Recent Posts

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Experiencing Prejudice

Yesterday, I asked a priest to pray for me for concerning immigration issues. He did not believe me when I said I could not get into my country of choice because I was poor.

I experienced prejudice, the prejudice of those who think all Americans are rich, and the prejudice of those who cannot believe the country I mentioned is so anti-immigration.

The priest simply did not believe my tale of not being allowed to live in the same country as my only child. I experienced what thousands of people who immigrate experience daily-a reaction which is based on Calvinism. A friend of mine said to me after this conversation, "The priest does not believe you."

Those who have never experienced rejection of any kind because of poverty simply cannot comprehend this type of prejudice, and, therefore, they fall into another type of prejudice.

Being "white" is no longer a privilege of race in some places. Being poor creates suspicion in those who have never been poor, or who have received help in immigration issues because they are not white. A poor, white person is not worthy of help, or even prayer.

God allowed this humiliation. He allowed me to know what it is like to be looked down on by another who is supposedly a good person.

The priest is an immigrant who had no problem coming to the country of his choice. Therefore, he cannot understand my predicament. He is not sympathetic.

I forgive him. I forgive all who judge the poor as unworthy, or extra-sinful, or failures.

God allows some people to be poor and some to be rich. He allows some people to suffer more than others.

As a person who has never been prejudice, having Latinos for close playmates as a young child, and, in fact, dating a black man in my youth, (causing all the neighbors to make comments to my mom, who defended me and the very nice young man,) I find it hard to understand prejudice.

Some of my friends are working class and some are professionals. Some are poor and some are rich. Some are middle class and some are very wealthy.

So what?  I shall pray for this priest who did hurt my feelings, for an instant. Then, I realized that God had given me a chance to be humbled.

As I write this, I am smiling. If I "get" this lesson, I am closer to God's goal for me. Humility in love.