LEARNING ABOUT RACISM
This story illustrates my strong feeling regarding racism. The summer after 6th grade, my family and I went to Bowling Green University in Ohio. My Dad was attending a week-long Teacher’s Conference and we all stayed in a dormitory. While there, I met a boy about my age and we ran around together during the week playing and having fun. On Friday, the last day of our stay, the University offered open swimming in their indoor pool. That was a big deal and something we all loved to do. Well, my friend, who was from Mississippi – and who was black – said he couldn’t go. I went ahead and had a good time but could not fathom why my new friend didn’t want to go. As it turns out, blacks were not allowed to swim in the pool. Now try explaining to me why that was – in Ohio yet. It made no sense in my 11-year- old head in 1957. That was pure and evil racism – and it really pissed me off!
This RANT is about something that torques my jaw – picking on people who have a disability. Maybe because I grew up with a brother who was disabled or maybe because our current President makes fun of disabled people on national TV – THIS REALLY BUGS ME! In this case, it’s a disability caused by loss of hearing. Most (80%) people lose a good portion of their hearing as they age so it’s quite common. And I’ve been guilty of this too: picking on people who can’t hear. Like “Come on old man – turn up the hearing aid” or just laughing at them when they miss a joke. And – speaking from experience – when they ask “What did you say?” and you get a negative response. Again, we have all done this. Just remember, we don’t make fun of blind people so what’s the difference? My mother used to say that although she was a diabetic and used a cane, her biggest disability was her hearing.
A FAVORITE CHANT
Go back, go back, go back to the woods.
Your coach ain’t nothin’ and your team ain’t no good.*
WORDS OF WISDOM:
“Don’t let the bastards get you down!”
“Transcend the bullshit.”
“Nothing good ever happens after midnight.” (Seriously!)
* On Audio Recording