LET’S COOK: Respect and understanding
Two anxieties have recently captured the attention of the world. We all have been dealing with the impact of COVID-19 and ability to corral this virus. Now, in the face of the current tragic and sad events of racism, we share unimaginable pain and loss gripping our nation. We are a collage of how we were raised and influences from our parents and family. My concern for a stand against racism and violence against our community of black, brown, red, yellow and other marginalized populations comes from my paternal grandfather and my dad.
My grandfather was an immigrant and came to this country from Germany. He stepped on American soil in New Jersey and New York not being able to speak a world of English. His papers stated that he would be going to Casselton, North Dakota as a farm laborer. In the throws of getting to the train station, he missed his connection. His frightening experience in this new world was significantly lessened by a black porter who offered him to stay the night in his apartment in New York City. After an evening of comfortable rest and a breakfast prepared by this kind soul, he guided my grandfather to the train station to head successfully west.
This act of kindness was retold many times by my grandpa. My dad came to understand through his father how cultures and backgrounds may be different, but in terms of respect and concern for one another, they are transcontinental.
My parents operated a trailer court in Underwood for several years. It was through this experience that my dad taught me that the color of skin did not matter because all renters were part of our community. With the building of coal plant, custom combiners and travelers to our area, we had the privilege of meeting many fine people from diversified backgrounds.
There were some areas in our home that both my parents believed excesses were virtuous. For my Dad, it was a collection of milk bottles; he had several hundred in his collection. Now Mom enjoyed excess in collecting dishes. They both enjoyed excess in reading newspapers-which was proven by the seven weekly subscriptions they received several years. They, however, did not believe or condone excessive abuse towards another race. Their example of treating everyone with respect is the starting standard to helping societies keep their equilibrium.
William Channing, who was a Unitarian preacher in the United States, wrote, “The spirit of liberty is not, as multitudes imagine, a jealousy of our own particular rights, but a respect for the rights of others, and an unwillingness that any one, whether high or low, should be wronged or trampled under foot.”