Archive for September, 2007

Do you really not see the color of my skin?

Posted on September 28, 2007. Filed under: Civil Society, Equality, Social Change |

While catching up on the news this morning before work, I heard about Bill O’Reilly’s most recent comments about race and ethnicity in America.

O’Reilly had eaten dinner at a black owned restaurant, with Mr. Al Sharpton in Harlem. Bill described is experience as no different than any other restaurant and made comments about ice tea and other stereotypical “black” foods. To his credit he was trying to say that Black Americans are no different than White or any other Americans and we should all be treated the same, but he did not do a very good job of saying it.

Watch the video for yourself to decide.

Really, my whole point is not to bash on Bill O’Reilly, all though he really needs to think before he talks, because I do believe he meant well by what he said.

Listening to his story it just brought up some discussions I have been having with my very intelligent, office mate. We were talking about her experience in the Institute on Healing Racism, through our local chamber. She was talking about the fact that some people believe they can say they are not racist, by saying I did not see the color of their skin.

The truth, she says, is that no matter who you are, how racist you are or are not, or how much you do or do not believe in stereotypes… “You always see the color of someones skin!”

She is right, no matter who I interact with, whether they are of another gender, ethnicity, or disabled I first realize that they are different than me and then I really get to know them.

The fact is we all notice the differences in others no matter who they are. What makes us not prejudice is how much we do to get to know others and not make snap judgments. Those that we consider racist in our society, are those that consider their ignorance the right answer to everything without figuring it out for themselves, or taking a chance on someone else, on someone different.

My new challenge to everyone is to get to know those around them, more than just their name and title. Really get to know your colleges and neighbors before you decide you do not like them, because then at least you will not like them for their character and not their physical characteristics. 🙂

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Is there Al Qaeda in Iraq?

Posted on September 7, 2007. Filed under: Civil Society |

I do not think there is.

According to an article, titled Al Qaeda: Statements and Evolving Ideology housed at the Library of Congress in DC, “Iraq has become a focal point for Al Qaeda’s rhetoric, and statements continue to underscore Al Qaeda leaders’ interest in Iraq and support for the ongoing insurgency.” , but Al Qaeda is not in Iraq. We are fighting the war in Iraq against terrorists, that we believed had nuclear weapons, not the same terrorists that hit the World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001.

So why does a recent commercial, sponsored by the very conservative Freedom’s Watch, say that Al Qaeda is in Iraq?

The commercial suggests that a women who lost her husband in Iraq, lost him to the hands of Al Qaeda. This is just one more way conservatives in our country feel they can persuade the American people into believing the war is okay, because Al Qaeda is in Iraq. When in fact, we did not go into Iraq to fight the terrorists that attacked us on September 11, 2001.

The war we are fighting in Iraq today, is a very different war than the one we are fighting against Al Qaeda. The lines are beginning to blur as Al Qaeda feel supporting the Iraq war from the other side will weaken the US, but the two groups are different.

I just hope that Freedom’s Watch knows their facts in the commercial are wrong, or at least presented in a false manner. It is sad to see that Conservatives have to bend the facts in order to get support for the war.

This really is just another example of why we should not believe everything we see on TV. It is up to each individual to question what the media and other interest groups are telling us.

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