Bigotry Is a Lifestyle Choice

Ken Painter By Ken Painter, 13th Aug 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

What type of person do you choose to be? My long life's experiences have shaped how I view the world, and in light of recent events surrounding George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, I have an opinion . . .

Bigotry Is a Lifestyle Choice

The calendar is more than halfway through the year 2013 and I feel embarrassed that we are even mentioning this topic in America still, and yet it as pervasive a topic today I feel as when I walked the halls of my high school in the late 1960’s. If Stand Your Ground Law’s which can be found in states as Florida move such fearful vigilante justice believing citizens (and I fear they are legion) such as the George Zimmermans of this world to embolden themselves into thinking they are really acting on behalf of their community as a sort of Lone Ranger of justice then this country that we used to call the bastion of liberty is sure as hell headed to HELL in the proverbial hand basket greased with a lot of innocent blood I fear.

Why do I feel this way? Probably it has to do with the fact that I’ve lived a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of stuff. A whole lot of stuff! And when you’ve lived as long as I have, and you’ve seen as much stuff come down the pike, you start putting things together that not all things are right, that no matter how hard you try to make them right there are certain things like oil and water that are not going to mix. Dogs and cats are going to fight, and bigots are going to be bigots. Now not all people are going to be bigots, but some people will, and just like cockroaches you can’t get rid of them, you can only tolerate them to a certain degree, control them and work around them, but you’ll never eliminate them all.

For many, many years I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This was by my own choice. I was not raised within this religion, but I chose to be such as an adult, and I eventually married and raised a family within the ranks of the Jehovah’s Witness faith. JW’s are not always popular within the community although they are extremely law-abiding, pay their taxes, obey all laws, however, because they do not vote in elections or observe holidays they are seen as kooks and outsiders. This had been my fate in the workplace for many years, so when interviewing for a new position I made certain never to mention it. It would have been in poor taste to anyway.

I received a teaching position at a daycare nursery/pre-school in South Carolina where my wife and I resided at the time. It was a decent position for which I was a bit over-qualified, but I needed the job. All was great for the first few weeks on the job. I worked extremely well with my other co-workers, all female. I never had any problems until one day at work it finally came out that I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They were all Baptist, and someone had finally asked, of course, and, well, I wasn’t going to lie. After that my job at the center went downhill fast. My supervisor did everything she could to make my life a living hell. My performance ratings became poor.

All of this happened because these Christian Baptist ladies I worked with felt smug and superior to me. In truth, they were merely bigoted which was their choice as Americans. I finally was let go from the job after only four months on the job, but I was able to extract Unemployment Compensation from my supervisor before leaving because she knew she was in the wrong.

Bigotry is a lifestyle choice. Whether one happens to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a member of the LGBT community, a Muslim worshipping at a local temple, or a young hoodie-wearing African-American teen out for candy or a soft drink or whatever at his neighborhood convenience store in the evening, no one in America deserves to be treated less than the sum of his/her parts. No one needs to be disrespected. If you were on the receiving end, how would you feel?

Link to beginning of my autobiography . . .


Bigotry, Bigots, Choices In Life, Freedom, Freedom Of Expression, Freedom Of Opinion, Lifestyles, Opinion, Opinion About Freedom, Opinion Pieces, Opinions Of Religions

Meet the author

author avatar Ken Painter
Retired Chicago public school teacher. Singer, songwriter, musician, author, & opinionated old curmudgeon. Married to my husband & living in Colorado, USA. Also a father & grandfather.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
13th Aug 2013 (#)

"If you were on the receiving end, how would you feel?" That sums it up perfectly. Great post Ken.

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author avatar Ken Painter
13th Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks, Steve! I appreciate the comment a lot.

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