BIGOTRY STARTS EARLY


In 1967, I was getting ready to walk 4 blocks to my kindergarten class. My grandfather Morley Bride was visiting and saw me off to school. As I left the porch and turned left, I reached down and picked up a large stick. Grandpa asked, “What are you going to do with that stick?” I replied, “It’s in case I see any Indians.”

We lived in Southampton, Ontario and we often drove past the Saugeen First Nation’s Reserve. In my childish mind, the TV taught me that good guys were white cowboys with white hats. Every cowboy was at war with Indians. I felt that I needed to be ready to protect myself in case the Indians attacked me. I did not learn this from my parents.

I am so glad that I outgrew that mindset. That was not the first time in life that I had to confront my biases about others. There are many voices in the world to educate us on the virtues and character flaws of whole classes and groups of people. At a core level, it is rooted in our view of human nature. Do you see people as being mostly good, mostly bad, or mostly neutral?


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