Black, white, brown are colors not races.

Maureen Krueger,
Santa Ana, CA

I choose my friends not on the basis of skin color no more than I base my choice of friends based on height, weight, the color of their eyes, or the color of their hair. Friendship is based on character and similar interests. Those who use physical characteristics to determine the worth of others or themselves are very shallow thinkers. They are missing the true difference in people which is their personal character. A person’s character is based on the choices we make in life, choices that determine honesty, integrity, self-control, the words we choose to speak. We all have physical characteristics that we have no control over. We are born with certain skin pigments, hair color, eye color, height, based on our DNA. How we view others is based on choice.

We can decide to hate someone we don’t know based on physical features or we can choose to like or dislike someone based on their character. To hate someone you don’t know is sad because there are so many wonderful people who have enriched my life who look nothing like me and grew up in very different environments. But we all have things in common. We all have struggled with something in life whether it is a disappointment, loss of loved one, marital problems, health issues, financial issues, being unfairly judged, we have all suffered. Choices made by others affect each of us in hundreds of ways, some choices like driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol may result in injury or death of a stranger or friend. The choice to say words that are knowingly hurtful to a loved one or friend in anger results in loss of trust. The choice to help someone in need personally results in happiness for both who are helped and did the helping.

Experiencing health problems we have the choice to be angry and lash out at others, have a pity party, or gain compassion for others who also suffer from health issues. All of these choices develop our personal character and determine how we see and treat others in the world. I choose personal character not physical appearance to determine who I want to be acquainted with or choose as a close friend. To do that I must spend time with a person and get to know them, to know their motives behind certain actions, to not judge too quickly or based on the words or gossip of another. Race should be removed from all forms we are asked to fill out. What has a race to do with anything except to use it as an excuse? People are complex and cannot be forced into certain behavior. Our jails are filled with people who have chosen behavior that others have deemed wrong. But jail time has done very little to change behavior and often has the opposite effect where they learn from others how to be more deceptive or more corrupt. If jail time was affective our jails would be empty. Why do we continue to use this ineffective way to punish offenders of crimes often sentencing innocents while allowing the corrupt to continue in freedom. Gun laws won’t stop murder, there are many ways to commit murder, but a gun in the hand of an otherwise defenseless person can save a life. Why do white supremacists feel hate towards others different from themselves? Is it delusion, fear, or feelings of their own inadequacy. I chose to not participate in questions about race because race is meaningless.

 

Tweets by Michele Norris