As this country far too often continues to demonstrate an ugly division along racial lines, two incidents this week underscored this fact along with how civility and maturity can serve to educate if not diffuse such situations. Let’s take a look.
Veteran Fox-2 reporter and all-around nice guy Roop Raj made national news in recent days regarding how he handled a tweet from an individual who questioned his country of origin. Calmly and collectedly Raj informed the person in question that he was indeed from the United States (his parents had emigrated here in the 70s) while positing to the individual that, “this country looks like you AND me.”
Also this week, Samuel B. Jackson, an African American college student at Notre Dame became the subject of racist social rants as he continued to carry the mantle of one of three new “mascots” for the university. As some lamented he was not more “Irish” in his heritage, Jackson responded with maturity and aplomb: “We’re not changing tradition. We’re not breaking tradition. We’re just showing that the tradition of Notre Dame is for anyone and everyone that wants to go after it.”
Both Raj and Jackson are individuals of color but that is irrelevant. As any intelligent human being knows, each and every one of our ancestors came to this country from somewhere. What is important is that both these individuals stared down adversity, and indeed ignorance, with civil and positive responses to be admired as much as the men themselves. No negativity. No attacks. Just the facts, with class. A refreshing change of pace and positive approaches to communications that we all should emulate and operate by.