Prejudice and Bigotry in Our Community

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Prejudice and Bigotry in Our Community

Post by KevinNSaisi on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:16 pm

Rumford is a relatively small town whose citizens derive
from a number of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Over the decades there has been intolerance of
one or more of these groups. When our soldiers went off to war, many returned
with intolerance for African Americans based upon prejudicial attitudes they
learned at boot camp. Over time, the attitudes spread to a greater number of
people.

During the big strike, many members of the security force
that was brought in were African Americans. This further fueled the negative
feelings. Construction crews in the mill have been heavily composed of African
Americans and the arrival of Worldwide Language Services caused comments about
the variety of employees that worked there and visited. Recently, more and more
African Americans have begun settling in Rumford. These events seem to have revived the bigotry
based upon prejudice in the valley. When there is nothing to complain about,
nobody complains, but when there is a (perceived) reason to complain, the
attitudes are plentiful.

I am dismayed at the recent expressions of bigotry in our
community. Dr Aniel’s letter to the editor is a good example of intolerance based
upon ignorance. Please note that ignorance is not a lack of intelligence, but
rather, a lack of knowledge in a particular area. It is sad that a well
educated man such as Dr. Aniel would hold such bigoted notions about people and
feel the need to express them in an attempt to spread these concepts to people
who may be even less informed.

All politics aside, African Americans are no different than Causations,
Asians or Native Americans. They have the same capacity to think and achieve.
In recent decades, laws prohibiting discrimination have leveled the playing
field for those seeking to pursue an education. This has permitted persons of
all races to have the same opportunities.
To judge a person’s capabilities based upon skin color or ethnic
background is not giving them a fair chance.
They are likely much more qualified and educated than those making who
make bigoted comments.

I was recently in a business on Congress Street where a
political discussion involved the statement “you wouldn’t vote for that
[n-word], would you?” While I believe
the use of the “n-word” to be disrespectful and inappropriate, I held my tongue.
As the conversation continued, the statement was made indicating “that [n-word]
should be killed”. It is this type of comment that has attracted the attention
of the U.S. Secret Service, but a member of the Rumford Police Department
stated that it was “free speech”. I
initially left the situation, but felt that the comment needed to be
addressed. In hindsight, I should have
just kept walking, but everyone makes mistakes.
I returned and told the person making the offending comments exactly
what I thought. I couldn’t believe that
a person would advocate taking a human life based upon a person’s race. The person apologized, but then stated that we
just have different opinions, which proves that they were not, in fact sorry,
but was just trying to placate me. I obviously was asked to leave, which I did
gladly.

If we are to prosper as an economic community in a global
market, we must be willing to accept all human beings as being equal. If we
express bigotry and hatred we will not be marketable as a member of the global
marketplace.

Kevin N. Saisi


Last edited by C on Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:09 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : edited typos)

KevinNSaisi

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Re: Prejudice and Bigotry in Our Community

Post by C on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:30 pm

Well said Kevin, I'm not sure though about the ignorance vs. intelligence. An intelligent person would not use a negative experience with a few people of a certain race to judge the character of that whole entire race. An intelligent person would realize that racial slurs are unfair and no longer acceptable in today's society. An intelligent person would not rely on the opinion of another to pass judgment. An intelligent person would use their own heart and mind to decide a person's merits based on that individual's actions and words rather than nationality, skin color or appearance.

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Re: Prejudice and Bigotry in Our Community

Post by C on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:48 pm

I've noticed it more since I've moved here than with people from other areas- many people seem to categorize things and people then never let it go. For example, Joe Schmoe was a drunk and no good- therefore his family is no good and never will be. They may have had or known one person or even several who had trouble with a particular make of motor vehicle, therefore to them all of those vehicles are a waste of money. They may have had a bad waitress or salesclerk one particular day which will make that restaurant or business the worst in town. Not only do people appear to harbor these beliefs themselves but will go out of their way to convince others of their categorical beliefs. Laughing hmmm what category does that put Rumford in....oh yes, I said many, not all.

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Re: Prejudice and Bigotry in Our Community

Post by k on Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:52 pm

Kevin, I reread Aniels letter to the Editor, and am wondering what you are characterizing in it as bigoted?

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Re: Prejudice and Bigotry in Our Community

Post by KevinNSaisi on Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:22 pm

The entire letter attempts to defame Obama based upon his Muslim ties. Please note that being Muslim does not make one a terrorist. (this is a proven fact, not opinion). Yes, his church leader has expressed some extreme views, but so have the Popes. That doesn't make all Roman Catholics bad. President Bush has said and done some horrific things, but that does not make all Americans bad. We all have extremists in every group to which we belong, but we cannot assign their beliefs to ours by default.

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