The wonderful world of Facebook allows us to have friends we've never met packed into our friends list along with people who've known us since Hector was a pup. Some of these folks might just as well continue to reside in that backstage area of your mind, and some, well, they are people you'd like to get know well, because of things they say. Even an offhand compliment or word of encouragement from someone of respected values means so much, and you return it in kind, hopeful of making them happy too. From acorns like that can grow the oaks known as longtime friendships.
One such person wrote to me concerned about intemperate comments made by some of her friends on her wall. I was sad that it made her sad that to realize she knows people who have racist or chauvinistic tendencies. We've all seen it a lot around here lately, this anti-Obama nonsense nicely dressed as righteous polemics when it really comes down to disliking the man for his racial background.
I guess I need look no further than the iPod that usually rests in the front pocket of my t-shirt to see that it takes a lot of people's music to make me happy. I'm not bragging here, but daggone it, from the first song on the 'Pod ("Above and Beyond" - Buck Owens) to the last by song title ("Zip-a-Dee Doo Dah" by Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans), from the first artist alphabetically (AC/DC) to the last (Yes), from the first album ("Abbey Road", Beatles) to the last ("Yesterday Once More", Carpenters), from the top of the most-played list ("Don't She Look Good", Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadours) to the how-in-hell did this get on here list ("Rock & Soul Music", Country Joe and the Fish), there's everything in here from opera themes ("Carmen") to Bernard Green, who did the Baltimore Colts marching song, from Bing Crosby to Bowling For Soup, from Sammy Davis, Jr, to you- get-the-point. I think it would be a really nice idea if we stopped the labeling, the excluding, the suspicion.
Notice I don't say run around and hug everyone you meet and dance around a tree with them. I only want people to give others a chance, free and clear of what they were taught by others, which might not be true. Before we say that all members of a certain nationality rolled over for the Nazis, it might be good to remember that that same nation sent help to us when he needed it most. Just Google "Lafayette, we are here" and see what I mean.
I can dispel myths about lack of courage faster than you can say "Jackie Robinson."
And look at Hobson, the stiff-upper-lip butler in "Arthur"! He despised tea!
I guess the thing I hate the most about stereotyping and generalizing is that EVERYONE does it.
So let's not, and not say we did.