What a surprise – I realized yesterday that I’m prejudiced! And, I’m ashamed of it.
After my blog last week, I heard from my editor, my wife, and yesterday from my hairstylist – guys don't get “haircuts” these days – that I had used an inappropriate word to describe people who went to a different church than I did. I didn’t think it was a bad word; I was being nostalgic and writing about old times. Wrong. All wrong. Words can get you killed. You’d think I had learned that by now.
My dad was a radioman on a B-25 during WWII. I remember him saying he was glad he wasn’t fighting the – oops, I almost used a derogatory word – he wasn’t fighting the Japanese. He didn’t think he was a bigot; there was a war going on. Nasty people were trying to kill him. I felt the same way in the Korean War, when we were transporting Americans back to the States in body bags. Decades later, I hate to admit that I am still prejudiced, and there’s no reason for it. I wasn’t in combat. Nobody actually tried to kill me. Our government just had a way with words, and the words were memorable, hateful and damned offensive.
How many years – and we’re still using some of the same old words? Gingrich calls Democrats “the enemy.” That’s not true. And it’s dangerous. The election we’re going through now sounds just like a war. Everybody is angry, we are all prejudiced, and the rhetoric is nasty.
We don't like to think of ourselves as bigots or racists. But, I saw one in the mirror the other day, and felt ashamed. Some friends pointed out the error I made in my blog. Thanks, it was a kind of wake up call.