Being born in the Deep South during the days of the Jim Crow Laws, segregation and pervasive persecution that everyone denied but everyone practiced under the guise of "separate but equal", I am quite familiar with prejudice.
The kind that is superficial and automatic, the kind that you need go no farther than the color of someone's skin when making a wholesale judgment of their character, their morals and their place in society.
Such was the climate of the times and place where I was born, where generations of institutional apartheid and racial intransigence shaped attitudes toward anybody who wasn't "like us,” a place where course and cruel racial jokes could be told in a churchyard before filling the Sunday morning pews without a single twinge of conscience.
I don't know exactly what age I was when I began to see the fallacy, the cruelty and the futility of this racial attitude, and yes, actual beliefs of the society I was born and bred in, but I do know it was more of a consistency of conviction than any kind of epiphany and it took a considerable amount of time to banish the old thoughts, to erase the subconscious mental patterns that had been drilled into my head by the society of my youth.
I have very profound opinions on prejudice, racial and other forms, and I am sad to say that - in a different form - it runs rampant in America today and is practiced to one degree or another by every segment and strata of modern society.
And the prejudice I'm speaking about is not necessarily racial, although I admit that ugly specter still haunts America in a much reduced role, but the kind of prejudice I'm referring to is the kind that so separates Americans that it makes meaningful dialogue next to impossible and it runs through the highest forms of government to the people who work for hourly wages.
For instance, if you criticize President Obama, in the eyes of a significant number of people, you are a "racist". Never mind the content or intention of your critique, no matter it's validity or its constructive nature, after the first sentence of any negative criticism of Obama you are automatically a racist in the eyes of some.
When it comes to racial matters I respect Dr. Martin Luther King above all who have tried to inherit his mantle, the pretenders, the charlatans and the downright hustlers, who do more to stir up racial unrest and widen the divide.
Dr. King said that we should judge a man by the content of his character, not the color of his skin and asked for nothing more than a level playing field and I feel that if he were alive today, being the honest and straight forward man that he was, he would also have some criticisms of President Obama.
Sometimes our Congress more closely resembles a kindergarten class than the serious body of men and women charged with the security and well being of our nation, requiring nothing more than an "R" or a "D" beside a name to decide if the ideas they present are worth pursuing.
Is this not a form of prejudice and does it not carry over to the voting booth and blind voters to the fact there are good people on both sides of the aisle and that party affiliation has little to do with the capability and honesty of the candidate?
The bible says that by their fruits we will know them, in other words, by the results of their actions.
Look at what has been done by the radical faction of Islam; by their fruits we know them, capable of unspeakable evil and bent on turning the world into an Islamic planet complete with burkas, beheadings and Sharia law.
Yet when you criticize these maniacs and call them what they are, radical Islamic terrorists, there are always those who loudly try to shout you down by calling you an Islamophobe.
Denouncing Islamic Terrorists is no more denouncing Islam than is denouncing the Westboro Baptist Church denouncing the whole Baptist denomination.
Truly prejudiced people speak without thinking and are easy to recognize as they usually have nothing of substance to say, not really even knowing or caring for that matter, what they are criticizing, just being pre conditioned to hate anything that contains certain keywords or phrases, usually reduced to venomous four letter words and rabid insults.
I just wish that we could shut out the voices that incite us to judge people for anything but the content of their character and the fruits of their actions.
I intend to make a greater effort to do so.
Will you join me?
What do you think?
Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America