OK, I’m going to stray into politics for this blog. Or rather Politics. The reason for the capital P will, I hope, become clear.
I was too young to appreciate the real importance of the words of the great Reverend Martin Luther King Jr in August 1963. At a time when in certain quarters of society MLK’s oration was seen as anathema, his speech – and particularly the sentence “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by their character” – made a great impact on me subsequently.
It became a maxim I try to live by, and not solely based on skin pigmentation but on all physical and immutable characteristics.
I am left wondering now where and how we have gone so very badly wrong. Black Lives Matter? Well of course they do, as do pink, brown, blind, deaf, trans-sexual, lesbian, disabled etc. etc. lives. EVERY life matters. So why the ever-increasing compartmentalisation and segregation? Why do we have mandatory “unconscious bias” training when any kind of “bias” is just that, a personal predilection, which anybody could/should be aware of in their own head?
I thought we were doing pretty well, but recently we seem as a Society to have taken a number of retrograde steps. Obviously there was still some minor discrimination here and there but nothing like as bad as it was, as bad as it could have been, as bad as it is now in danger of becoming. The point is that things were better, and getting progressively better still on a continuing basis.
As far as MLK’s wisdom is concerned I will continue to use his words as my personal aide memoire, my personal guidance for life. Yes I see “colour”/disability/whatever, of course I do. I am human, and Nature has seen fit to give me eyes to notice such characteristics and an intelligence with which to discern them. But Nature has also blessed me with a brain with a Conscience with which I can (and do) make choices. This allows me to “notice” such things but does not empower me to act on them. So I will continue to NOT judge people on their physical appearance (and if I do, I have the free will to over-rule such internal judgments) and treat everybody, prince or pauper, brown or pink, able-bodied or having a deficiency in the number of limbs, as equal, not just to each other but to me.
The only time I might discriminate is when somebody PROVES themselves to be an arsehole, and I reserve the right to react accordingly.
Until then, ALL are brothers/sisters/fellow unicorn-free-spirits. And I would like to see you all down the pub.
Peace, love, tolerance, compassion and all that.
Adam Nottage 23/09/2021