by melinda bak
until that first day
We stood there, mouths agape as our new friends chased one another with towels, yelling, "You Nigga! You Nigga!" Clearly someone had missed Mom's lecture.
While my Mom made up extra beds, rented extra bikes and welcomed our new friends, my Dad, an attorney, went about changing laws that were still on the books forbidding blacks from using local beaches. When people got angry, my Dad gave us a lesson in discrimination: bullies bully, angry people get angry, stupid people get stupid - but good people rise up with an outstanding amount of goodness.
Those angry about the beach blamed black people; if you had stayed away I wouldn't have had to tell you how much I hate you. It's not uncommon for bullies to fabricate their own victim-hood; (poor me) I wouldn't have had to hit you if you had done what I told you to do. Blame the victim. This allows a bully to justify abuse (in their own mind). Blaming the victim diverts attention away from the bully's own misdeeds and gains sympathy from their friends who can then join their allegedly righteous cause (proxy abuse).
that's how prejudice works
One friend with a negative opinion of someone or some group tells a friend, who tells a friend. Ingroups belittle outgroups to insure their ingroup-sense of privilege and belonging. They say things to one another like, "I'm glad I'm not like them."
Ingroups have inside jokes and (generally derogatory) labels for those in the outgroup. Conversely, insiders can call one another derogatory names (in jest or in love) because it's not derogatory when it's your friends saying it. Blacks can call each other the N-word as a sign of camaraderie (ingroup language); some say open use demystifies and strips the word of its racist meaning. Similarly, some homosexuals have started referring to themselves as "queers" in defiance of an old slur. When a white person teases other whites for dancing white (implying, without rhythm), again, it's ingroup talk and allowable.
But when someone from outside the group uses a derogatory label, it will be seen as prejudicial. When the ingroup seeks to marginalize the outgroup, that really is bullying; high time for us to rise up with an outstanding amount of goodness!
Most of us got the "Mom Talk." At some point someone somewhere explained to us how prejudice is shortcut-thinking for those without the capacity to think more deeply about our role in society. 'About how prejudice is a form of bullying where we rationalize our reason to hurt others. 'About how prejudice shortchanges us, our community, our world from becoming who we're meant to be, maximizing the diversity of all of our talents.
'ever walked into a crowded room and desperately searched for a familiar face
If you fail to find a fellow ingroup person (someone you know, like and feel comfortable approaching) you've only got three options:
Any of us faced with a situation in which we're the minority (the outgroup) may feel awkward, isolated, even unwanted.
And, when we're the one whose standing within the ingroup, we'll have to choose:
the era of indifference - is not our era
Being a FAITHist, holding preconceived and off-putting ideas about those from different faiths isn't working for us.
The Urban Dictionary describes it this way, "A person who discriminates towards a person or group of people solely dependent on their faith, beliefs or religion. Person one - "Jews are so cheap." Person two - "Why do you have to be a faithist?" "Mr. Jones says all Catholics are drunks... he is a straight up faithist." #racist #religion #faith #beliefs #mel gibson
Okay, I don't want to be that.
I don't want to get so into my ingroup that I subtly or overtly marginalize those whose faith makes them different than me.
It's not the impenetrable structure we were once taught.
Be yourself, be authentic, and just ask.
I have an editorial comment or found a mistake.