† ... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

The next magnets belong to the fridge of my friend Olivia


(a Mexican restaurant)



* Discussion *

What are your prejudices?

Talk about it here.

Read the forum that was banned by one reader's office computer because it has "sexual content." I must be having more fun than I thought!



WHAT I'M READING...

The Hammer of Eden
by
Ken Follett

(I bought this in the Houston airport!)


WHAT I'M WATCHING...

A&E's Actor's Studio
(Sharon Stone)
West Wing


Pictures from the Cincinnati are now up at Steve's Club Photo page. Our visit with my goddaughter is on MY Club Photo page (called "Lyke Visit").


That's it for today!

STEREOTYPES

19 July 2001

Iím not sure in which direction to take what I have to say today. I find that Iím very upset. Very, very upset. And itís all Nedís fault.

Well, itís not directly his fault. But if it hadnít been for Ned, I wouldnít be upset.

See, his radio station recently switched from all music to all talk. This has left Nedís former on-air partner, the principal DJ for the morning show, without a job, and Ned, the producer of the show, pushing buttons for Howard Stern--not exactly a challenging job.

However, the station has an open slot for a talk show, so Ned and Bill are auditioning by doing a 3-hour talk show every day this week (wanna help out? Go to the web site, http://www.arrow937.com/sound.html, and vote for them!). If they seem to be a hit with the audience, they may have an opportunity for a regular talk show.

Today they pulled a dumb stunt. I have to admit I didnít think it was very funny, but then Iím pushing 60 and am an old fart. Iím sure it was fun for some of the younger listeners. But it wasnít the stunt itself that upset me, it was what happened during the stunt that made me angry.

The stunt was that they offered free tickets to a rock concert to someone who had a cell phone and was willing to do something wild and crazy. They had this caller drive to a local convenience store, go rummaging around for a soft drink, then freak out, pretending she had lost a very expensive ring. The idea was she was to cause a commotion asking people to help her look for the ring and then, when everybody was in a tizzy, announce that nobody was really helping her, threaten to sue the management, and walk out of the store. All the while Ned and his partner were on the cell phone, giving her directions about what to say.

The thing that upset me was that when the manager learned the woman had lost an expensive ring, she asked about a man who had been standing near her. When the woman said that the man had been helping her search for the ring, the first question the manager asked was, "What color was he?"

What color was he?????

This woman is telling people that sheís lost a ring and the first question is "what color was that man who was near you at the time?"

Would color have made a difference?

If he were white, would they have dismissed him as a helpful man who couldnít find the ring?

If he were black, would they have called the cops and reported a possible robbery?

What color was he???

Yesterday in the local paper, I was called to task for comments about conservative Christians. The writer had not read my comments carefully, or he would have seen that in my condemnation of the hierarchy of the Salvation Army, I called the organization a "so-called Christian" organization.

My response to this writer was to point out that I am vehemently opposed to painting all of any group with one brush. There is no characteristic you can put onto "all causasians" or "all Hispanics" or "all African Americans" or "all Christians" or "all gays" or "all teachers" or "all Boy Scout leaders."

It bothers me a lot that I seem to run into people everywhere who seem to live their lives based on the assumption that "all _____" (fill in the blank) are "such and such."

We live in such divided times. I guess we always have. Maybe "all humans" need to have a common enemy and trying to establish a dialog between opposing groups is an exercise in futility. I donít know where we even start to cross the divide.

Maybe the solution is to look within ourselves. I can pretty much guarantee that no matter how accepting of all people you are, if you take an honest look deep enough youíll find that "those people" (whoever they are--Middle Eastern people, bankers, cigarette smokers, ministers, Orientals, etc.) make you just a little uncomfortable. If we can work on learning to judge "those people" on a person by person base, then perhaps the healing can begin at home.

I despair of ever living in a time when a woman pulling a radio stunt won't be asked to describe the color of the person she says is helping her. But if I begin to work on myself, then perhaps at least that wonít be the first thought I have.

I canít control how you think, but I can control how I think. And if Iím consistent in my refusal to stereotype "all ____ people" and let you know that I refuse to stereotype "all ____ people," maybe I can start to get you to look at your own deeply hidden prejudices as well.

If we start enough ripples, maybe in time we can begin to see a small effect. I'd like more, but Iíd be satisfied with that, at the end of my life.


One Year Ago:
Baring My Sole


Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo


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Created 7/17/01 by Bev Sykes