Racism

Here’s a comment I made yesterday on an article about racism:

I went to high school with a guy from the Philippines. He was one of the most popular guys in the school. He was involved in all sorts of school activities and everyone loved him. I only wished I could have been half as popular as he was. To hear him now, you would think that his life back then was a living hell. I’m sure there was the occasional jerk that made rude comments or did something discriminatory against him but I never witnessed it. Most people treated him just the same as they did anyone else, both good and bad.

There was a recent discussion on one of the local bulletin boards about changing the names of some streets in the area that were named after Confederate generals. At one point two different black women chimed in. One said she had lived in the area for thirty years and said in all that time she never felt discriminated against. A second black woman had just the opposite story; claiming that she and her family were constantly harassed.

Up until a year ago I did a lot of running. Occasionally, while I was running, some jerk would drive by and make a rude comment or give me the finger. The thought came to me at one point that if I were a woman, I’d probably feel like I was just sexually harassed. If I were black, I would feel it was a racist attack. As a middle aged white guy, I just took it as some low-life loser making a rude comment.

I’m sure some people are truly discriminated against, but I suspect that a lot what is assumed to be discrimination is just people viewing reality though their own filters.

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