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Language & Racism 3

Oct 6, 2019Accents, American, Articles, Canadian, Life&Food

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Do you think you live in a tolerant community?


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Greg and José finish their three-part conversation. The first part is at this URL: 
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Greg O’Keefe: You know there’s a- there’s an old saying, uh uh you know, I don’t know how it goes actually ha ha.

José Cruz: Ha ha. Thanks for bringing it up.

Greg: Hold on hold on. (Ha ha) Well well there is a saying. I think it- I don’t want to, I don’t want to mess it up, because it’s a nice little saying. It’s very quick.

José: It’s an um, it’s an English saying?

Greg: Well it’s actually- I think it’s from Chinese, I think (OK) Mm I think they- “A bad man is a good man’s job.”

José: Bad manners is a good man’s (A bad man) Is a good man’s job. Ah I get it right away. The- You’ve paraphrased it, uh if nothing else, quite well.

Greg: I think yeah yeah, uh- but I think that’s true. And I think a lot of people unfortunately, in the way it’s turning out in the States now, is there’s too much righteousness, I think. People are looking for the chance to be in the right and not really looking for the chance to be peaceful with that person they’re dealing with. (I um) Now uh, granted there are obviously fights that have to be had, but (Mm) I think there are too many fights that are made and not just worked out. (Yeah, I uh) I mean, I come from a fairly violent background, so. (Ha ha) I’ll say that in a low voice. And I- I’ve seen a lot of things that people could have- probably like- maybe 90% of them probably just could have defused fairly quickly.

José: Mm hmm. Instead went straight to fisticuffs.

Greg: Not, no- well if you want to call it that.

José: Oh, like gunfights?

Greg: No no. I would never say that. Not on a- not on a recording.

José: I think uh, one thing that kind of stands out that way, nowadays for me, uh because it’s so much easier to discriminate because it don’t seem that way- it doesn’t seem like discrimination to some people, um is a- is the the whole equal rights issue around um LGBT rights, LGBTQ rights. (Ah uh huh) And uh, maybe I’ve just become more aware of it, but it seems that homophobia and fear of transgenders and lesbians and everything else. (Mm) Maybe I’ve just become more aware of it. It’s just something that just really irks me, (Oh) and it takes all of my patience to to- chi- not to chide somebody because you- like you just said, you have to handle it really well, or else you’re just you’re just going to create an enemy (Mm) or you’re cru- going to create an awkward situation. When you hear you know, homophobic jokes or homophobic taunts, um trying to- trying to not just suck it up- (Mm hmm) I mean sometimes you just have to suck it up. There’s there’s there’s no good place right now to actually try to fix this attitude, and you can’t do it all at once. It’s just something that you know, obviously this person is like, 40 years old, 30 years old, they’ve got a homophobic attitude and they’ve probably taken it from their culture, from their- from their family, (Uh huh) and they’ve had it all their lives. You can’t do it all in one quip.

Greg: Well you know I mean uh- this is- I always fall back on the same statement. This is an education problem. (Mm) And it’s always been one. But the- the problem is a lot of these education problems are dealt with on the university level. (Mm hmm) And these things should be taught at a lower- (Yeah) and what I’m saying- (Yeah yeah yeah) I’m not saying show lesbian and gay couples in kindergarten. I’m not saying that at all.
José: No, no. That’s not even…

Greg: What I’m saying is that just- you know, I mean look at Ernie and Bert, (Yeah) S- Sesame Street- great example- I mean, that went for years and years and years, and it came out, oh by the way, they’re a gay couple. And they did that without saying it, and you know something they don’t have to say it, because it doesn’t need to be said, it’s just accepted. Oh, OK. They’re friends, that’s fine. And um, again, like I’m- I’ve been more about educating younger people that these things- people are people and that they need to be seen that way and that they have to be taught this early on. It takes one generation to change a country.

José: It really is. Education is the magic bullet.


Do you find it difficult to talk about LGBTQ issues?

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Greg O'Keefe image

Greg O'Keefe


Boston, Massachusetts

José Domingo Cruz image

José Domingo Cruz


Vancouver, British Columbia


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