Tuesday, September 02, 2008

What I heard

Listening recently to a podcast of This American Life, I heard Shalom Auslander say something I wish I'd said myself. I didn't write it down at the time so I can only paraphrase:

I don't like people. That's why I don't understand racism. When there's so much to dislike about a person, why choose the color of his skin to focus on?

As I said, it's not a direct quote (but pretty darn close), but it sums up how I feel about racism. It's hard not to prejudge people based on how they dress or look, it's human nature. If we take a minute to get to know someone, we probably find our initial judgment may have been wrong. Sometimes the person who was dressed nicely wasn't all that nice and the person who looked a bit of a bum turned out to be a sweetheart.

As I've said -- much less eloquently than Auslander -- assholes come in all colors.