Civility and Respect

28 Oct


   This election cycle made me realize very fast that civility and respect has been — not evident.  I believe I first heard it on the first time a while ago when a congressional representative yelled out “he lies,” meaning President Obama. Why should this happen?  Have manners and politeness gone out the window like a cage opened for a bird to fly?  The Presidency is the highest office of the United States and deserves admiration and esteem for that person who holds that revered position.  Why is it that the first African American who holds the office brings forth so much derision and bigotry in the populace?  Is it because it was always there just simmering on the surface waiting to erupt?  These issues are supposed to be long gone along with the antiquated notions of women who only belong in the kitchen, bedroom and not in the boardroom.  Nevertheless, here it lays deep, hurtful, and ripping America apart.  I definitely can relate to how African Americans feel about being different because I am a Jewish American and feels how antipathy works.  Some time ago, I had an acquaintance, who happens to be African American, over to my house for a meeting.  I was showing her around and in the guest bed room there happens to be two items on the wall that had her intrigued. One was of a cross stitch of a pilgrim couple and the other was a small “mammy quilt that I had put in a frame.  With eyebrows raised, she asked me, what that meant and why I indeed had that on the wall.  Without a beat, I told her I have them here so I can always remember that my ancestors (my Father) came to the United States from Poland  for religious freedom and we too were slaves in Egypt and knew how that felt.  As she turned, she said, “I see.”  If she did or not I do not know but I know because I saw from her eyes that “her” slavery was different.  I ask was it so very different.  Racism is bigotry if it is the color of your skin or a religion.  It still is there and shows that being discourteous and insulting hurts not only every American but it also shows the world how petty and shallow we are to judge someone only by their skin color and religion and not their character.  How can we, the United States of America, ever be an example and beacon to all nations if the people are rude to each other, do not respect another for their opposing ideas and cannot abide anything but white.

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