Wednesday, January 5, 2022

A Short Message on Giving and Receiving Discrimination

 I would think we all have a story about experiencing some form of discrimination?  

My city was mostly Catholic. I remember looking down upon Protestants. Our minority group of "color" was a small "poor" conclave of Portuguese living downtown with a tannish skin color, probably reflecting an ancestry from North African Morocco immigrants. When my physician father made house calls in their neighborhood, I carried in the groceries “to make sure the children had food.” Even when I reached high school, I did not realize that the very light skinned star running back of our football team was from African American heritage, until he brought a fairly dark skinned date to his senior prom. 

I was also a recipient of discrimination. When I was young, I was "beat up" very often. Those who were older from "tougher backgrounds" found me to be an easy target. I understand the feeling of being powerlessness when held down by a superior force. 

In kindergarten I was put in a closet after kicking down a block “castle” another student constructed. In first grade, I was spanked in front of the class by Miss Manix. I do understand the feeling of humiliation. My third grade teacher wrote that I was a very bright student who unfortunately preferred to act like a baby. Now in my seventh decade, as a white, very educated, male, senior citizen, I have a strong understanding of these examples that prove White Privilege Exists

When I was a senior in college, Dr. Martin Luthor King was assassinated. On the very next day one of the most historically famous experiments was conducted in a 3rd grade class in a small, all white Iowa town, by teacher Jane Elliott. She opened a lot of eyes and at the same time was threatened by people who did not like her findings! 

A Summary of this "Classic" about Discrimination

The Frontline Film about her experiment (First Aired in 1985)