Last week during our discussion of the Compton Cookout wherein some UCSD students got together for a ghetto-themed party to mock Black History month, I promised Thingscomeundone that I would post a diary today as a follow-up on the event. So, I’ll tell you what I’ve learned as happened this past week on the UC campus at San Diego. Nada Mucho. Not Much.
UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox said the university, "stunned recently by hate- and bias-related events," will commit its legal, moral, ethical, communal and educational resources to making changes on campus.
"As we continue to meet with the UC San Diego Black Student Union and leaders with San Diego’s African-American community, we are committed to working together to keep our students safe and to discuss and address the issues on our campus so that we can heal and rebuild," Fox said.
Channel 10 news in San Diego reported that around 3,000 students attended a "teach-in" held by the college, but that around an hour into the event, the bulk of the students walked out.
At Wednesday’s outdoor demonstration, a black student named Inga, who declined to give her last name, said she lived in Compton.
"When you grow up in a neighborhood where you can’t play outside at night, where your friends are shot and police helicopters shine lights at your house, you don’t think it’s a joke," she said.
Another black student, Terrell Green, a doctoral candidate in bio-engineering, said: "No one’s been held accountable yet.
And, so it goes.
Not having been at the teach-in, nor read about what was said there, I don’t know what was taught. I have, however, given some thought to the how’s and why’s of human prejudices. As humans, we are imperfect. Some of us are just a little more wacko and mean than others and it seems we have to be taught to be this way. I believe we are born pretty close to perfection, and then it goes downhill from there.
I mentioned last week that my sister who teaches fourth grade holds her students to a high standard of responsibility and showing respect for all others. She pointed me to a remarkable woman named Jane Elliott, an anti-racist activist who created the “blue-eyed/brown-eyed” exercise. Students were segregated by their eye color and treated differently. This was a way for the students to actually experience what prejudice feels like. You can read more about the experiment here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Elliott
Ms. Elliott was teaching about Native Americans when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and to tie the two lessons together, she turned to this prayer:
“Oh Great Spirit, keep me from ever judging a man until I have walked a mile in his moccasins.”
As I thought about this diary all week, I kept coming back to the golden rule. I looked up a website called Religious Tolerance and discovered that every religion has a very similar version.
The Talmad says "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary." Talmud, Shabbat 31a.
Islam teaches "None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." Number 13 of Imam "Al-Nawawi’s Forty Hadiths."
Humanism espouses this: "(11) Humanists affirm that individual and social problems can only be resolved by means of human reason, intelligent effort, critical thinking joined with compassion and a spirit of empathy for all living beings. "
You can read how other belief systems share the same message at http://www.religioustolerance.org/reciproc.htm.
And, in the words of Burt Bacharach, What the world needs now, is love, sweet love.
Have a blessed day, sweet friends.