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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tolerance

Yesterday I read that a Muslim woman was arrested because she refused to remove her hijab ( head scarf) in court. This event did not happen in some remote corner of the world - it occurred here in Metropolitan Atlanta, not 30 miles from the place that I call home. Apparently head coverings are not allowed in the courts here. Despite telling the bailiff that she covers her hair for religious reasons, she was arrested after saying "This is BS" when attempting to leave. The judge sentenced her to 10 days in jail for contempt of court. Although she was soon released this incident illustrates that people are not always tolerant of "others."

A native New Yorker, I grew up surrounded by people of different religions, races, and nationalities. I was lucky to live in a small town where I was accepted by all. Obviously my experience was not the norm. Raising a child in the South I will have more challenges. As a parent I am responsible for teaching my son to appreciate the differences; providing him with the knowledge that we can learn from each other regardless of our race, creed, religion or sexual orientation. Even when our "differences" are not appreciated by others.

Parenting ain't easy. This powerful video should be a must see for all parents.






31 comments:

VCSMama said...

Great video! I saw that story, too. Not entirely surprising, I must say, but times are a-changing...I hope!

Threeboys1mommy said...

I hadn't heard that news, that's embarrassing.

On a somewhat related note, one of Diego's closest friends in school is a chocolate cutie named Mia. Now every time he sees a black girl he says "Mommy look it's Mia!" "Hi Mia!" No matter how old they are, if they're black, they're Mia. One day I'll stop chuckling long enough to correct him.

Cindy said...

Thanks for a good post. Last night a show started by the name of Momma's Boys. Renee, I was embarassed to have it on my TV. One of the Mom's is from Iraq. She sputtered and spat out so much hatred. We should all hope that we are one in this day and age. It's such a shame that so many aren't!

Tiffany said...

You're so right about parenting in the south. I don't think people in other parts of the country realize how deeply rooted the prejudice runs here. I'm always aware of what is said around my kids....

On another note though, I think that woman probably escalated the situation by swearing at the security officers. Not defending them, of course...but it's another good lesson for us all.....cussing someone out ISN'T the best way to deal with things!!

mannequin said...

Oh you are so right Renee , as is the message from the children.
You know, it's really quite simple. It's not even about agreeing with or mingling with, it's as simple as acceptance. And really, how can you NOT accept since differences are what makes the world?
It's beyond me why anyone would WANT everyone to think, look and act alike. What a boring pot of stew that would be.
It IS our responsibility. Not just to our children but in helping them create a better world.

CaraBee said...

I would like to think that with each passing year, we are making strides towards greater tolerance. Sadly, I fear there will always be people who are afraid of (and isn't that what prejudice is ultimately about?) those that are different. The most important thing we can do is raise our children to not only accept but encourage difference.

Rona's Home Page said...

Prejudice isn't just rooted in the South. While living in Maine I had people use the "N" word freely, distribute racist comics at work, throw bottles at me from moving cars, etc. I knew I didn't want our son growing up there. God, answered my prayers and we moved to San Diego. It was a blessing living amongst a very diverse melting pot for 14 years!

Sheliza said...

This is so sad but unfortunately our reality. I love the video and agree 110% with the message it is providing. It is up to parents to help guide their children to accept everyone. I hope everyone is doing their part. I know I am!!

Jewelry Rockstar said...

Yes, I am raising my children in the Atlanta, and it really is a mean town. Although, within the 17 years that I have been here we have seen many more diverse cultures, like I grew up around. There is still a strong sense of hate here that you don't find other places, and it's in many of the people not just one race or another.

Christy said...

That is a great video. It is really hard for me to believe that acceptance is still such an issue sometimes, but I am on the outside looking in...I think as adults, we could learn so much from our children. They are born completely open and accepting of everyone. If only some of them have to un-learn that at home.

BTW--what happened to Beyonce?? :)

Meredith said...

What a great video! And, what a sad, sad story about that poor woman. I don't hate much of anything other than racism and intolerance.

growingupartists said...

I agree with you that religious observances should be respected, America setting the example for religious freedom across the world. Are people asked to remove their crosses when they enter a courtroom?

Amazing_Grace said...

Well, for the other side of the coin was this story in Florida:

A woman who covers her face for religious reasons was issued a drivers license with a picture with her face covered. She took it to court and won. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege so I don't understand the ruling. How can the police identify who is really driving the car?

Ms. Bar B: said...

That's just sad, but we are STILL living in these times. That was a great PSA video, but I have been fighting for myself every since the election with the word "tolerance". I know that we can put all sorts of meanings and connotations to words, which is one of the things that makes language so great. However, when I think of "tolerance" I think of it in terms of "putting up with" something/someone. I wish that "tolerance" could one day be replaced with "acceptance". I think that is still part of out problem. We have been tolerating difference for so long that we still haven't fully learned how to accept it.

CailinMarie said...

I love the video! It is interesting where I live. I grew up military, racism was replaced by classism (officer vs enlisted) and I was lucky my parents had no patience for it. I moved to VA and literally had a two hour discussion in summer school 9th grade as to my racial background. It was hugely important to the class to "place me" {our teacher had given us a reading assignment and stayed out of the discussion that occurred} Recently I was speaking to my neighbor - it was in the 1970s that schools here were integrated. This shocks me, my parents went to integrated schools but here people my age were the first generation. It explains so much of what I saw in High School to know that. When my daughter was in second grade she told me she couldn't be friends with someone because she was "brown" I cried. We talked a lot about it and it was peer pressure from school - from a bi-racial kid of all people. You have to pay attention and keep tabs on your kids and ask questions. And you have to look at yourself. Who are your FRIENDS? not people you tolerate... people you invite to your house?

Mandy said...

Good post. :) Thanks for sharing!

CailinMarie said...

sorry that was long. it is a big topic for me.
and then yesterday on twitter they were talking about the kid whose parents named him Adolph Hitler and his sister is something Aryan something... for crying out loud!

The POSHpreneur said...

Great post, Renee! I grew up in SO. California and there was little to NO issues with my daughter being bi-racial...here in upstate NY it has been a different story. It is really strange to still see/hear of ppl who are so ignorant and hurtful of those who are "different"

Felicia said...

I can't believe that. I haven't heard that. I am a native new yorker myself and I went to school in NC and now live in MD. We must allow our kids to embrace and be tolerant of diversity. Sometime it is a challenge for me, because my background is Jamaican and my husband is American and so he questions a lot of things that I do, but he does embrace it and he loves that our children are learning to be open at a young age.

MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner said...

That video took my breath away... thank you so much for posting it, and for reminding ALL of us that a good parent tries to make their children BETTER than they, including by (but not limited to) teaching them to be smarter, more loving, more understanding, and certainly, more tolerant. I'm a native NYer too, and the one thing I miss most is the incredible amount of diversity you could find just stumbling one city block. If only the rest of the world could be this way...

Candy said...

I LOVE THIS.

not only is it convicting, but it also makes me VERY frustrated with ignorant people.

PsychMamma said...

Fantastic! Every parent SHOULD have to watch this. I Stumbled this post and am tweeting it now. Thanks!

ImitationAngel said...

Very powerful video. This is the type of video that needs to be spread across television and radio.

trisha said...

Ok, i have a lot to say.
First, I dont know how i feel. I feel that the law and religion should be separate, therefore, I dont know how i feel about making exceptions in a court room for any religious sake. I understand the reasoning behind it. Our world now is full of people who go into places like court rooms and kill judges and innocent people. Surely a scarf on a head could be construed as a security risk, much like a hat or a pair of dark sunglasses. So I know where they are coming from. Her not removing it would be considered contempt. Par of my belief comes because i spent 5 years in college studying law, so I tend to take the laws side.

But at the other side, our constitution allows for freedom of religion and speech, thereofre by taking away her head covering, your violating that.

Its really tough for me because I get both sides. I do think BOTH sides have to give a little. I dont think you can be so stuck in a form of religion that you refuse to follow a law in a courthouse for a few moments, but i also dont believe the law should be so tight that we throw people in jail over it.

Somehow our country has got to learn to accept and compromise or we will continue fighting and ruining what great things we have overcome already in life.

We cant fight for religion freedoms and then tear people down with laws and we cant fight for laws and then hide behind religion.

Its the million dollar question, isnt it.

Trisha
momdot.com

Tooj said...

That's wonderful. I might mention this on my blog if you don't mind, to have people come view this video. Thanks for sharing!

fly tie said...

i'm probably cynical, but i'm not one bit surprised. so sad.

great video with a very relevant message, and perhaps the youth will be the bringers of a new way.

Sara said...

What saddens me the most is that the judge was so ignorant!

Heather said...

A major British airline had their staff go on strike fairly recently because they were not allowed to wear a cross necklace as it symbolized their religion.

I don't understand why we have gone too far!

Great post.

vodkamom said...

I absolutely LOVED this. It is so, so true.

Whateverebay said...

Thank you for posting the video. It is hard to believe that this women was treated so horribly. I would expect that she would be allowed. Freedom of religion. Do they not understand??? OMG, I feel for her. And you are correct, it is a HUGE responsibility we have as parents to teach and be good role models for our kids. Have a great Holiday :)

Awake In Rochester said...

BRAVO! Thanks for posting this!

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