Written with different events in mind (i.e. Rick Sanchez’s anti-semitic rant – since apologised for – and Juan Williams being axed from NPR following his revealing ‘When I see muslims on airplanes I get nervous’ gaff) this e-postcard made me chuckle about a local situation.
It’s true: no one likes being labelled a racist — or ‘called’ on apparent bigotry, and much worse, having people opine about it. It can be hurtful, bewildering and embarrassing when someone takes issue with one’s own words and actions in a negative way — interpreting us in a way that we hadn’t intended or predicted they would do.
Even hot, earnest, SHOUTED denials of prejudice cannot obscure the picture of us that our own words and actions create for others to see. This, despite the nuanced, complex, multi-layered image of ourselves we see when we look in the mirror. Neither, finally, does comfort provided by the cosy club of our coterie ease the pain of the miscomprehension of our core … by critics.
I’ve referred in another context to the The Animals who sang so eloquently:
I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood