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chris hess

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Marvin, I'm of German descent. I am blond with blue eyes and look very German. If the 911 perpetrators/enemies of the civilized world were Aryan Nazi types who looked similar to me, I would not only be OK with being profiled, and scrutinized closer than others, I'd DEMAND to be...as otherwise security wouldn't be doing their job.

Having said that, I have Pakistani and Indian friends/acquaintances and I know that at times it's uncomfortable for them. But they don't blame whites, or Americans in general....they blame the the fanatics who put them in this situation. They have the correct perspective, IMHO.

It's also my experience that most people in this country also understand what they're going through and if anything, overcompensate with niceness to them and they're ethnic brothers.

But I wish it wasn't as it is for you Marvin, or anyone else who is suffering the consequences of all this..

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James --- i, too, am a blonde-haired, green-eyed German who lives in the Chicago area. You should have heard the Nazi jokes I had to endure when I lived in the Marquette Park neighborhood!!! Nazi rally signs up on the phone poles and everything!!! I couldn't wait to get out of there!

People who want to hate will do it for any reason. I've seen by siblings beaten on their own front lawn for being Chinese. I had a family at church (of all places) tell their son he couldn't date me because of my family. My in-laws HATED my father because he was Chinese but were at least "civil" to my little siblings. They melted down when John and I adopted Brian and Annie! I've had people who haven't met them yet ask me, "How black are they?" like it makes a difference! Then I've had people who are prejudiced hate me because I'm overweight and make nasty comments or insult me because of my lack of college because I stayed home to raise a special-needs family (and i won't even GO into how ugly special needs gets!!!) Anyone who wants to hate will do so for any reason.

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That and the fact that usually people hate because 1) they were taught this and believe it's normal and have no exposure to anything different, 2) people are afraid of those who are different because it challenges them or requires them to change, and 3) some people can only make themselves feel better by tearing others down lower than themselves. Any way you look at it, it's mostly about fear and insecurity.

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James/Marvin,

When I was growing up, I remember my dad saying racist comments about African-Americans. I would never repeat what he said. I could never understand why he was that way. However,as bizzare as this sounds, was taught to treat everyone the way you would like to be treated - it didn't matter what color their skin was or where they came from. I still believe this today and do get a bit irritated when members of my family make rude statements about other people without knowing who they really are and what their personal circumstances are. I get along with people from all walks of life and pride myself on giving everyone the same respect that I would expect as a human being.

I am trying to instill these same principles in my children. I will say however that they town I grew up in(not to single out a minority group here)only had one black family residing there and the same goes for the school my children go to - there are actually 2. This to me is odd, I don't know why.

I think people who don't take the time to listen to others and find out something interesting about them are really depriving themselves of the potential to make a lifelong friend.

HT

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