The changing electoral demographics of the country reminded me of my first encounter with a black person here in Maine.
About 60 years ago, when I was nine years old, a neighbor had somehow become acquainted with an African tribal chief and invited all the kids in town to meet this man. He was wearing his colorful tribal costume of gold and yellow and brown. He carried a long walking stick with a big knob on the end. All went well until the question and answer period arrived.
Having a keen sense of humor, I just couldn’t help myself from asking the chief if that knob on the end of his walking cane was a shrunken head. The gathering grew eerily quiet. The chief was not amused and used my dumb question as a “teachable moment.” He went on to give a mini lecture on respect for other people's cultures.
Years later, I became a teacher at a very large urban community college. For more than 30 years, I taught people of many races, creeds and nationalities. I found these students had goals in common: they wanted an education that would lead to a good job, so they could provide for their families, acquire a home and provide a good education for their children
I have been taken aback at the vitriol expressed in some of the letters to the editor relating to the recent election. I wish the authors could experience interaction with “the others” and accept our common humanity.
Linwood Gilbert, Turner