In a day and age where cultural diversity is our daily reality, it’s surprising, no absolutely stunning, to find some folks still entrenched in an archaic and bigoted past. John Donne’s oft quoted, “No man is an island” seems appropriate here for it remains obvious that, like it or not, we are all connected.
I know a successful company where in one small work area employees not only from the US and North America but also Africa, Europe, Asia and beyond have toiled together in harmony. That company, you see, believes in mutual respect in a collaborative, diverse work environment. They embrace a philosophy that values and appreciates each individual, their uniqueness and their contribution to the whole. In short, it works.
If we listen to the bigoted ethnocentrics in our society who feel that their reality should be everybody’s life model –then we would be back in the dark ages. That philosophy now known as, “My way or the highway” has been adopted by some to the far right of center and especially those in that fittingly obsolete pachyderm order. They are all digging in and in this modern trench warfare of spin and non-collaboration are trying to stave off the inevitable.
The pending reality is that non-Hispanic Whites are fast becoming the minority. 2011 saw “minority” births exceed all others. The tipping point and redefinition of what will constitute the new minority is expected to be reached by 2040. There are many who will only relinquish their negative chorus when they pass to the great beyond. In the meantime we are dealing with the cruel rhetoric of those who only have twisted words left.
Lest we be construed as some open door liberals, we are far from that perspective. We support strong immigration controls and, yes, profiling when it comes to the fight against terrorism. We need to control our borders at whatever the cost though we also support leniency for young immigrants who came to America as children, lived their lives as Americans and even served in the US Military. Nothing is black and white anymore. Every situation needs to be judged on its own merits.
Now, to the point of this post. Facebook and Twitter have become the vehicle by which many in the world share their thoughts, perspectives and events of the day. Out of those now one billion Facebook users a relative few use it as a forum to forward their bigoted rants understanding (or not) that they now have a worldwide audience. While Facebook especially seems to be trying to raise the bar and limit this abuse, they can’t always do it except in obvious, blatant vulgar outbursts. That responsibility then falls to us.
The recent proliferation of anti-Muslim/anti-Black hate posts in blogs, e-mail blasts and on Facebook (seemingly tied to the upcoming presidential election) remind us that there are those who would occupy that ignorant dark side of any debate. I recently “liked” an article in the Huff Post Taste about Mexican chefs and voila, it appeared on my Facebook page where one individual offered remarks as follows, “that's the one thing I've have been wanting to know...next it will be 10 ways to cook camel and sand as a condiment."
After years of enduring glib, confrontational and in your face remarks, I had finally had it and “Defriended” him on the spot (“defriend” is the term preferred by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes).
Now, had the opportunity presented itself, the subject of our “defriend” would probably try and spin this one as a joke gone sour. But I’m not having any of it. Folks will probably tell me, well that’s just him. I say that if we don’t stand up and tell these jerks that these behaviors are not acceptable, then they will repeat them over and over… We cannot encourage, advocate or tolerate any form of discrimination in any arena.
Now, I really don’t think that the loss of any friend is a concern to this party since you’re required to first have soul and/or give a damn. So, if any out there who read this blog and are currently my “Friends” on Facebook and you take offense with my “Defriending”, I encourage you to please, please Defriend me… I will consider it a favor… Thanks, in advance…
We exit this week with a thought from Emma Lazarus, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
So, there’s our charge and responsibility and the real strength of our Country… Walk the Walk…