Mr. Fox, a school aide, sent me an email regarding my column. He wrote:
I read your editorial this morning with great interest and great sadness. I would like to offer a little historical perspective that comes after living more than six decades.
I was born in 1951 and grew up witnessing the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. “Negroes” (who were often called much worse names) were treated as second class citizens in many areas of the country, both legally and illegally. It took a long time to overcome the laws of the time. Through the efforts of countless black and white people alike, laws and prejudices were slowly changed.
But unfortunately, prejudices are not limited to skin color. Along with racial prejudices, there have been cultural and religious prejudices throughout history, in America as well as in many other countries – different Muslim sects warring with each other in the Middle East, Catholics and Protestants fighting one another in Ireland, Israelis and Palestinians feuding over the West Bank, etc. The list goes on and on, ad nauseam.
Fortunately, we live in a country that is vastly more tolerant of racial, religious, and cultural differences than most other places in the world. Yet, we still experience events like the one you mentioned in Texas. I would venture to say that a lot of the misunderstanding that exists toward any culture and faith and background stems from the actions of a very small percentage of extremists.
Thankfully, we are part of the Mason High School community that is even more tolerant than other places within our own country, probably because we are culturally diverse and relatively well educated. But we are far from perfect here, and it is morally and ethically imperative that we continually do what we can to overcome the fears and ignorance that lead to prejudice.
Finally, change comes slowly. In my lifetime, I’ve seen a country come so far, but with a long way still to go.
Thank you for speaking out. Don’t give up. And please, do not ever lose hope.
Thank you so much for your eye opening advise. I am sorry for the injustices that you witnessed during those tying times. It is a pity to see human beings treat each other in such a manner.
As a Boy Scout, and an Eagle Scout, I have learned to always stand up for what I believe and to be brave in doing so. I was just doing that by writing my column. We as humans often witness injustices but are afraid to speak up against them. But it is the utter silence that infuriates the situation rather than silencing it. We often blame many for the actions of a few. But as you said, we are so fortunate to live in a diverse community that is welcoming of everyone’s cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Nevertheless, we are not perfect. Even in Mason people are ignorant of others culture and prejudice spawns from this. But, this doesn’t give us the right to give up.
Thank you so much Mr. Fox for your endearing words. I admire and appreciate your unwavering support both for me and the Chronicle.