Jun. 5th, 2010

Sometimes I hate humanity...

Or at least despair about it.

But, first, a tangent. I have a lot of first cousins. Two of them are my cousins Tracy and Lindsey, who are sisters. Tracy married a man from the Dominican Republic and Lindsey married a man from France. Tracy has two little girls, and Lindsey has a boy and a girl. Even though Tracy moved to Texas, the kids are pretty close -- Tracy and Lindsy are the oldest of my cousins and the first to have kids. (My cousins Martha and Dylan also have children, but Killian and Aidan are still in diapers. My sister is waiting til she finishes grad school for reproducing and the rest of this generation of the G family is unmarried.)

What disheartens me is that some day Tracy may have to explain to her kids why they will get more shit rained on them than their cousins, because their daddy happens to be from Latin America and is Hispanic. I hope not soon -- from Tracy's facebook, it sounds like she lives in a good neighborhood in Austin.

But, with things like this story, I get depressed for my family and my country. For those of you who don't want to click on the link, an Arizona school commissioned a mural of the students, and the most prominent student in the mural happened to be black, with other students painted as white, black and hispanic. Because racist idiots drove by shouting racial slurs, and because a city councilman protested*, the school principal caved and asked the mural artist to lighten the faces on the mural.

Now, I hate to be 'think of the children', but an elementary school is exactly where you should be thinking of the children first. Yes, being called racial epithets is bad. On the other hand, giving in to the racists teaches kids that there is something bad about being dark-skinned. These kids need adults to stand up to the racists, and make it clear to the kids that they are all students of this school and residents of this town, state and country, and should be treated with courtesy.

Haven't we learned this lesson yet? To judge people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character? I guess not...

* Here's a hint. The mural painter had plenty of reasons other than 'political correctness' and 'Obama is president' to paint a black student instead of a white student, up to and including 'he felt like it', or 'he liked his shirt'. Saying otherwise makes you sound like a fuckwit. Also, more and more, as I age, it seems like 'political correctness' can best be modeled as 'be polite and call people what they like to be called' and 'be polite and include everyone unless individuals are being fuckwits'.