There was an article in The London Free Press this morning about an actor who’s rehearsing the title role in a local play about the life of Martin Luther King. Twice in our mostly fair city, E.B. Smith has been taunted with “nigger” out in public.
I don’t understand. Sure, I know the history of racial discrimination, especially in the United States, but I can’t get my mind around the consciousness that would do such a thing. It’s just skin. I guess that even for us of the white tone, there’s some prejudice against old skin (wrinkled and dotted with age spots) as compared to young skin (smooth and firm).
“Different than and therefore inferior” could be applied to anything, if one really wanted to be small about it. Being lefthanded. Being 6’2″ and a woman. Being 4’10” and a woman. Being fat. Being anorexic. Hardly ever smiling. Needing a walker. Having a facial tic. And one humungous etcetera.
The article today mentioned another shameful moment in London’s recent history. At an NHL pre-season game, a black hockey player saw an object thrown at him from the stands … a banana. I wonder what the reaction of the fans was that night. Stunned silence, I hope. Outrage, I hope. Surely no laughter, I hope.
It’s a tough job each of us has, living this life. Existence on our planet seems to come with gobs of suffering, even for people like me – white and privileged. Please, no extra and totally unnecessary pain. It hurts too much.