Letters for Thursday, August 31, 2017

• Judge as you wish to be judged

Judge as you wish to be judged

I find myself needing to respond to Mr. Mann’s recent letter to the editor, as it is indicative of a much larger problem that is damaging our country.

Unfortunately, Mr. Mann is guilty of the same “crime” that he accused the misguided lady in the Safeway parking lot of committing. That “crime” is painting an entire race, group or religion with a wide brush of generalization due to the actions of a few. Mr. Mann, not all white people are racists!

And, conversely, not all people of color are criminals. Not all Muslims are terrorists, and not all gypsys in Hungary are thieves. When the Irish came to New York to work on the Erie Canal in the 1800s, they were quickly branded as lazy and drunks, due to the actions of a few rowdy ruffians.

Yet today, we celebrate St. Patrick’s day and all the great contributions they have made to our way of life. Today’s sensationalist media drives ratings by focusing only on the negative, while failing to instead highlight the positive things that happen in life, and laud those providing a positive contribution to our society. Good news does not generate ratings, I guess!

Additionally, personal experiences can also shape a persons outlook. I, for example, was the victim of an attempted violent robbery by a very innocuous looking black teenager in the middle of the day, on a public sidewalk. Do I now think all black teens are violent thieves, NO.

I was fortunate to have many friends of color, and was at the bedside of one when he died of cancer, as he was one of my best. This is not simply a trite “oh, I have black friends” statement, but fact. However, do I feel a bit uneasy now in certain situations, of course, as it is human nature to let past experiences somewhat shade our outlook.

It is possible that the lady in question had a similar bad experience, such as a purse snatching by a black perpetrator, that had a negative emotional effect upon her. Some people lack the judgment to see past those emotional scars, and separate a bad person from the whole.

America is a melting pot of races and religions, and that is what makes this the greatest county in the world, as each has contributed to what we are. So, please, do not fall into the trap of generalization that can, and is, causing so much strife in our country. Judge each person as they are, not as you perceive them to be, just as you wish to be judged for who you are. Shrug off the actions of a few, rather than judge everyone based upon that one person’s action.

If we can begin to look past the media hyped stereotypes, and see each other for the individuals we are, good or bad, this country will be much better off.

Barry Dittler, Wailua

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