Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Colour Blind

I hadn't planned on blogging today - you can have too much of a good thing you know ;)


Then I saw something on FB that caused me to think again.  It was an update from a friend of mine who was asking people to sign a petition.

I rarely do this mostly because I don't want to be inundated with loads of junk mail and because, to be honest, I'm a pretty unpolitical type of animal.  I am very much a live and let live kind of person.  It doesn't mean I don't have strong views or that I don't care.  I just respect others rights to their own opinions and I accept that they may not always correspond with mine.

However, just occasionally I feel it's important to stand up and be counted and those occasions are almost always connected to discrimination whether it be against gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.

I didn't just blindly sign the petition, I investigated further before making my x in the box because what I found was, in my opinion, shocking.

Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Polish president Lech Walesa, the man who led Poland to freedom in it's cold war struggle with the Soviet Bloc has been asked to apologise for suggesting that gay Polish politicians should 'sit behind a wall' in the countries parliament.

The reason for his comment?

Walesa says that gay people have little significance as a minority and therefore have to adjust to 'smaller things'

Walesa also says that he has nothing to apologise for and that he does not feel homophobic in making this comment.

I find it impossible to reconcile those two statements.

I fail to see how an individuals sexual orientation is significant in either the political world or indeed outside of it.

What about other minorities?  Should we segregate people based on the colour of their skin?  What about people who live with physical disabilities?  Single mothers?  The list is endless and who exactly would be considered part of the 'worthy' majority?

I find discrimination wholly unacceptable.  I see people as people and form my opinion based on the person they are.

A couple of years ago I was in Salisbury's when I saw a man being berated by another man.  Initially I assumed it was a personal disagreement, that the two knew each other and had fallen out in someway.

It was only as I got closer that it became apparent that this man was being racially abused by the other man in a very vocal and aggressive way.

I was horrified, I had honestly never seen this happen before (and haven't since).  This man was being attacked solely on the basis of skin colour and people were either looking on or walking past!

I couldn't!

I stood by this man, I called to staff to have security remove him and to call the police.  I apologised to the man on behalf of all those who, like me, are colour blind.  I talked to him for a while as he was very upset and shaken.  He told me he was a doctor, a respected man who worked hard and yet, a small minded vicious excuse for a human being had reduced him almost to tears.

He didn't NEED to justify himself to me and it sickened me that another human being had made him feel he did!

I think Walesa is deluded and should be ashamed and, if he is unable to see that for himself then I for one am happy to stand up and tell him so.

When I look at you I don't see your sexual orientation, I don't see your religion, race or colour - I see you and I'm proud to be colour blind.

Im including the link to the petition here purely so that you have options, options that Walesa feels that some people have no entitlement to.


SlapdashMama said...

How ghastly. I have never seen anything like this in person but recently a well known news reporter on our ABC was racially abused on a bus with his little girl, he tweeted about it. It sounds similar, very very abusive and violent language.
You are very brave and cool to stand up for that poor man.

Sarah said...

It didn't feel brave at the time Sarah, it was instinctive. I was totally horrified and disgusted.

joeh said...

I do see color, and different shades...most are beautiful!

I think Lech tips the bottle a lot.

joeh said...

Your posts were not hitting my updates. Had to unfollow and then follow again.

Wonder how often that happens.

Sarah said...

yes they are Joe - I know we are on the same page here. Of course I DO see colour but it's of no more significance to me than the colour of someones socks when it comes to forming an opinion of them and, on a concious level, it's not the first thing I notice.

Slightly concerning about the posts - I guess it could happen a lot and would explain sometimes why people either appear to stop suddenly blogging or commenting. Hope the re-follow has sorted the problem.