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Bigotry

I share an office with seven other Lawyers. As Lawyers go, it's a really good crew. I stopped taking inventory in the supply room after they leave at night. It took a while to get to this crew.

I originally had an office mate a pseudo religious fanatic. I call him pseudo, because it was only his religion that he was fanatic about.

He thought he was being humorous when he said "The last good Jew was Jesus." He couldn't understand why I didn't thank him for forgiving me for killing Christ. I swear that I was only a little baby at the time. Worst of all he couldn't understand why I was offended when he gave me a Nazi salute.

When will people realize that the only way to judge if something is offensive is by standing in the shoes of the person being offended?

I was not happy to confront him with his offensive conduct. Those confrontations rarely get anywhere. An ignorant bigot will remain an ignorant bigot.

He's gone from my sight, but he's still out there. Whether in the form of the Presidential Candidate who states that Muslims are too small a percentage of the population to have a place in his cabinet, or the political pundit who claims that Jews have to be perfected and become Christians, or the commentator who eats at a Restaurant in Harlem and is amazed by how well behaved the patrons are.

My dad would tell me stories of how, as a child, being the only Jew in his neighborhood wasn't invited to any birthday parties. Times have changed. We now have "virtual acceptance." Most people are not as blatant with their hate as they were in the forties. In many ways this is more dangerous. You knew who to fear then, but you don't always know now.

The first amendment to the Constitution gives these people the right to speak. Our first amendment rights give us the right to be heard. Even if it is in the most benign way by not watching or listening to their broadcasts. I have been guilty of advancing their ratings, listening while yelling at my radio. I will never change them, but if enough people stop watching and listening maybe we can silence them. If a Bigot is offensive in a vacant forest, who is he offending.

Jello


 

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