I got this certificate in the mail last Wednesday. It came from the Southern Poverty Law Center, signed by Morris Dees. I do not know by which route it came to me – it was an utter surprise. I wish you could see the whole certificate, but if you want any proof that it really exists, go to my Facebook page, and look at my photos, or my personal page.
Racism and intolerance have been my main concerns in my life, beginning about 50 years ago. I have worked for Civil Rights, or equal rights, for all human beings, a trait not evident in most of my family, other than the members who come through the Henze blood. Most of my family, through the bloodline of my mother’s second husband, were very racist when it came to the Mexican Americans, back in the days when we lived in Corpus Christi, my own hometown.
I simply do no understand looking down on anyone, as a person. We can all dislike the actions of some people, but we should never judge a whole race by the actions of a few. As far as that goes, white people have been just as guilty of intolerance, and that is not an attractive action by anyone, discrimination, or reverse discrimination, so many people refuse to accept the differences in race and choice of whom to love, and choice of religion, and it leaves us with a half world against the other half of the world, just crying for war.
So working against racism and intolerance is not an easy thing to do. But I will keep it up because I just think hatred is a very hard thing to keep active – I think people who choose to hate are exhausting themselves and poisoning their minds and bodies to keep this negative trait active. We who lived through the 60s understand perhaps better than anyone how hard it is to just love one another. It is no wonder that there is so much illness exists in the body because of the negative feelings in your heads.
It is obvious to me that this attitude is not going to disappear while anyone of my generation lives – the generation who saw the ugliness of the 40s and 50s. It will take my grandchildren’s generation to finally make love and tolerance and equal rights the major ways of existing with one another peacefully. Of course, that needs to go beyond the American shores and fill the hearts of everyone.
Love and acceptance really are all you need.
Carol Stepp, Austin, TX