Sunday, October 07, 2007

Racism and Xenophobia--immoral and stupid

Racism is immoral.

Xenophobia is immoral.

But, to be very practical, on top of this both are absurdly stupid and the doings of complete idiots.

Case in point: My father's stay in two hospitals and a skilled-nursing center (read here "nursing home") over the past three weeks.

After suffering a slight heart attack or mild stroke three weeks ago, my 87-year-old father made it through two tough surgeries and a week of rehabilitation.

He came home yesterday.

He was so happy to be back home!

During the illness that kept him from home and my mother, daddy received amazing care from the first minutes in the Emergency Room in Richardson, through the next three days (during which we almost lost him) in the hospital, to his dual surgery experience at a specialty hospital in Plano, to his discharge to the nursing facility and finally on to two different physicians' offices before landing back home.

All along he way, we enjoyed rich encounters with professional caregivers who really cared, were very concerned and did their jobs with class, expertise and joy. Yes, I said, joy.

Almost all of those who nursed and doctored my dad back to strength and his home were "ethnic minorities" and/or immigrants.

African Americans, African immigrants, Latinos, Mexican Americans, folks from the Caribbean, people from all over Asia, Middle Eastern people--my dad was cared for by people with all sorts of backgrounds, national origins and racial heritage.

If you are a racist or if you don't like immigrants, let me just say you are in a world of trouble! You see, the people caring for us when we can't care for ourselves are these good people of color from here and all over the world.

I am mighty glad they were there for my dad. I am thankful they will be there for me. People caring for people in a shrinking, increasingly crowded world.

As I watched them work so hard, with such patience and happiness (almost all of the time in challenging circumstances), it struck me that if things were just left to us ordinary folks, the world would be a much more peaceful and harmonious place.

There is simply no place left in our nation or our world for racism or xenophobia, thankfully.

And, when my dad walked into his home again on Friday, he was greeted first by a home health worker provided by Medicare. And, you guessed it, she happened to be both an immigrant and a person of color.

We were so glad to meet her.

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