July 2010

Afraid of color

By Galen Larson

Man is an interesting animal. He is unlike other creatures in that he seems to be repelled by color. How else to explain the fear we have of people of different races?

Here in Montezuma County this fear seems to be well and thriving, as we hear calls for the county to take a stand against illegal immigration. When one does not have confidence in one's self it seems easier to point fingers at others.

The much-touted melting pot of this great country is boiling over and the pride we once acclaimed in the Statue of Liberty is becoming tarnished. Wasn't it Hitler who made the Jews wear an identification around their necks and sewn on their clothes? That brought shame and guilt on the world. Now Arizona is demanding that all immigrants keep their identification papers with them at all times or be charged with a crime.

Here in this country we had to fight a war to abolish another inhumane act called slavery. Then as now the root of the problem was big money. Remember, if agribusinesses and corporations did not hire these illegal immigrants who are trying to better themselves, there would be no problem.

We brought this on ourselves. We recruited people from south of the border during World War II and they helped us to win the war. Then agribusiness found them an asset to bring us cheap food and help with the finger-pricking task of picking cotton. The workers also poured concrete for roads and buildings. When Cesar Chavez tried to get them better wages in all aspects of agribusiness, we screamed that the cost of lettuce would starve us to death and we wouldn't have any wine to soothe our nerves.

We hide behind the flag and the words, “I'm American.” But what does that mean? This is the United States of America. Mexico is part of America, our neighbor. To the south are South Americans. We are all Americans.

It is hate that drives us to demean others. We are hypocritical in our beliefs and selfish in our wants. There is no color in darkness and we should come out of our darkness and rejoice in the colors we can see. It would be a monotonous life with only gray; ask any person who has lost their sight.

Let's see our fellow man as he is, another human to be respected. The Good Lord gave us color, whether the flowers in a bouquet, the green of the forest, the blue of the sky and the black and brown hues of the good earth that sustains us. Color is not the problem. Hate and hypocrisy are.

Galen Larson writes from Montezuma County, Colo.