Since I started blogging some time ago, I have met some nice people who have become my friends, people who have patiently pried my closed mind open a few inches, people who have explained to me that my way of thinking is not the only way. My dear loyal friend A.; the always irreverent but oh-so-compassionate Ettarose; an old friend named Caroline who used to come around. People like that. These people have given me so much more than I have given them. Mostly, they have made me think. You can thank THEM for the following post.
Are you an original version Star Trek fan? Often you can explain deeper things by recalling the early episodes of Star Trek:
In this episode, there was an alien “cop” chasing an alien “fugitive” across time and space and had been doing so for eons. As luck would have it, the fugitive beamed himself aboard the Enterprise and claimed sanctuary. I know, I know. But when the cop alien came aboard and demanded Kirk give up the fugitive to him, Kirk asked him why he was trying to bring him back to segregation on the home planet.
Here, you must remember the terrible make-up jobs in the early episodes. The two aliens had half black skin and half white skin. There was a line right down the middle of their faces starting at the top of their foreheads, running down between their eyes, down the middle of their noses, down across the middle of their lips and chins, down the middle of their necks. They were black black on one side and white white on the other side. Terrible makeup: like a mime or clown white on one side of their face and greasy black blackface on the other side of their face. Ridiculous. But it was to prove a point.When Kirk asked the “cop” alien why they were fighting, that they looked exactly the same to him, the “cop” alien was shocked at what Kirk had said: “Are you BLIND??? He’s white on the LEFT side!!!”
The Middle East is kinda like that, Ettarose. Only, substitute “Jewish and Islamic” for “black and white.” Gimme that old-time religion.
What is “prejudice?”
Prejudice is many things, but, in the end, prejudice is hate. Prejudice is a special kind of hate that happens when someone is perceived to be somehow different than another.
Often that difference is very small, almost laughably small - like the aliens who looked exactly the same to Captain Kirk. One thing you can count on, though, and that is that the stronger of the two entities will somehow try to bully the weaker.
Maybe someone speaks English with a thick Spanish accent.
Maybe someone wears foreign-looking clothing to school.
Maybe someone wants to love someone of the same sex.
Maybe - and this is almost unbelievable - maybe someone has a different color of skin.
But, for sure, religion is right up there at the top of the list.
In Darfur, in the Sudan, as I write this, thousands of people are being persecuted: starved, raped, enslaved, murdered. Why? Because they are not Muslim, not part of the chosen ruling elite. Allah and His Prophet taught that this must be so, that the infidel may not live amongst the Chosen People. Or so they say. It is the thing Good Muslims should do. And if that is NOT what Allah and His Prophet taught, no matter.
In Kosovo, thousands of Muslims were “cleansed” by the Christian Serbs: raped, tortured, murdered, buried in shallow graves. It was the Christian thing to do. And if that is NOT what Christianity really teaches, no matter.
Prejudice and hatred for things that are different than you is as old as Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel; and as young as five minutes ago. How many wars have been fought over these small differences? How many wars have been fought in the name of religion? In the name of God or Allah?
Even more importantly, how many MORE children will be killed because someone blows himself up in a marketplace to avenge some unremembered original act? How many MORE people will have metaphorical fire hoses and dogs loosed on them because they don’t want to sit in the back of the bus or because they happened to be born with a different skin pigmentation?
I don’t have the answers. I only have questions. I only have my own set of prejudices I am carrying around.
I almost just said, “God help us.”
Canterbury film trailer
3 years ago