Monday, October 18, 2010

Unkindness Does Not Discriminate

I've been thinking about a young friend for the past few days that encountered a blatant and unprovoked experience of racism from a stranger last week.

Naturally, my friend was stunned and hurt as the verbal attacker told her to return to her own country. (My friend is a U.S. citizen and although born in India, was adopted at a very young age and has lived a very American life). I won't go into why this young woman deserves respect, since I believe we all innately deserve this universal act of kindness. What is dumbfounding to me is that this attack was apparently justified in this woman's mind.

Perhaps, this woman believed she was doing and saying the right thing by sharing her racist and discriminatory remarks. I imagine she was simply afraid that anyone that does not look like her may be taking away some freedom or opportunity reserved for only certain people....those that she approves as worthy. Perhaps her attack was simply her fighting against a perceived injustice and my innocent friend got caught in the cross-fire.

I wonder if this woman considers herself to be reasonable, thoughtful and kind. If she does, then does she believe that kindness is discriminatory? Does she believe only certain colors of skin, or certain life styles, or people from select backgrounds, countries and families deserve kindness and respect? Must we prove to one another that we are worthy of respect? If we are all subject to this potential criticism from those that come from different backgrounds, Is there one list of criterion that justifies our worthiness?

At this point in time, it seems, based on this account, that unkindness does not discriminate. My friend's heart, her talents or her contributions to society were not assessed and weighed, otherwise she would have surely passed the test of deserved respect.

I actually feel more pity for the woman that made the attack, since it is she that apparently does not feel secure enough to see beyond her very narrow minded view. My friend, although hurt by the attack, knows and loves who she is and will continue to be kind, respectful and caring about others, even when they don't look like her.