Last weekend, I was just cruising through Facebook when I was deeply offended by the words of someone I consider to be a friend.
She wrote, “Who all, other than me, thinks the Media is Responsible for Promoting Racial Violence in this Country?” The post was accompanied with a small picture of President Trump.
I replied, “As a member of the media, I am offended by your uninformed opinion! Please resort to common sense.”
This post from someone I thought was a friend really is insulting.
It would be like making the statement that “only people with brown skin can eat tacos.”
Her only response to me was, “To each their own.”
It is ridiculous to contemplate this open discrimination of the media by someone trying to fight racial discrimination. The statement is trying to fight discrimination by using discrimination.
Because I am a member of the media, I dedicate my life and my career to the equal treatment of all people, all of the time. Anytime people say that men always do this or women only do that — it is discrimination.
You cannot generalize that people will behave in a certain manner because they are male, female, black, white, Asian, Native American, undocumented or even from Mars. Anytime you group people in this manner it is clearly discrimination.
As a child, I was unfortunately submitted to the discrimination patterns of my parents.
Though I did love my mother and father, they taught me from a young age to beware people who looked different than we did.
I saw images of black people being sprayed with fire hoses on TV because they gathered in groups to protest social conditions that existed. I saw Mohammad Ali as the greatest boxer in history but my father would not allow me to watch him on television.
Once my parents took us on a trip to New York City. Among the goals on the trip was to take us though the streets of Harlem to see how black people lived in the ghetto.
I was programmed to know that some people are better than others.
We lived in a small Nebraska city with a population of just 6,000. There were many Mexicans living in this part of Nebraska but only one black family in the entire region.
As I grew up, that discrimination continued. At 20, my best friend Bob was black and my girlfriend was Mexican.
This did not sit well with my father, who eventually made me break up with my girlfriend or I would be thrown out of the house and disinherited. Yes, he actually put it into those words.
I really didn’t understand what the problem was back then. I only knew there was no reason that I could not date her or have Bob as my best friend.
As I went through my life, I left that small little town on the Nebraska prairie. I worked in larger and larger cities and realized that my parents were wrong to discriminate against other people, no matter who they were.
Recently, I have felt discrimination toward me because I am older, a member of the media and because I was even homeless for a while.
Discrimination doesn’t work in our society anymore. We all need to destroy the walls that keep us prisoners from finding out how great other people are.
Please, stop next time you’re upset at a group of people. It is OK to be mad at one person but do not lump them into a group and say they’re all that way.
If we remain open-minded, we may become more informed about our world.
Do not blame the messenger, rather hold those who make the policies responsible.
Justice reporter Jim Headley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.