Recently while doing research for a bankruptcy case, a friend of mine shared this article with me, showing how racial prejudices preside in the legal community, even today. I find it fascinating that the supposed pillars of justice, the justices themselves, have such a difficult time with race in their court rooms.
>>>Read the article: “Dismissal with Prejudice? Race and Politics in Personal Bankruptcy”
The foundation of law in this country is set on the truth that “all men are created equal”. Each and every person regardless of age, sex, race or culture are to be treated fairly, honestly, and equally.
It starts with your upbringing. In my family I was taught that color is not a factor in deciding a person’s worth. I myself have never been confronted with the ‘race card’. Even so, I was raised by what I would call fairly conservative parents. I was taught to dress modestly and have always worn skirts and blouses (not to say this is the only way to be modest but this is one of the ways we do it). This was my parents choice for me as a child and now my choice as an adult. Because of this simple decision my life was altered in many ways. I was constantly questioned about my choice of clothes, from grade school all through high school, even now at times. “Are you Amish?” That was a big one. This simple question always reminded me how little people (in particular Christians, the local religious majority) are aware of the races and cultures surrounding them.
This constant criticism (intended or not) always felt like I had done something ‘wrong’ for dressing different than the other kids. Now as an adult I understand their ignorance and it does not affect me. I am proud of who I am and who I was raised to be. Yet, because of the underlying pressure to meet the ‘social status quo’ I was more aware of other people who were not ‘accepted’ because of some quirk, look, culture or race. Their reactions motivated me into a champion for the underdog and that feeling has carried on into my adult life.
Now working as a legal assistant, being exposed to the law and having a personal interest in civil and human rights, this article caught my attention. Where did this classing of color come in? How did whites end up at the perceived top? How has this racially dominant idea become so prevalent in our lives? How even legal professionals schooled in the rights and liberties obtained such a warped outlook? I don’t know the answer to these questions. I do know that equality starts at home.
Next time you see an African American, Asian, Native American, anyone racially or culturally different then you, smile and nod. Understand. View them in a new light, don’t allow the social stereotypes and profiles to fog your judgment of their character. Remember, we are all created equal.
If being American has taught us anything, it is that this land stands for the freedom and liberty of all, the least we can do is show the world it is true.
- Talking Race Talking Color (socyberty.com)
- Letters: What Being Biracial Means Today (nytimes.com)
- Live for Liberty and Truth (socyberty.com)