Bigotry is absolutely learned

I grew up in an urban setting where the minority population was small but vibrant.  I don’t remember any Asians or Hispanic but the colored kids were my friends.  Now don’t get your panties in a twist over the reference to colored kids.  Check out the title of this piece…bigotry is absolutely learned.

It serves no purpose to indict my parents or neighbors here to make the point but suffice to say that in the early 50″s into the sixties that phrase was used by the colored kids as well as me.

My friend John told me a little story which needs to be shared…go back again and look at the title of this piece.  John and family live in an affluent community and it is diverse…lots of Asian, a few Hispanics and a growing Black population.  Here we go again…I am not being bigoted by saying Black I just don’t believe that African-American is a necessary handle anymore that me being called a Scottish-American…and I am second generation American, have family in Scotland and have visited four times in my life.  Hell,  I may be the only person in the America to have preset bagpipe music on my Pandora subscription.

How about that for stream of consciousness!

Back to the little story.  John’s son Clay was six and playing youth baseball when he was asked to play up to another division comprised of nine year old…quite a jump and a testimony to Clay’s ability. John anxiously watched as Clay warmed up prior to the game and made two observations, “these kids are tall and there is only one black kid on the field.” Immediately he deduced that there must be a Pittsburgh Steeler nearby.  Sure enough behind the batting cage was linebacker Lawrence Timmons in all his hugeness.  Clay struck out in his first at bat but next time to the plate he was older and wiser.  He ran into a pitch and it went to the fence…being young and quick he scored an inside-the-park home run.  Timmons was the first to  congratulate Clay with a fist bump.  Clay was surprised.

John walked over to the bench to congratulate his son and asked if he knew who that man was who fist bumped him.  Of course he did not and Dad explained who he was and said his son was also on that team.  Clay innocently looked around the bench  and said  “which one is his son.”

Once again, go back and read the title.  Congratulations John!


…I just think about this stuff!