5.15.2007

A Better World

So I'm at an extended family function with my in-laws. There's an individual that I'm really not sure how he's connected, but he's always there so I don't ask questions. We'll call him Anthony. Everytime time I see Anthony he tells a racial joke of some sort. The first time it was a black joke. I brushed it off thinking, "he's a steel worker from Detroit, maybe they just joke around." This time I hear him tel no less than 3 Jewish jokes. The fact that they weren't funny because his understanding of the Torah is completely wrong notwithstanding, it bugs me. So much in fact, that I played the 'I need a re-fill' card and got out of the room before I lost it.

I can't handle that. My heart sweels in my chest with something violent when I hear racial groups insulted like this.

As I'm contemplating this in the car I'm forced to look at my own double standards. I tell a lot of dutch jokes.

But it's different, I say. I'm dutch. we have a reputation for being penny pinchers, which is mostly true.

Is that different? If I tell a dutch joke, someone might hear it a nd not realize that I'm actually making fun of myself. Maybe something swells up in their chest. Maybe they excuse themselves and blog about it later.

So I keep thinking about it and a scene from the movie Serenity comes to mind (If you haven't seen it, you need to, doctors orders)

{The Operative has just ordered anyone who has ever helped the crew of the Serenity (Capt. Malcom Reynolds is the good guy) murdered}
The Operative: I'm sorry. If your quarry goes to ground, leave no ground to go to. You should have taken my offer. Or did you think none of this was your fault?
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: I don't murder children.
The Operative: I do. If I have to.
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Why? Do you even know why they sent you?
The Operative: It's not my place to ask. I believe in something greater than myself. A better world. A world without sin.
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: So me and mine gotta lay down and die... so you can live in your better world?
The Operative: I'm not going to live there. There's no place for me there... any more than there is for you. Malcolm... I'm a monster. What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.

So maybe to some extent Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the opperative, he never got to live in this better world. Neith Will Anthony, neither will I. I pray to god that my Son does and that his sons do.

I repent of my anger towards people who are wrong.
I repent of my inappropriate sense of humor.
I pray for a better world.

Peace.

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