Saturday, March 26, 2016

Moving along in Life

My first job teaching was at a predominately black school. I had three white students all day. I had never been in a room where I was the only white. The entire faculty was black except for three others. I remember just staring at them all. I had just turned twenty two and was incredibly thoughtless.

I had graduated college with no real direction. I had turned down a well paying job offer my senior year. I wanted to make more money than that. That teaching job payed considerably less. However, I had a great summer running around with my friends and boyfriend. Life was not something quite real.

I remember the job interview. The superintendent who interviewed me had a discussion with me that I would be working with black people. Sounds racist I know, but it was 1978, schools had integrated in Georgia between 1968 until 1970. We weren't that far from a huge cultural change in Georgia. I was a young idealist and so there was no problem.

This lizard was about 2 inches long and
on my purse that I had left on backseat
of the car.
He said, There are good people and there are bad people. My shallow self just wanted a payday and I did not think too hard. He was hiring me a week before school started, and I was applying for an emergency certificate.

Looking back, there is a part of me that wished I had stayed and grown with the system. I worked there one year. I went back to college and yeah picked up another full time professional job as a housing coordinator for the college I went to. Lots of time with my friends and delaying the growing up process. It was great.

In 1998, I had a bright, shining sixth grader from Pakistan. He was the youngest child of six and the only male. I remember his dad in a parent conference. He came here for his children. Having five girls, you had to have respect for him. His daughters mattered. They were the big reason they were in the United States.

His daughters wore scarves. His son was a very able and joyful learner with a bright, shiny personality. One teacher used to laugh that he would not shake her hand. Culturally that was not OK for him. At the end of the school year, the students were shaking my hand as they left my school room. He was in line. I understood the compliment.

What shamed me the most was the knowledge was the discrete distance I initially had. Where I got my prejudice I don't know. I grew up in a military town and had met people from all over the world. Sometimes you have to face your maker and acknowledge your sin.

Since then I have met other Muslims. A high school friend married a Muslim. They have a happy marriage and live in the Atlanta area. One of the better doctors my mother has gone to was Muslim. Mom had difficulty getting on the examination table. He lifted her. He has done things examining my mother that other doctors have not done. A big one is weighing the benefit of the test versus the ability of the knowledge to  help her. Other doctors order many tests regardless of how hard they are on my mother. There are a few we have refused for that reason.

Muslims have been dragged into the middle of American politics. We have a country that was founded on freedom of religion yet we are tolerating intolerance. Yeah, I know about jihad. I also know the average  American Muslim lives in the Twenty-First century and not the 1400's.

As a teacher, I get a laugh from American Muslims with children who dress in a hajib. They lament that they came to this country to get away from that. Isn't that like a teenager to take a high road just to aggravate their parents.

I wrote this before the suicide bombers in Brussels.  Daesch is essentially fighting a war with the West. Instead of fighting economically, they are fighting with terror. The more hatred they can create, the deeper the division. And for what, it is a fool's war with no winners.


Anyway, I like Muslims. I don't like warmongers.

8 comments:

  1. Warmongers are idiots indeed. There can be no winner in all the fear mongering crap. I've met a few Muslims, not many here, and they are all fine by me.

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  2. Individually or personally we don't have problems to accept each other. Only when things get whipped up by someone with their own agenda that others get carried away. Hopefully good sense prevail!

    Hank

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    1. Good summation, it's a depressing problem as old as time. I hope good sense prevails.

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  3. So true what is going on with the war with terror and their purpose with causing hatred, etc. Just because someone culturally doesn't do something like we do, we should still be accepted of that, we can even learn from it. Hubby just recently took a new job; don't want to say too much about it because its one of my A/Z posts, but he had 3 days of orientation to understand the culture of who he would be working with. Fascinating what he shared and how this particular group got to be where they are in how they look at Caucasian people.

    betty

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    1. This sounds very interesting. I can't wait to read your blog during A to Z.

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  4. So many people don't have exposure to other cultures. They don't see that people are just people. I wouldn't want the world to judge white Americans based on the KKK so why do we judge Muslims on ISIS or the other terrorists? The world seems so unstable right now.

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  5. That is an excellent analogy. There is a lot instability. I just hope we start having a few leaders who understand the responsibility of leadership is to help your followers have a responsible viewpoint.

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