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Dealing With Lifetime of Bigotry

Editor, News-Register:

Bigotry is defined as “obstinate or unreasonable attachment to a belief, opinion, or faction; in particular, prejudice against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group.”

“Bigotry” seems to me, as I have encountered it in my travels, is hatred of people that are different in terms of race (color), religion, language, or sexual orientation.

I know bigotry when I see it, but I don’t understand it.

I remember seeing bigotry when my grade school chum told me of his visit to relatives down South that “you could just walk up to (Blacks) and push them off the sidewalk and get away with it.”

I remember walking home from school cutting up and laughing with my Black friend and being told by my (very bigoted) Aunt Florence that I shouldn’t be playing with him.

I remember bowling with my (very bigoted) brother and a friend, where the bowling alley required alternate lane bowling so that manual pin-setters could jump from lane to lane when the alternate lane was clear to avoid being injured by flying pins, and my brother and friend bowled on both lanes at the same time trying to injure the Black pin setter.

I remember my American-born friend telling me how frightened he and his family were of being deported to Mexico.

I could go on and on with telling about my bigotry encounters but I would take up the entire opinion page.

Why I don’t understand bigotry is because we are basically the same with the exception of the pigment of our skin, hair, and eyes, the outer layer. All of us have red blood and the same internal organs. We are all going to die.

There is absolutely no fundamental reason for bigotry. We should pay heed to Rodney King’s plea: “Can we all get along.”

You should handle bigotry as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: judge a person by “the content of their character.”

Bill Bryant

St. Clairsville

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