Why Persecute Fellow Humans?

by Ken Smith
(now R. K. Wigal)

Editorial, Published may 1, 1959

School Newspaper, The South Gate Rambler

South Gate High School

South Gate, California, USA

Republished in Huntington Park Signal newspaper

Huntington Park, California, USA

     Why must human beings be persecuted merely because they have odd looks or "alien" color? Why must they be persecuted because they can't play well in sports or seem eccentric? It is this reporter's belief that the caucasian race has a superiority complex, and these so called superior beings must have somebody to pick on. Is this a sign of superiority? Or is it a sign of weakness?
     Let me bring to mind one George Washington Carver. This man was a negro who, although he was shoved around with the rest of the negroes by the caucasians, did much in the field of biological molds, and classified almost every mold known to man. He was persecuted.
     Remember Thomas Edison? Edison was a chemist and electrician, and because people didn't understand him, they called him addled; yet he astounded the world with the electric light and the disc type phonograph. He was persecuted.
     There was a fellow named Jackie Robinson. Jackie was the first negro to play what has been termed the "American" game of baseball, on a big league team. He was hit, pushed, jabbed, spiked; in fact, those of opposing teams pulled no punches. but his team mates loved him and he proved to be a truly great baseball star.
     In the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln said that all men are created equal with certain inalienable rights, but few people seem to care about the other man's rights; instead, they treat him like some low form of animal just because he is a little different from other people.
     It doesn't hurt to be kind to people whether they be black, red, yellow, or white, or whether they have a funny face, poor coordination, or an eccentric personality. There is an old saying that a little kindness goes a long way, and if more people all over the world would take this saying into consideration and abide by it, there would be no need for atomic weapons of destruction. If people would only show a little more kindness to those who need it the most, they might turn out to be most valuable friends. Why don't you give them a chance?

Correction: The statement, "In the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln said that all men are created equal with certain inalienable rights," is incorrect. The statement, "In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson said that all men are created equal with certain unalienable rights," is correct and is the statement I should have used.

     I was a senior in high school. One morning I had met up with my two best friends. We were sitting in the lunch area talking as we waited for the day's classes to begin. A girl, a senior who was somewhat "slow," walked by. She had a loping walk, among other eccentricities, and one of my friends, Vern, began mocking the way she walked. I don't know if she could hear him or not, but I was furious! I didn't know how, and I couldn't muster the courage to confront Vern, so when time came for my journalism class, I sat down at the typewriter and I wrote what is reproduced above. I don't know if it ever hit him, but I aimed it directly at vern.
     Now, I usually spent most of my free time with my other friend, Jim, but I always had the feeling that his mother didn't like me. A week or so after I wrote the piece, Jim and I were at his house. His mother came up to me and showed me a page from the local daily newspaper. The Huntington Park Signal had published my editorial. Jim's mother asked me if I had written it and I told her that I had. She softened towards me after that.