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| Jennifer Baker | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

April 10, 2019

So Many Things…

Patricia A. Kelly

So many things to talk about: continued political lies, the complete failure of Congress to act in any but their own interest, Republicans spending the next year and a half undoing Democrat obstructionist tactics to delay Trump government appointments and judgeships, instead of working on legislative issues.


Thus, while Democrats investigate President Donald Trump and Republicans appoint judges and employees of the Trump government, we wait a year and a half for any meaningful legislation to occur. That means no progress on re-vamping immigration laws, no progress on health care reform, no progress on repairing our decaying infrastructure, no progress on the budget deficit.


I admit that I blame most problems in our government on its core, Congress. It’s almost always all about elections, and almost never about constituents. We could have decent immigration laws, better and fairer health care access, improved infrastructure, reasonable defense, control of our own borders, and more if they would only lay down their gauntlets and try.


I’m not going to write about that, though. I don’t see how I can change the behavior of Congress. The only option is to vote them out, possibly set reasonable term limits and possibly reduce party loyalty as a top concern for voters. We could vote for the best people, following them throughout their careers to make sure they’re doing their jobs.


I hope the American people will wake up and do that despite how difficult it is for ordinary people to even find out the truth, given the constant twisting of it by both our “representatives” and the news media.


What I’m going to write about today was inspired by a recent column and a news article appearing in the Frederick News-Post.


My title is “It Shouldn’t Matter.”


Recently, the first African American woman, coincidentally also the first openly gay person ever, was elected mayor of Chicago. She’s an outsider, like President Trump, who had good things to say about doing what is best for the citizens of Chicago. I might have voted for her, too, given my present view of career politicians.


An article about this appeared in the shrinking Frederick News-Post, of all the choices available that day. That this new mayor, Lori Lightfoot, is gay, black or a woman should not matter. But that, not her character or her message, is what got her story into the newspaper. The only thing that should have mattered is that she had a message compelling enough to win the election.


The column, written by Cabrina McLain, “Stereotyping through stories,” (FNP, April 3, 2019), speaks of the reactions she, a black woman, has received from people she has encountered in her life. She refers at length to being seen through a biased lens. Because she is black, she is spoken to in slang, expected to be inarticulate, wild and primitive. People are surprised when she behaves like a normal, accomplished person. Her choice has been to be kind and to make connections with these rude, unaware people.


This should not happen. Ms. McLain says that people will do fine if they drop their stories and expectations of others, look them in the eye, and open themselves to the possibility of new relationships. Very impressive, and so right.


Our differences shouldn’t matter. More and more, they do. We’ve always been suspicious of those who are different. There is some justification for this in history. Looking at animals, we see them suspicious of strange creatures. I once had a tabby cat that could not learn, ever, to tolerate being in the same room with an oriental Siamese.


We are people, though, and we can think as well as control our fear. We all know what a person is, and how one appears when we meet one. The logical outgrowth of this knowledge is to realize that we are all fundamentally equal. We may speak, worship, or dress differently, but, underneath our cultural, religious or sexual differences, we are born fundamentally the same.


Let’s give up the fight. It should be no more newsworthy that a black, gay woman becomes mayor of Chicago than a white male. Let’s lay down our own gauntlets, try to be respectful, and make some connections for a change.


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