The torch passes to us

Our friend Jill wrote an excellent post (see link below) called “Why do we need bigotry?” In the comments, she and I discussed the passing of Holocaust survivors, at a time when white nationalism is on the rise along with hate crimes.

The torch passes to new generations to speak the hard truths about history:

– the Nazi movement purposefully captured Jews, intellectuals, gypsies, homosexuals and expunged multiple millions of human beings calling them less than human. This is genocide.

– the American settlers committed genocide, as well, on Native Americans first claiming rights to land and killing the Native Americans when they rose up in protest.

– Slavery has never been right dating back to the bible. It matters not who is being enslaved. It is wrong. Watching the movie “Harriet” about Harriet Tubman, the cumulative asset value of the slaves could exceed the value of the land, which is why people wanted to maintain this sinful way of life.

– Then, there are the enslavements and genocides around the world and over history. Sometimes the enslavement is tying low wage jobs to people at risk. This is economic slavery. This occurs today in the US and other countries and is not restricted to the Jim Crow period. Whether it is sex trafficking or suppressed migrant workers, it is wrong.

– Finally, we had the Lavendar Scare in the US, where homosexuals were fired from government jobs, even if they were highly proficient and experienced. This is after Brit Alan Turing helped shorten WWII, but had to hide that he was gay. He was arrested and humiliated before he died after being outed after the war.

Bigotry is not right. It is also unwise. If people are treated as possessions or suppressed then their intellectual capital cannot be allowed to flourish. Countries that suppress women and girls are competing in a world with half of their talent.

Let me leave you with the key line from Oscar Hammerstein in “South Pacific.” “You have to be carefully taught, by the time you are seven or eight. You have to be carefully taught to hate the people your parents hate.” Bigotry is not DNA driven. It is taught.

Why Do We Need Bigotry?

5 thoughts on “The torch passes to us

  1. Well said Keith. There’s no excuse for slavery, no excuse for bigotry, no excuse not to live together side by side with all colours as sisters and brothers. When it comes to repairing the problems of the planet we’;re going to need to do just that.

  2. Excellent, thoughtful post, my friend, and thank you so much for the shout out and link. Of all the things I see wrong in the world, I think bigotry in all of its many forms bothers me the most. As David pointed out in a comment on my post, we are going to be facing many challenges in the coming years regarding climate change and other problems facing the world. The only way we can possibly survive is if we pull together, put the petty differences aside and learn to trust one another.

    • Thanks Jill for championing the cause. You are so right we must come together to fight many challenges. We need to encourage our better angels within each of us to lead our efforts. Keith

  3. Note to Readers: At a museum on prejudice, there are two doors to enter the exhibits. One is under a sign that says “Prejudiced” while the other says “Non-prejudiced.” The second door is locked. Why? We all have our prejudices. They are slight and managed in some and more pronounced and noticeable in others.

    If we start with that reality, we can more readily reach out to others. African-American Daryl Davis got 200 + KKK members to quit by asking questions and listening to the answers. Listening is a major first step.

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