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by RVP
Rated: 13+ · Other · Community · #1920952
The idea that as generations pass away, their predjudices and stereotypes go with them
Nine years ago,my wife and I uprooted our family from a suburb of Minneapolis/St Paul to a small town an hour away. Our reasons were many, not the least of which being this small town was where I was raised. We knew the schools were excellent with strong community support, many extracirricular activities and a fantastic music program.

We were also looking for an older home with character and charm. We found all of this in my home town, and at a reasonable price.

Within the first few months in our new town, we became aware of an attitude which surprised and angered us. Being on the left side of the political spectrum, we were surprised, to say the least, at the general conservative and anti-inclusional nature of many of the towns' people.

This became evident in the local daily newspapers "Letters to the Editor" section. There were not daily rants, as contributors are limited to once a month, but many seemed to tackle the same subjects.

People we would meet and get to know would also surprise us with their opinions and lack of understanding of those with different lifestyles, cultures or religions.

It began with a letter which contained the phrase, "sin-sick homosexuals". Wow.The letter concluded with the path to righteousness for said sinners. Subsequent letters tackled the same topic, with different contributors. Also considered were immigrants, " The don't pay taxes for seven years, you know", and most recently, gun-control and President Obama.

My guess, and my experience, leads me to believe that these attitudes are common in most small mid-western towns. However, they don't jibe with the national conversation and the way this country seems to be heading.

My hope and my belief is that these attitudes, feelings and predjudices will disappear with the generations that perpetuated them.

It wasn't until 1967 that the U.S. Supreme Court made it illegal to discriminate against inter-racial marriages. In 1966, as many as 17 states still had laws on the books making inter-racial marrige illegal. That is only 47 years ago, and in my lifetime.Growing up in small town Minnesota, I cannot remember any people of color, ever. I do, however, remember the chant "eenie meenie miney moe, catch a ****** by the toe" . It should have been tiger, and I didn't know what a N***** was. Harmless, right?

For every father who used that word, for every mother who wouldn't let their child play with someone "different",there is a child learning the same predjudices and hatred.

Now we have an African-American president, and gay marriage in several states.
Minnesota recently voted against a constitutional ammendment to define marriage as one man and one woman, and on May 14th, 2013 legalized same-sex marriage.

Times they are a changin', and for the better. Information is power, and knowledge the key to equal treatment for all human beings.

My hope is that those who carry deep seated hatred and predjudice, even when disguised by a fervent belief in saving souls for God, would realize the hurt and pain they inflict on others by their careless comments. Nothing hurts like being told you don't count, or there is something wrong with you or loving who you do is immoral and condemns you to hell! {/center}{/center}{/left}{/justify}{/right}{/center}

A new generation brings with it the hope for less hatred, more understanding and the realization that different isn't wrong.
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