Saturday, June 18, 2011

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Is racism still prevalent in our country? Yes it is! Is it against the law? No; that is, not yet. What I wish to discuss here is the why, the where and who is involved.

Having lived through the time of the struggles of the black man for equality, I can give some insight into the mindset of the American people during those years. First, we are all afraid of change. Large changes are more frightening than small changes. The status quo is almost always preferable to most people, unless they are the people being harmed. As a youngster, I lived in Baltimore, Maryland. I can’t remember blatant racism against black people during my childhood. Not that racism wasn’t there; but that I didn’t notice it. I can, however, remember racism against Jews. My best friend was a Jew, and I can remember being embarrassed by my parents while they were house hunting. We would look in neighborhoods where signs at the entrance would mean “no Jews allowed”. I can’t remember the exact wording but it was something like “restricted”. My friend, who was along for the ride, had to explain it to me. These signs didn’t seem to bother my parents, but they sure bothered me.

During the time of the “Black Rebellion”, of the sixties, I vividly remember three instances:

First, I remember the time of college campus race riots across the nation. I especially remember the one at the University of Georgia since my wife was a student there. Two black students were admitted to the college. The female was living on the first floor of her dorm. Upon her arrival my wife met her and welcomed her to the campus. All seemed to go well until the night of the Georgia-Georgia Tech. basketball game. Rumors about a coming riot were everywhere. As the demonstrations were scheduled, my wife requested permission to leave the dormitory, and stay with a relative off campus. She was told she couldn’t because they would have to let everyone do as they pleased and it would be chaos. They were therefore restricted to campus and had to stay in their dorm, with lights out and the doors locked. During the demonstration she was sitting on a bed in a third floor dorm room. A rock came through the window and hit her in the head. She was the only student injury during the fracas. Some time later, at a party in her cousins house in Waycross, Georgia, a young man began bragging about having thrown the rock. She informed him that she was the one he had hit. He abruptly became silent and very shortly left, never even apologizing.

Second; over an Easter break, I drove down from Baltimore to the University of Georgia in Athens for a visit. I picked up my future wife, and we drove to Kingsport, Tennessee to visit her sister’s family. It was decided that rather than my taking her back to Georgia, I would go directly to Baltimore and she would take the bus back. When we arrived at the bus station, we decided to get something to eat so we sat down at the counter. We were told we were at the wrong counter and had to move to the white section. As we were discussing what had happened, we noticed several signs. There were signs, besides the ones at the counter, at the drinking fountains and rest rooms that read colored and white. We had not noticed the signs because they were out of our realm of experience. Today, they would stand out like red flags. There are two other signs I would like to point out: The first one I saw at the entrance to Corning, Ohio in the early 80’s which read: “Nigger, don’t let the sun set on you in Corning, Ohio”. The second, entering Charleston, WV, although a little crude, read, “Jesus is coming back and He’s pissed”. I think that the second, very nicely, emphasizes what’s wrong with the first.

Third, when I was stationed at Fort Gordon Georgia on 1966, I developed a friendship with a fellow soldier who was black. My wife was coming down to be with me for the time I was to be there. The apartment I rented off post really needed a lot of fixing up. My black friend volunteered to help in the clean up. We stopped at a restaurant to get lunch. At the greeting desk, we were told that I could eat there but he couldn’t. After some discussion, we wound up getting some carry out.

I still don’t fully understand the justifications behind hatred. I know it’s there: I can see it and have been exposed to it in many quarters. Were we not all created by the same creator? Don’t we all stem from the same ancestors? Perhaps it’s just that discrimination and hatred are simply two of the best weapons Satan has against the One True and living God that he hates.

The most blatant form of hatred I see in the world today is the Moslem hatred for the Jews and Americans. Yes, I know it is not all Moslems, but it is quite a few. Moderate Moslem’s are doing the same thing the Christians did when Hitler went after the Jews: nothing. The estimate is that only about ten percent of Moslems are radical but that amounts to hundreds of thousands. In order to discern what caused this hatred we need to determine the root cause. Israel and America have never been rulers over the Arab peoples. If they have been oppressed, it was by their own kings and leaders. There are Moslems living within Israel, and they are treated as citizens. In America, because we are a tolerant Judeo/ Christian nation, Moslems have been welcomed within our boarders with open arms, just as we have with all new legal immigrants (yes I know that everything did not run smoothly for all immigrants; I have German and Irish blood in me). From this we can see that there is something else behind what is happening, and it is obvious to me that Satan is behind it. Just as a side thought – How did the political right get saddled with the Klu Klux Klan and other Nazi hate groups? Since the Nazi’s were the National Socialist party, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to place these groups on the left? Perhaps a closer look at other radical groups is in order. During the Islamist hearings in congress, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas said, Christian militants might also be trying to undermine our country because of their stand against a woman’s right to abortion. Her opinion was that Christian extremists, among others, might be trying to bring down the country. Is there still no cure for stupid? Ms. Jackson equates those who are trying to save innocent lives by demonstrating against abortion, with those bent on destroying the lives and property of innocent people to make political points. The Bible tells Christians to love their enemies, and pray for them. The Islamic scriptures tell Moslems to kill those who won’t convert. A simple basic difference, wouldn’t you say?

I am not setting myself up as an expert on racism and discrimination, but simply expressing what I have experienced. Golda Meir said: “There will be no peace in the Middle East until the Arabs love their children more than they hate the Jews”. She was on the right track, but until we all can accept the Love of God and put Him above all else, we will have to live in a world filled with Satan’s hatred.

Rick Rahn


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