 at 9:03 am
Thanks, Fran. You say it so well.
Fran TunnoJune 5, 2020 at 4:17 pm
Thanks Petrea. I appreciate your words.
JoAnnJune 5, 2020 at 8:45 am
I totally agree with you, Fran. There are good & bad people in every aspect of life.
Fran TunnoJune 5, 2020 at 4:18 pm
Thank you JoAnn for reading and taking the time to comment. I hope all is well with the family.