We are all human beings, with most of us struggling to be as good a person as our dog thinks we are. Of course, often we fail. But in our defense, recently I started listing some human realities that actually influence each of us on this mortal coil and sometimes lead us astray. Here is a list of just a few:

  • It is natural for people to gravitate toward others who are like themselves in language, culture, ethnicity and customs. That is why places like “Little Italy,” “Little Japan,” Chinatown and others have evolved. And it is also why Americans mostly lived in the “Canal Zone” when they lived in Panama.
  • It is natural for young children to play with other young children regardless of such things as race or class until, regretfully, older people teach them otherwise.
  • It is natural for disparaging thoughts, pictures and sayings regarding people in the minority to exist in a culture. Personal Confession: When I was in high school and saw an old friend I had not seen in a long time, I blurted out that “I haven’t seen you in a Coon’s Age.” And then I gulped and asked “My goodness, what did I just say?!?” Why, because back then this was slang talk for African Americans. Thus we all must focus upon these imbedded realities, recognize them for what they are and consciously try to wipe them out.
  • It is natural for some people in society for various reasons to try to control the lives of others. For example, the requirement to obtain marriage licenses in many states was initiated because some powers that be wanted to restrict interracial marriages. And what better way to do it than to require the prospective couple to appear personally before a county clerk?

Happily, the last state to repeal its ban on interracial marriages was South Carolina, and that was in 1998, and we are increasingly seeing more interracial couples holding hands in public. (I even saw many of them recently when I was in Charleston, South Carolina!) Good! That is a Healthy thing! If two people are attracted to each other, it should make no difference what their racial or other makeup is.

So these are some of my reflections about some of the things that influence all of us mortal human beings. It is just a small list, which I expect you could add to. But what do you think? The first step in improving ourselves is recognition. So that is why I brought up the subject.

Seen on a T-Shirt that reflects our present times: “Return Orwell to Fiction!”

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

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