Why Does it Matter?  

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As of late, I've let myself become irritated by things that don't generally get me that pumped up. I was raised on tolerance, not acceptance. I believe that we should let others live their lives and we ours. I don't have to understand why people do the things they do. I certainly don't have to agree with it. I just have to respect that it's their right to do them. If it's not going to cause harm why should it matter right?

I really thought that we had come a long long way in our way of looking at things as a people. I figured that since my hometown is so racially diverse that others must be much the same way......Wrong!! Well evidently that's wrong. More and more people as of late are wanting to come out in defense of the poor minorities....Who exactly are these minorities we hear about? Mexican, Italian, Russian, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, or maybe Korean.

I'm half Italian. My great grandparents came over on the boat and my grand parents were born here in the states. They were treated like dirt, as were most immigrants. They were looked at as less than real people in many cases. They didn't care, they went about their business and built something they could be proud of. They got together with other people that understood their language and they formed a little community and took to farming. Then they learned the language of the land and taught their children (my grandparents). They never let them forget where they came from though. They never let them forget what that country gave them before they came here. My grandparents taught my mom english at 5 years old because they didn't want her to have to struggle in school. Turns out that it wasn't a too uncommon occurance around here at the time. There were many Italian immigrants doing the same thing. Mom doesn't remember much Italian anymore, but she does remember how proud her parents were to see that she was able to communicate in English.

I see the same thing happening with Spanish. Many families realize that it's a head start to get their children speaking English. They speak it more often than their parents did when they first got here. The grandchildren are pretty much adapted to American life by the time they get to school in most cases that I see. Now of course there are some people that don't think they should have to learn the language, or the customs, and to them I say fine but don't expect too much sympathy from me. If I was to move to another country my first order of business would be to learn the language of the land so I could communicate.

As I ramble on about this I realize that is not my real point though. The real point of all this is pretty simple. It doesn't matter if you came from Cuba, or Portugal, or China, or Japan. That has no bearing on you as a person. You still have hopes, dreams, ambitions, goals, and you can still be happy or sad and yes you can still get your feelings hurt. So why is it that people want to judge any of us on our skin tone, or on our accent? Why the hell does it matter if I say yellow instead of hello? In my community I hear the word Si as much as yes. I understand it, it's not a big deal. I also understand that Buenos Dias or Buenos Tardes is easy enough to respond to just like hello or good afternoon. That has become part of our culture in California.

I am more irritated by the need for us to guage everything by what race somebody is. I am a human...Not Black, not Hispanic, not Mediterranean. HUMAN...We are the same, but as my son has pointed out to me some of us have a better tan. Let's try and get to know somebody before we pass judgement on them. Let's try and have some dialogue before we automatically assume somebody means us harm.

The census has really shown me how little we have learned in 234 years as a country. We holler and gripe about equality and then we want to split up the people so we can see if there is yet another way to divide up the pie and show that one group or another gets less. My town is 30% "white" and 61% "hispanic". Does that mean a whole lot? Not to me it doesn't. It means that we have better Mexican food than a lot of other communitites that's for sure. It also means that I get the chance to learn a little something about Mexican culture that I might not know, and it also means that somebody else might get to learn a little something about an italian culture that they didn't know.

Let's try talking to each other before we start judging each other by our last names and skin tone. Let's watch our kids playing with other kids from different backgrounds with no more expectations than to have a playmate for the afternoon. Maybe we could learn how to finally treat each other with some level of respect.

Black, White, Brown, Yellow...Why does it matter at all?

This entry was posted at Wednesday, March 24, 2010 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Hubs and I had this discussion, when I had him check over the census form, after I filled it out. My question was... why does it want race? Aren't we all part of the Human race? "Race" kind of makes it sound like a competition. My next question would be... who's winning?

March 24, 2010 at 8:45 PM

Thank you...I'm glad I'm not the only one wondering why this matters....

March 24, 2010 at 8:50 PM


March 24, 2010 at 9:33 PM

Bravo! I say create your own box and check it HUMAN. =)

March 25, 2010 at 1:14 AM

It really doesn't matter one bit. I went to school not knowing one word of English (and as the only child of ethnicity in the entire school). And although it made me stronger, I could never really understand why they would hate me just because my heritage was different to theirs x

March 25, 2010 at 3:14 AM

As you know, the politicians just want to know which ethnic group they should be sucking up to.

March 25, 2010 at 6:49 AM

Don't make me take this post and repost it as well! :)

March 25, 2010 at 7:56 AM

lol...you should just put my button on your page :)

March 25, 2010 at 8:28 AM

I never understood the whole importance of what race we are. I think if we get right down to it we are all a blend of many races. All of us. Lisa Kudrow has a new show called "Who do you think you are?" and it really shows how much this is true.
I am a human. Plain and simple.
great post again Bendigo!

March 25, 2010 at 10:25 AM

I was wondering what triggered that post, but from what I gather, it has something to do with a census..? I have to admit that you made me laugh when you said halfway through the post that this wasn't your point ;) I was like "So??Don't stop!"

I agree with everything you said. We're all basically the same, but with cultural differences that make the world a lot less boring.

March 25, 2010 at 12:56 PM

It shouldn't matter at all. I applaud anyone who thinks outside the lines of color. After all we are one big crayon box of colors. The more there is the better the rainbow.

March 25, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Great post Bendigo! Seriously..... There's really no reason to discriminate against anybody in this day and age.... You should get this published....

March 25, 2010 at 3:48 PM

My long assed comment on your health care post was supposed to have gone here... don't ask me how I got confused but I did... I really think I'm losing it!

March 25, 2010 at 7:05 PM

lol@kristy....that just means we get to hear from you twice :)

March 25, 2010 at 7:23 PM

I agree with you 100% Bendigo. At the risk of sounding blase about it all, I think the whole issue is (at least it should be) a NON-issue. When I look at someone, I don't think, huh, that person is brown. Or WOW! I am speaking to a black person!

I do not think I have ever seen colours when it comes to human beings. Just human beings. So really, people need to get over it and focus on something more worthwhile.

It doesn't matter!

March 26, 2010 at 9:32 AM

And Kitty...I can't imagine why ANYONE would hate you.

March 26, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Absolutely spot on, as always, Bendigo.

March 26, 2010 at 1:38 PM

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