Bigotry and Racism Should Never be Ignored

I have heard from a number of people who think we shouldn’t be too concerned about this guy in Enid and his bigoted ways because of a lot of other things that are wrong in this state. And yes, there are a lot of things that need to be addressed, including hunger and the tax cuts for the rich and an increase needed in the minimum wage and affordable health care being denied hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans.

A lot of people are upset about all those things but they don’t always know what they can or cannot do about them or how to combat them. To do something about all those things they need to vote for people who will care about all those things and they need to take to the streets on those issues too. They need to do what they can to make sure these issues get addressed and not ignored. But at the same time it isn’t fair to say we shouldn’t be concerned about bigoted people like this guy because it is people like him that vote these people in, ignoring him and not speaking out about what he is saying and doing just feeds into the problem.

Yes, he is a private business owner open to the public and as I understand it his establishment is not a private club whereby he can exclude anyone for pretty much any reason he might want to. When you are open to the public there are rules that include non-discrimination of customers based on race, color and disability and he shouldn’t be given a free pass.

I agree.  We must be concerned about all those things like health care and hunger because they are real and I know that 1 in 4 children go to bed hungry every night right here in Oklahoma. I do work to do my part to try to make a difference in this state, including being one of the co-chairs of the Letter Carriers Food Drive which collected enough food through donations of food and monetary donations for over 6 million meals last year.

I am a representative for my local Union of our Health Insurance and through it do what I can to lobby for affordable health care for all Americans. I am a member of my church’s 363 Group that feeds the homeless and working poor every other Saturday at the Homeless Alliance. I am a member of the Central Ok Community Forum that helps children at Capitol Hill High School and Moon Elementary School get eye glasses they need to read at no cost to the kids or their parents.

I do what I can to make a difference but I won’t ignore a bigot who needs to have the spotlight shed upon his bigotry. It’s like the old Chinese proverb: the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. I take many first steps to make a difference and we must all take those first steps if we are to be the change we wish to see in this world. But I still believe calling out bigotry and racism is the right thing to do even while trying to do the right thing in what ever other area I can.

Just because I believe that this man should have his establishment placed in the spotlight he obviously craves and he should have it shined on him a way that doesn’t seek to glorify his bigotry and racism so that people of Oklahoma can see him for what he is, doesn’t mean I will ignore the other things I try to do to make a difference in my world and the world close to me where I can in some small way effect a change. It just means I will yell tripe whenever I know tripe is being served.

Bigotry and racism should never be ignored! Bringing it into the open is the only way to put a stop to it!

Bob Bearden


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