Dago, Wop, Greaser….there was a time where it was easy to attack the immigrants from southern europe. They were also called Guineas by hateful bigots who only saw their olive skin tones and thought of Africans from Guinea. And then, they were Catholic on top of that. Couldn’t be much worse…right?
Ethnic hatred, racial hatred, religious hatred. It was ugly then. Sadly, it’s ugly today too.
I know I’m not a victim of the racism and discrimination that my grandparents experienced, but today I’d rather be on 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 side of the divide than be associated with the hateful and divisive language that is being so casually offered as a substitute for leadership or discourse. Language intended to divide us, to play to fears….to win votes.
I served our nation for the better part of four decades. I was proud to serve because I believed our core beliefs were sound and that we aspired, despite our failings, to ultimately achieve the more perfect union our founders envisioned.
I am not so naive as to believe that racism will ever fully disappear but, when leaders spout hateful racist rhetoric, and when other leaders twist themselves into pretzels to find ways to pretend it isn’t what we know it to be…well, that’s when we need to speak. To act. And, to remember that elections have consequences.
We learned that in 2016. In 2020, the choice will be ours again. I believe decency, respect, integrity, and courage can define us. I hope they will.