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Saturday, 28 February 2015 12:58

Diversity resides in all of us

Written by  Karen Houston

Posted Feb. 28, 20156

Diversity resides In all of us
By Karen Houston
Published in Florida Today as Op-Ed Column, Feb. 28, 2015

In reading the letter published February 9th, I was at first taken aback. I thought, wow, how can it be that this person is so vile and judgmental of our ethnically “mixed” population. Then I realized how appropriate this letter is during the month of February which is “Black History Month”. This is a lesson for young people that there are still dinosaurs out there. I wonder if the letter writer feels the same about all criminals or just the specific ethnicities. Never did he recognize or make mention of the fact that this all started because yet another unarmed person of color is dead and the parents and families simply wants justice. The families did not advocate violence and certainly wanted no harm for the shops or businesses whose owners had nothing to do with it. Unfortunately there is always someone ready to take advantage of a situation for their personal goals. Such is also the case of this letter writer. He jumped on this bandwagon to express his hateful views on ethnicity. As one commenter online put it, “we’ve been erased”.  His reference to being erased takes one back to the implements of racial hygiene in Nazi terms.

As diverse as we are, there are many of us who do believe it is this and other letter writer’s right to voice an opinion. I want to believe that his opinion is in the minority but there are still many more than we realize waiting to jump on the anti-diversity bandwagon hoping not (his words) “to have deal with this scum of the earth on a daily basis”. I respect, support, and appreciate law enforcement and will do anything I can to show that support. For the most part, I have only experienced a positive relationship with them. That is because for the most part, policemen generally honest citizens who take their job seriously and put their lives on the line daily. I applaud them and have stood with them in Tallahassee when they along with others were under attack.  It is not fair to the majority who act responsibly and do their jobs within guidelines to be judged when someone crosses the line. It is also unfair to any ethnic group to be stereotyped when someone of their ethnicity does a vile act.

I would never put a whole society of individuals into one pot of prejudgment stew. If we learn to judge each person individually we learn that people can change as times change. You can never judge a book by its cover. We as African-Americans did not get as far as we did alone. It took support from people of all colors and races who also put their lives on the line to help make change in this country. But shamefully it will still take time for hatred and bigotry to fade out. If any human being can kill another and not feel any remorse, that is cause for concern. It doesn’t matter what race, creed, color or profession they may be.  

As unfair and disappointing as the letter was, it also did justice in showing that there are still people around that have this mentality. I believe that some of these people slip through unnoticed and make it through the ranks of law enforcement. Those that slip through are the ones that make it difficult for the true heroes that work to keep us safe. But I would rather someone show me his true colors rather than stand behind a white sheet and show cowardice. Thank you to that letter writer for helping to show young black people what the older generation endured to fight for their rights. You made a great contribution to Black History Month. God help you and God bless the USA.

Karen Houston is a member of Space Coast Progressive Alliance


Last modified on Saturday, 28 February 2015 13:19
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