I grew up in a slum. A ghetto surrounded by ghettos. I've know legal and illegal Latinos for 40 years. Catholic, Baptist, non-religious and atheist.
Some are seasonal and work the highway construction industry, some are affluent and work in broadcast journalism, others are gang members and most are
just like me, struggling from day to day. Southwest and West Detroit is know as Mexicantown officially now as even the signs on the free way for the
exits are printed with this designator.
I've know legal and illegal Arabs* for almost as long. Devout and non-practicing Muslims, Catholics, non-religious, and atheists. Many are sons of
small business owners and now run or own the family business, others are electricians and plumbers, and a few are lazy and live off the state. My
neighborhood butts up to Dearborn which is the largest Arab* population in the United States.
Poles, Chechs, Lithuanians, Chaldeans, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Mexican, blacks, whites and mutts. Detroit was a ghetto in the classical sense
a long time ago. Each group lived, worked, and played amongst themselves. That changed before I was born thankfully and we became a true "melting
pot". I grew up being able to carry a conversation in five languages (lost now with only a few words remaining unless I've been drinking). I can still
cook authentic foods from a half dozen countries that most Americans have never heard of.
Dr. King said "judge a man by the content of his character, not the color of his skin" and that should
mean everyone. I've always taken it to
mean we are all individuals. Some good some bad, some steal and some give away their last scrap of food. There are men (and women of course) that I
would give my life for without hesitation and others that I wouldn't spit on if they were on fire. Men I would give the keys to my house and others I
wouldn't let in my backyard.
I'm American. Second generation. My father is America of Norwegian descent and my mother is Scots. Yet, the men I mentioned in a good light above are
of all racial and national backgrounds, just as are the negative ones.
Content of character is an individual trait and will never be found in a group, regardless of how hard one looks. Of course the inverse is just as
true, as lack of character will never be found across an entire people.
*Arab is "Air-rib" just so we are clear and I am not attacked for using a racial slur (tragically I felt compelled to include this
edit on 18-4-2016 by 200Plus because: (no reason given)