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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Rewriting the past

We can't relive the past but as a writer I can rewrite the past, or at least what I previously wrote. Going through my archives I found a really good piece, originally titled, Connecting the Colors. When I read it my first thought was to submit it to our local newspaper. Then my intuition overruled and I decided to use my very own space instead. Here I have nobody telling me what I can and cannot share, although I have had people try. That was before I realized it is my space and I will write whatever I choose. I don't intentionally set out to offend others, but occasionally that happens because no two people have the same memory of a shared event or experience.

There are people who are so prejudiced that they refer to others by their skin color rather than by their name. What makes that even more interesting is that some of those people claim to be religious. I wonder if they think our Creator has a back room where he/she produces souls who are not white, just to annoy those who are?

There is a whole lot of prejudice going on in the world today and it needs to stop. In my opinion we all came from the same place and therefore are one, no matter what color our skin is.

I remember moving to Laguna, New Mexico in 1976 and the thoughts I had at the time about Native Americans. I believed they were a lazy bunch of people. It didn't take me long to realize that my opinion was a bit flawed. At the time I was married to a man who was 1/4 Laguna and never gave it much thought. Even when our daughter was born or when my son married a full Native American it really didn't matter. The next step in my education was when one of my twin grand-daughters married an African American, producing my first great grandchild. It would probably take more than two hands to count his nationalities.

I grew up in the state of Washington at a time when skin color was never noticed. It was not until I moved to California that I became aware of a difference. It was due to illegal immigrants from Mexico. I worked as a supervisor for a garment manufacturing company owned by an arrogant man from India. It was referred to as a sweat shop, although it was not quite that bad. The experience caused me to feel that it was not right that the employees were illegally taking American jobs.

A more recent experience while walking at the Riverwalk one morning got my attention. It caused me to question just how accepting of other races I have become since moving here. The park attracts people who have a problem with alcohol and sometimes sleep there during the night. It is fair to say they are usually Native Americans. As I walked I spotted a group of these obviously drunk men sitting on a bench on my path. I became alert. I also noticed a man and woman sitting on another bench with a group of ducks and geese surrounding them. I at first thought they were part of the drunken group simply because they were Native American.

Lesson coming up!

As I approached the couple I noticed the McDonald bags on their laps and that the ducks and geese were loudly begging for a handout. I started laughing because their honking and quacking was so loud. When I realized I had been wrong in my assessment of the couple I stopped to chat with them. They said they were originally from Gallup, NM but found Grants, NM much more peaceful.

We were observing the ducks when I commented that many of the younger ones displayed some pretty strange colors. Some of the adult ducks are white and some are Mallards. We decided there must have been some odd bedfellows in our little park. Apparently ducks don't care what color their friends are.

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