A touchy topic indeed.
A good friend of mine was at an local event for Nation Day of Prayer this past Thursday. I was also there, but I wasn’t aware that he was at the event until we talked the next morning. At one point at the event, I was bringing some family members some chais from a nearby cafe and a man near me said “That’s quite the juggling act you’ve got there.” I was struggling to not spill them because I have shaking hands, so I chuckled, as is customary when someone makes a joke that isn’t funny in Western Society. We happened to be walking in the same direction so we made small talk about how nice the area was and junk like that. He was white, very, very well dressed, short, with an odd shaggy haircut and an odd bushy mustache. He also had a very long gold chain necklace with a cross on the end. We parted ways after we got to where the main event was.
Now, my good friend was praying with people there, and the man I describe above was walking by. My friend offered his hand to this man and said “Hey man, let’s pray.”
So the man spit in my friend’s hand and walked away.
One important thing: this friend of mine is a Korean.
Another important thing: the man who spit in his hand claimed to be a pastor.
So, if the man actually was a pastor as he claimed to be, he obviously would have no problem with prayer. So the only other possible factor to provoke this act was the simple fact that my friend was Asian. Now, the man was in his 40s to 50s. One possible reason for this prejudice is that there is a chance this man was in the Vietnam war. My friend, being Korean, is obviously not Vietnamese, but to a racist, is there a difference between Asians? No. The racist hates them all. Now, I wrote a haiku explaining my feelings in regards to this situation:
“Such a ‘minister,’
You spit in an open hand,
You racist bastard.”
I obviously do not tolerate racism.
Now, what is the cause of racism? I would propose that it is fear.
“You always fear what you don’t understand.” – Carmine Falconi, Batman Begins.
Yes, it is from a superhero movie (and a good one at that), but that doesn’t make it any less true.
Take Order 9066 for an example.
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9066
FEBRUARY 19, 1942
Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas
Whereas, The successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national defense material, national defense premises and national defense utilities as defined in Section 4, Act of April 20, 1918, 40 Stat. 533 as amended by the Act of November 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1220. and the Act of August 21, 1941. 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title 50, Sec. 104):
Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, l hereby authorized and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deem such action necessary or desirable to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restriction the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide for residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom. such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of the Secretary of War or the said Military Commander and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. The designation of military areas in any region or locality shall supersede designation of prohibited and restricted areas by the Attorney General under the Proclamation of December 7 and 8, 1941, and shall supersede the responsibility and authority of the Attorney General under the said Proclamation in respect of such prohibited and restricted areas.
I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War and the said Military Commanders to take such other steps as he or the appropriate Military Commander may deem advisable to enforce compliance with the restrictions applicable to each Military area herein above authorized to be designated. including the use of Federal troops and other Federal Agencies, with authority to accept assistance of state and local agencies.
I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Department, independent establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the furnishing of medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities and service.
This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way the authority granted under Executive Order 8972. dated December 12.1941, nor shall it be construed as limiting or modifying the duty and responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with response to the investigation of alleged acts of sabotage or duty and responsibility of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice under the Proclamation of December 7 and 8, 1941, prescribing regulations for the conduct and control of alien enemies, except as such duty and responsibility is superseded by the designation of military areas thereunder.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
The White House, February 19,1942.
If you didn’t get the main point of that, FDR was giving the order to remove Japanese-Americans from their homes and put them in internment camps because he, the government, and the rest of American feared that the “Japs” would be vehicles of sabotage, espionage, and terrorism against the United States. Was this wrong? Absolutely. Was it racist? Not on the part of FDR, I believe, but many Americans were in fact racist. But the main motive was fear. Everyone feared what these people, who were as American as anyone else and believed that they themselves were Americans before they were Japanese, could do.
Some Japanese-Americans were allowed off the internment camps to participate in the sugar beet harvest in Colorado, because many of the normal workers were in the military. Louise Ogawa said this:
“On his return to Poston, one young man who had participated in the Colorado sugar beet harvest related to his family that he and some of his friends had gone into town to find a restaurant to get a bite to eat. The first thing the waitress at the restaurant asked them was, “Are you Japs?” When they politely replied, “No, ma’am, we’re Japanese Americans,” she turned her back on them and said, “We don’t serve Japs.””
That remark, “We don’t serve Japs,” is built on racism, which is built on hate, which is built on fear.
Do little children who fear the dark not hate it? Don’t people who fear getting into water hate doing exactly that? It seems to be a human instinct to hate what you fear, and remember, you fear what you don’t understand. But much of the time, fear is an unreasonable and illogical emotion.
~:The Failed Philosopher:~