Vilest of Evils
Sometimes it happens that not recognizing homosexuals is the vilest of evils. That’s a new thing. In my childhood, growing up in New Orleans, “gays” or “queers” at least were not glaringly apparent all the time.
A black, when asked by me, being a very curious boy, told me that getting equal wages for the same work was the answer. This was prior to the civil rights push. Recently I read that women were paid less than a man employed for the same thing; it still goes on.
By justification, employers point out that the “fairer sex” can get pregnant and are afflicted with “vapors,” which sounds like an excuse to me. Unjustifiable! I once had a woman working in my department that performed better than any male in sight on several floors in the big building. Of course, I knew her. She worked for me but the times were out of joint: I couldn’t “justify” equal pay to her colleagues.
“Justify” meant I didn’t have the guts.
Various times in my long career, I had minorities, women and gays working for me, directly reporting. While accepting more money I didn’t go to bat for them. I explain my lack of guts. It’s more complicated. I was insecure, afraid to take on my bigger bosses or the personnel people.
Referencing the question I posed as a “very curious boy,” I was aware there was a difference in the way I was treated. In a phrase, I chose to go along with treatment of minorities, women and gays. By admitting years later, I cannot excuse my behavior; I was asking the questions. Somehow and in some way, I was somewhat placated by the information I received. This is no admission of personal courage. I can claim no backbone.
Shame on us!