This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Hatred, bigotry and equal opportunity

If you don't understand the concept of "Equal Opportunity Under the Law", well, I guess I can't blame you. Like lots of great ideas, they tend to get distorted when put in practice by us human beings. But take a step back and think about this.

Equal Opportunity does not mean giving preferential treatment to a particular group of people. That is exactly what it is supposed to prevent. So, as I started my career in the 1980s as a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant man, I came up against something that I hadn't expected. The companies that I applied to, and worked for, had decided that "Equal Opportunity" meant giving preferential treatment to people who were not of my race or gender. I did OK, looking back, but knowing that I would not fill "a quota" didn't make it any easier for me.

Over the course of my career, I became a fanatic on Equal Opportunity. Since most people don't understand it, most people feel comfortable creating groups that exclude others. That's not equal opportunity, that's vindictiveness. And it's the exact opposite of what equal opportunity is all about.

The Civil Rights Laws of the 1960s did not give the right for a minority group to exclude any other group. In fact, it made this type of exclusion illegal. If your response to this is, "hey lighten up", I would like to point you to Rosa Parks.

Standing up for your rights is not easy. If you have never read the famous "I have a dream" speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., because it's "too long, didn't read", here is the essence:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Content of character, ability to do the job. Not race, not gender. I have the same dream, too.
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