The culture that I grew up is not the culture that I espouse today. I am not faulting anyone within that culture that I left behind, but it was a culture to be put aside. I am not faulting them because they didn’t know better. Failure to change, however, would be reason to come down hard on them. In some respects, I do wonder why they didn’t question more, but those were different times.
I was taught,what I thought, were good values. I was sent to the Catholic school, more out of the fact that it was pretty much free, due to the death of my father, the Catholic Church at least doing that well. My mother was not one to pass up a bargain so when it was offered, she thought automatically that it was a private school, therefore probably better than the public school.
I have to say that I got a good education there, overall. Despite the over fifty pupils per class for most of my time at St. Charles Borromeo elementary school in Parma, Ohio, I learned a lot about all sorts of things that prepared me well for the future. When I arrived in the 9th grade, in a public school (it was considered to be junior high at that time, in that city), the teachers, especially those of English, point blank mentioned to our classes that we had a better English preparation.
My education was also in religion and I believe that was also good. It made me question things that I heard in my family. I do believe that I was good for them because I nicely called them out when they espoused philsophies and language that was demeaning to other peoples. I remember how even my grandmother changed her tune. The only time she lost it was when she was under the influence of anaesthetics as she came out of surgery and made reference, in Hungarian, to the color of my aunt’s skin. My aunt, at that time, was a person who spent hour upon hour getting a tan. My grandmother called her, “Fekete,” the Hungarian word for black and used it in a demeaning way.
Martin Luther King and all of the others were instrumental in my life as little by little (and it is only recently that the full story of even things like the Electoral College and such have come to the forefront as racist) we learned of the full story of discrimination, inequality, and inhuman treatment on the part of my fellow caucasians, making me feel guilty about even wearing my skin.
Martin Luther King was not perfect and he was a flawed mna, but he espoused many good things and pointed out our problems to the world. Anyway, show me a human being who is perfect…
Martin Luther King and so many others strove to change things and seriously, I thought they had, but then the previous régime let loose the hidden facts about a Civil War that appeared to have been won by the North, but in fact was not. The previous régime succeeded in unleashing what had remained hidden for so long, festering and smoldering under the surface. Now that it has, it is time to squash it.
We have so much to change and we are capable of so much good and I just wish some human being would show up on the political stage and unlock that door.
Meanwhile, thank you Dr. King and so many others who put their lives on the line in the half of millenium or so of years in which Western Europe seemed to think it was a good idea to fill their pocketbooks by enslaving people, treating them worse than animals, and using them to to make money. What a legacy they have left in the world…