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by Frank Shortt
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Who is benefitting by the hate and greed being fueled in America? Someone is either getting rich by pitting the races against each
other, or someone’s ego is being stoked!
Religious groups are crying, “help us fight bigotry and poverty!” Then they turn around
and support ‘rioting in the daytime’! This seems to be a mixed message. Their Leader taught them to “love your enemies, pray for those
who despitefully use you!” There seems to be a scarcity of this happening in this world.
Politicians, a majority of white men of
European descent, are claiming to be for the poor, the downtrodden, and the forgotten masses of America! In Washington D.C. the government
has been at a standstill for the past, almost twenty years because one faction is afraid to pass any legislation for fear it will
have to share credit with the other faction. What is causing the ‘hate’ divide in D.C.? Is it Money? Is it Power? Or is it maybe Popularity?
I was raised in a community where racial epithets were a common occurrence! In fact, there was not one known person of another
race in our whole county as I was being raised as far as I knew. In our elementary schools and high schools we were all White, Anglo-Saxon
Protestants. There was not one church, synagogue, or mosque other than the small Protestant churches scattered throughout the county.
If we saw anyone of another race or religion, they were an oddity to us. Most of the children I attended school with had not been
farther than 30 miles away from their place of residence until they were able to escape to another northern city or join up with Uncle
Sam in one of the branches of the armed forces. How they knew enough about other races to become judgmental is still a mystery. When
I was taken to Abingdon, Virginia in the late 1950’s to participate in a spelling bee representing my high school, I thought I was
in a huge city! In actuality the population of Abingdon then was around 4700 souls, most of them consisting of outlying tobacco farmers.
I thought I was a VIP when I was taken to the famous Martha Washington Inn for lunch. In fact, I didn’t have a penny for lunch but
the sponsoring teacher, Mrs. Simpson, came to my rescue. If my memory serves me right I believe I ordered an egg salad sandwich which
probably came with pickles and tomatoes on the side. Sweet tea and lemonade was a given.
All my classmates had rude awakenings as
we ventured out of the safety zone of Buchanan County, Virginia!
This will give you an idea the condition I was in as I entered
the U.S. Air Force in 1960 and was introduced to practically every race known to live in America at that time. Fortunately, my father
had taken his children to African-American churches in the town of Richlands, Va. and had suffered persecution from his neighbors
for his effort. In basic training in San Antonio, Texas, Lackland Air Force Base, I kept my mouth shut and did a lot of listening.
As a result I was able to save myself a lot of unnecessary abuse from my fellow Airmen. I had a pretty good singing voice in those
days and was able to get together with singers of other races if we ever had spare time. We sang acapella as there were no musical
instruments allowed in the basic training barracks. This singing together surely expelled a lot of hate and forged some strong friendships!
Thank God, I am proud to say that I have gotten over the bigotry implanted by the environment that I was reared in.
So, who is
fueling the Hate in America? Is it outside interests from other countries trying to pit American against American so that a possible
takeover would be easier? With the technological advances in the world, this would be entirely possible. Is it one group or the other
being the ‘squeaky wheel’ in order to draw attention to their cause? When a person is born, is hate already in that person’s heart?
These are unanswered questions that have often plagued the average ‘thinking’ American.
It has been said that someday the desert
will blossom as a rose. This will only be possible when fairness and justice can prosper, when all men can truly be brothers without
noticing the color of one’s skin or which brand of religion one wears. With the state of affairs in the U.S. at this time, it is almost
impossible to fathom that someday all men will love and not hate. It seems that no two groups can agree to respect each other! So