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Life in Airhead City

Raoul’s Two Cents: June 25, 2021

Color Blind

Someone called me a racist the other day. I was shocked that someone would call me that just because I was critical about the violent activity of some people who just happened to be of a certain culture. I don’t think I became defensive … no use debating someone whose mind was already made up … I just took the insult in and pondered about it.

Yesterday I got a very uplifting compliment from one of the Mexican handymen I work with. Fernando said he has worked with many people but there was something about me that was different. “You are the nicest person” he said. And then he hugged me. That was a Kodak moment — a heavyset, stocky short Mexican hugging a lean, aging, 6 foot Asian. We laughed.

The other day, a Hindu friend, was sharing what life is like without his wife. Raj is planning on a European cruise but what’s a cruise without someone to share the adventure with? He asked me if I knew someone who’d like to go with him. I’m working on it.

Last week, a friend from Tanzania asked me for advice as he was purchasing a lot of computers for his homeland. Whenever Kunta calls, he laughs. He says he loves to hear my smiling voice. He wants to get into some kind of business with me. We dream about importing and exporting stuff — copper, emerald, coffee beans, leather goods, pistacio nuts … African stuff. We even have a jungle junket in mind. Even if nothing comes out of these talks, we just enjoy brainstorming about our global enterprise.

Some of my best friends are not of the same skin color as me … not the same age as me. They may have different religious and political ideologies, different sexual preferences, but that’s fine with me. We’re all part of the human race.

I believe people (even those with good intentions) who harp at our differences play a losing game. For them, there’s always an abuser and a victim (and they’re never the abuser). I was in a meeting led by a Guatemalan American. Out of nowhere, Gertrude told him she empathized with his being South American. She practically said “you should feel bad because of your dark skin.” The teacher was visibly shaken. He probably never considered himself anything but American … even I had never looked at him through colored lenses … heck! his skin was even lighter than mine. Gertrude brought the mirror into the room. How did that help?

When someone has a pimple on his nose, do you point it out? I grew up with a someone who stuttered. We were told not to mind it. The stuttering went away.

So when someone calls you a racist, chances are, it isn’t because they really know you. Maybe it’s because they are trying to force you into their worldview. Who needs to fit into a world shaped by bitterness and self importance?

But this is just me. TGIF people!

Raoul

“Your journey to peace starts when you stop debating the uninformed, reasoning with the unreasonable, and bantering with fools.” –— Anonymous

Thanks to Mel of Washington, D.C.

Artwork by Raoul Pascual

Videos of the Week

Thanks to Rodney of Manitoba, B.C, for this elevator prank.

Thanks to Don of Kelowna, B.C. for this inspirational video

Parting Shots

Thanks to Kathy of Bend, Oregon

Thanks to Cheryl of Temple City, CA

Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, CA

Thanks to Naomi of North Hollywood, CA

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14 Comments

  1. Heather

    June 25, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    This is what I taught my children, what comes out your mouth is how you feel about yourself. Amen

    Reply

  2. Ed

    June 25, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    A friend, a central American Latino, was taunted by a racist who called him a Mexican. I’m Salvadorian, not a Mexican. The racist replied, anyone from south of the border is a Mexican to me.

    What can we do… the racist is already living in a ghetto of hatred, division and xenophobia.

    But, as the French proverb says, ‘When a jackass looks into a mirror, a philosopher doesn’t look back.’

    Reply

    • Raoul

      June 25, 2021 at 7:56 pm

      Pretty deep analogies

      Sad that racism rears its ugly head in so many faces that you can’t tell who are wearing masks.

      And if you understood that, you’re better than me. It just sounded good.

      Reply

  3. Melanie

    June 25, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    Love the BICYLCE!….

    Blessings, my friend and thanks for continuing to send this email full of fun & inspiration!

    Reply

  4. Jeff

    June 25, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    I had to re-read and come back to it to get ‘Mick who?’ It was pretty funny. –Jeff

    One of my buddies, I don’t think he is racist; he’s bigoted…against, Russians, Jews, Italians, Americans,
    Germans. I don’t know, you name it, he’d got a fault for them. What makes it funny, is that he’s German
    and doesn’t spare them either.

    In his 40’s and not married…wonder why?

    –Jeff

    Reply

  5. Chuck

    June 25, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    I believe that only God is truly Color Blind… None of us have perfect vision as much as we say and think we do.

    Blessing,

    Brother Chuck

    Reply

  6. Tom

    June 25, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    Great Thinking on what calling people Racist is overdone and wrong. I feel just like you about

    treating everyone as we would be treated and enjoy the Blessings of all Races and Cultures

    we enjoy and celebrate in everyday life. As they mentioned in the Lion King, Akina Mirada. Or something

    like that. Thanks for your positive views and making us Smile.

    Tom

    Reply

  7. Rick

    June 25, 2021 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Bro and happy Friday to you.

    I enjoyed your views on being called a racist. That word “racist” seems to flow quickly off the tongue of so many which is a shame.

    About 8 to 10 years ago, I had a student call me a racist. The first and only time I’ve ever heard that from a student. Since it was in front of the class, I questioned him why he felt that way. It came down to the fact that he was unable to make up an assignment due to being truant to class on a given day. I calmly reminded him that that is my policy to encourage students to attend class daily, and if absent to make sure it is not recorded as truant, which is our attendance office considering the student ditching school. I also reminded him and the entire class that we discussed this in detail on day 1 of the school year and can be found on the copy of my course syllabus that I provided each student with. I could tell he was still irritated that I shut him down in front of the whole class, and his hopes of embarrassing me or his hopes of my giving in to prove I’m not a racist. I then casually mentioned to this student of Asian race that called me a racist, that I want to share something with him. I walked towards him and opened my wallet. I showed him a photo in my wallet and explained to him that the Asian woman in the photo is my wife. The entire class started laughing with the exception of that one student. It was a wonderful teaching memory for me, and hopefully a learning moment for a few others.

    Thanks bro for sharing your talents and your thoughts on a weekly basis. Have a great weekend and my best to you and family.

    Rick

    Reply

    • Raoul

      June 25, 2021 at 7:39 pm

      Great story Rick.

      I just got a feedback from someone else who insisted I was still a racist. I pondered and figured it wasn’t worth my effort to defend or to put him in his place. Why create enemies?

      TGIF! Enjoy the weekend.

      Reply

      • Rick

        June 25, 2021 at 7:40 pm

        Good choice bro! Let it go.
        Thanks!

        Reply

  8. Lois

    June 25, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Something you said today surprised me. I didn’t think I’d ever hear you say:

    “They may have different religious and political ideologies, different sexual preferences, but that’s fine with me.”

    Reply

  9. Raoul

    June 25, 2021 at 7:48 pm

    Hi Lois,

    I think we are talking in degrees here. It’s fine with me that people are different. Some say potatoe and some say potato. Some are Jewish, some are Islamic. Some are gay some are not. They are all human beings. They’re fine with me. I accept them as human beings. That’s what I meant.

    Raoul

    Reply

    • Lois

      June 25, 2021 at 7:49 pm

      OK, a lot of food for thought. So your definition of “fine” is not acceptance, which is what I would think it means. I guess you feel you can be fine with something but still condemn it. Sounds a bit hypocritical.

      Reply

      • Raoul

        June 25, 2021 at 7:52 pm

        When I use “fine” I use it as in “Okay, fine.” —- I don’t really like where this decision is going but I’m okay that we go to the beach (your choice) instead of the mountains (my choice). ie. I can live with it. I don’t have to like it. The bottom line is, our getting along is more important than my preference. I don’t think there is any hypocrisy there.
        Reply

        Reply

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