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July 8, 2014

Finding Answers: Today’s BIG Question

Harry M. Covert

The ongoing social upheaval, unsavory at the least to many, is nothing new in the present day. Underlying people tremors are those constantly shaking up Frederick in every quarter. That is also true elsewhere in other states.


Several major thought-provoking and societal changes are making citizens, young and old, uncomfortable, whether liked or not by the majority. The trends keep going and going and the wonder is what’s going to be next?


Let’s face the facts for a while.


First, the matter of illegal immigrants is getting the biggest rumble in the southwest and the west coast. Thousands of Latinos are streaming across the borders, causing quite a stir. U.S Customs and Border Patrol are inundated. Just what is the answer? No one knows.


In Frederick, the matter of illegal immigrants and unregistered visitors remains a big deal. Still, no one has an answer that will be accepted by local and state governments, current taxpayers, businesses that keep communities surviving, and everybody else.


Second, the rapid acceptance of alternative lifestyles has seemingly been approved by many, while thousands of others are too intimidated to disagree. Use of such words as “queer,” “transgender” and “gay” and marriages of men to men, and women to women, have reached the general and public conversation non-stop.


Third, the Middle East fighting, too, is at disaster proportions.


There is no end in sight either.


Most of those under age 50 don’t have a clue as to the serious upheavals and disturbances faced in cities and towns from the 60s, 70s and 80s of the last century. They think trials and tribulations of today are incredible and have never occurred before.


How many newspaper readers recall the use of various adjectives in the public prints? Journalistic style books always included race in naming those arrested; those chosen for jobs or writing other news and feature stories. An example is “So-and-so, a Negro, was arrested Saturday night.” No terms like Black, African Americans, and others.


Once, a Black attorney in Tidewater Virginia wanted all daily papers to stop such designations. He was certainly correct and addressed letters to “Harry Covert, a Caucasian” at my newspaper office. Editors and reporters all agreed such designation should stop. It took several years for publishers to be coerced into doing so.


Who can relate to dining in restaurants where one side was white and the other was “colored?” How about riding public buses where black riders went to the back to find seats, or stood behind a white line? As passengers got on board they were met with the signs reporting state law and code for such treatment.


Once during a Washington, D.C., public relations society meeting, a young Turk rattled on saying that the most segregated place in America were 11 o’clock Sunday church services. He didn’t like it when reminded about Friday evening Synagogue services. No one mentioned services at Mosques in Greater Washington. Now that has changed considerably these days.


Discussing same sex relationships was not discussed in “polite society.” Everyone knew such lifestyles existed. Blind eyes were turned; no one wanted to talk about it. They didn’t, except with smirks or raised eyebrows.


As changes emerge in the present day, there will be lots more to astound people.


So, what is an answer to the growing problem of immigration? Lots of hateful conversation is on all sides of the question. It is not going to be easy. Those who disagree with “unusual” sexual lifestyles are soundly vilified, many penalized with loss of jobs.


The idea that private thoughts are private and can’t be criminally prosecuted seems to be flying into the wind.


Once during the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, a New York reporter asked a popular and successful player if he was “Gay.” The player’s first name was Gay. The press room erupted. It was not funny. Most of the sportswriters chased the questioner from the premises. He became a pariah.


Growth problems, education and life will go on as it should. Finding all the answers? Now that is The Question for the future, beginning today.


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