Saturday, June 15, 2013

Racism after Jackie Robinson

   In 1969 Nikki was a freshman who, by some misstep of destiny passed a university’s tough entrance exam designed to find radical thinkers.  A newly graduate of a conservative catholic high school, her only award on graduation day was First in Religion.  
University of the Philippines

The University of the Philippines was the first college to use the nationalist version of the country’s history.  While universities abroad were fighting for freedom of speech, the UP on the other hand, already had absolute freedom of speech as embodied by The Oblation.  It has arms 

stretched out upward and totally naked except for a leaf over his manhood symbolizing the absence of restraint.  In this setting Nikki learned about the exploitation of man by man, the oppression of the poor and the politics of nations that keep people in their “place”.  She read about the foolish old man who removed a mountain one shovel at a time.  She fought for social justice in the streets of Manila for what she believed was a righteous struggle.

   In 2013, Nikki, by now a senior citizen, was an immigrant living alone in Kentucky, USA where she experienced discrimination of all sorts.  She was mistreated by hospital staffs where she was a patient.  She complained to management about the mistreatment.  She was shunned and made fun of by co-workers.  She filed discrimination charge against her employer. She was constantly judged by her own congregation elders.  She moved to another congregation.

   When Nikki saw the movie 42, the Jackie Robinson story she realized even back in those days when segregation was a law, there were whites in Midwest America who stood up against racism just like Gail, the friend she found at work.  When the movie ended the all-white audience applauded before she did.  There really are color blind white people.  

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