Saturday, 29 October 2011

Don't tolerate intolerance

At work a few weeks ago, Shaune was explaining a new feature on one of the cars he sells to a customer– the immobilizer theft-deterrent system - how it could prevent car theft.

“Oh you mean like if a big black guy with a gun were to try and carjack me?” the customer, a wealthy middle aged-man joked. Stunned, my husband rushed through his run down of the features and benefits of the vehicle, counting the seconds till he could get away from the man.

It’s the not the first time he’s been privy to people’s hateful comments.

After 9/11, when he was still in the restaurant business, customers often requested Non-Arabic cab drivers when they were too drunk to drive home. I’m not saying racism only comes out of Caucasian mouths – I hear terrible things said about the gay community by people of all colours on a regular basis.

I’m just grateful that my husband is appalled by these expressions of hatred. Because if you ask me, most of us are too tolerant of intolerance. I wonder how we’re ever going to teach our kids to stop bullying if we don’t stop it ourselves. Of course it’s easy for me to say -this revulsion of bigotry comes naturally to me; I’ve been a visible minority most of my life.

And that’s why I’m acutely aware of how rare and wonderful it is that Shaune is disgusted by society’s hatred of difference. It’s one of the things that tethers us together in this life.

That and his mad skills in the kitchen!


16 comments:

  1. I hate hearing those comments. I have one older relative that is the worst. It shames me every time I hear words like that come from his mouth.

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  2. I am appalled at what is said, not out in the open, but as asides. By people I considered reasonably tolerant.

    Every time I think we're getting better, I get some painful reminders of how far we have to go.

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  3. it's funny how people think those things are ok...when you're on the inside looking out..the view is much different..

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  4. He's so professional. I would have been like, "No, not a big black guy, an old white racist fart with a stick up his butt. They do far more damage."

    But I'm mildly confrontational and not at all classy. :)

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  5. Most of us are too silent when we see or hear about intolerance. It bothers me to no end when people make judgements like that. Really, the blogging world has opened my eyes to diversity b/c where I live is a tiny bubble that I know isn't representative of the world.

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  6. I hate that even now people can be so ignorant and intolerant! I can only hope to not pass that on to my children and that he will be not only tolerant of everything different than he is. I can't tell you how many times I was stopped to be accosted when my son wore his "i love my gay uncles t-shirt"!

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  7. With racist comments my first thought is ignorance. And you do have a great man in your life - how wonderful to have him and know it, too. Plus, those boys in the photo are just too sweet.

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  8. Here in the South, I hear all kinds of bigotry - racist, anti-gay, chauvinistic, and so on. It's maddening.

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  9. I'm glad you have such a good man, Kim. I hate bigots too-and unfortunately, there are plenty of them around, and probably always will be. It's so sad that it seems to be so easy for some people to hate other people. It makes me want to cry when I think that you have been on the receiving end of such cruel behavior. The best we can do is to teach our children to be tolerant. Hugs, my friend.

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  10. We'll never be able to change small minded people's ignorant views, but we can teach our children to be tolerant, respectful and inclusive.

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  11. It is crazy the things some people say. I grew up in a town where everyone was like me- but now I live in a city where I am almost the minority and it is a nice change.

    And any man that can cook is a good man!

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  12. I remember being treated very differently after 9/11...even though I'm Indian and not Pakistani! But people who are ignorant are...ignorant through and through. Poor Shane - he must come across some very bizarre personalities!

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  13. I love your loving of this man. I have had friends of the family and even family members make comments about black / lazy / dishonest and other ugly things.... I stop them, practically get in their faces and say.... "My granddaughter is part black..." I had one actually say but that is different... and I, "How is it different... you are being a bigot." over time they have gotten better, or at least keeping silent.

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  14. Very distressing to hear how bigoted people can be. Shaune is a wonderful role model for your sons. He is a man of fairness, truth and generosity of spirit clearly from all that you share with us here.

    And of course you are a SUPERSTAR to me too!!!

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