It has been previously stated by scholars much greater than I that if you respond to ignorance, all you are proceeding to do is elevating ignorance. So only this one time will I address the comments from a letter writer about his opinions of me and my whining.
It is true sir, that I am a whiner. It is something that has been ingrained in me through my long history of ancestral heritage. You see, sir, when my ancestors were locked in chains and brought to this country as slaves, they whined. When they clamored to be free, they whined, and when they pursued fair and just voting rights, they whined again. When they got tired of riding in the back of the bus, they whined some more. And when they were denied service at lunch counters, they whined again.
And when my Native American relatives were driven off their land because of the lust for gold and fertile ground, they too whined, sir, as they were marched across this country and placed on reservations hundreds of miles from their homeland. And even when my mother, as a 9-year-old child, witnessed a relative being hung by the Klan, she too whined.
So you see sir, whining just comes natural for me. But through it all ,we were never taught to be judgmental or to engage in the childish endeavour of name calling.
Despite growing up in the segregated south, my mother taught us to love and respect each person we encountered in life. She never could understand how so much weight could be given to the color of the skin when it only makes up a fraction of the weight of the human body in totality. When she saw others whining in need she took them in and fed and clothed them. She never recognized what color the need was, just that there was a person whining and in need. It was never unusual to go home and visit with all kinds of people at my mom’s house. That’s the way I was raised, sir, and that is reflected throughout my extended family. She never questioned the authenticity of someone’s whining. She would just take the time to listen.
I thank you for placing me in the company of so many great whiners before me, people who stood up for those who were forgotten or left behind. What you must come to understand is that there will always be whiners long after I am gone, people who will speak for those too shy, too quiet, too reserved , or people who just don’t know how to say all that I have tried to say which means, sir, that you can get on the bandwagon for fairness and equality or just get used to the idea of whiners being a part of your life. Letters like you wrote simply do not do much to define me but what they do succeed in doing is define the character of the writer.
It has been said that sometimes it is best to remain silent and have others speculate about your possible ignorance than to speak and erase all doubt. You being a pastor just might give you one up on me but then again, there was a well known whiner that fed the hungry, reached out to the poor, and embraced the forgotten ones so many years ago. Perhaps, just maybe, we whiners still have a chance.