Sunday, May 1, 2016

Overcoming Bias

Dueling Governors: LePage makes Chris Christie look almost gaunt.
I am tired of reading about what a racist Maine's Governor Paul LePage is. He was elected the first time and then re-elected four years later, so if anyone's a racist it must be all those Mainers who pulled the lever for him. The same can be said of Donald Trump who seems to have earned that moniker as well, although I'm not sure why. But that's besides the point; if Trump is indeed a racist and yet has risen to become the Republican front-runner in the campaign for president, blame his followers, not him. After all, he's only one man and they number in the millions.

I assume that just writing the preceding paragraph makes me a racist to those who see things in black and white, no pun intended. And just what is racism, anyway? People base their feelings about others who differ from them on a lifetime of experiences that cannot be legislated away. If your best friend was murdered by an African-American in a robbery, you might tend to shy away from African-Americans. Seems like that's your prerogative, and a visceral response can take years to overcome. The fact that our President, a soft-spoken gentleman who I imagine would not even swat a fly, is also African-American should help to quell those feelings over time. (We can only hope.)

The thing is, everyone is different and has come by their beliefs first-hand. If all people were nice to all people, there would be no such thing as racism. All these years later I still know many Jews who don't trust Germans! I am not one of them, but believe me, I've met them and they are numerous. And by the way, if your entire family was wiped out in the Holocaust by Germans and now you won't even eat a bratwurst, is that racist?

I can honestly say I am not a racist except when it comes to the obese, who sort of are like another race if you think about it. In fact, that's why I don't like Governor LePage -- he has obviously had way too many whoopie pies. Meanwhile Donald Trump is looking pretty porky these days too, as is Hillary Clinton. I say, vote for the thinnest person running.

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