Saturday, April 7, 2018
TO BE IN THE MINORITY
As a missionary into this land of jaded hills, I am among people who are much like me, yet somewhat different from me. When one is sent into a culture different from one’s own origin you are blessed by the experience of being a minority.
I was born in Canada, but more specifically in a neighborhood of English-speaking Canadians. On occasion, my family venture into a venue where there were many French-speaking Canadians. Though in my neighborhood they were referred to as French-Canadians, though few were born in France. When a French-speaking Canadian child came to our grammar school, the class thought it odd her French-Canadian accent. One day I was a store and all around me were French-Canadians and I wondered if they it strange my English accent. Once in a long while, we would see a person of Far Eastern descent and they seem so mysterious and otherworldly. My parents would speak of how the Jews were clannish though we were proud of our own Scottish clan; and people would refer to “Negroes” as “pick-a-ninnies” though I never did actually meet one.
At the age of nine we moved to Florida. And there I encountered a new kind of prejudice. And desiring to be one of the “white boys” I joined in their mocking disdain of people of African ancestry. Of courses … in those days … we called them “niggers”. Once again, I one of the overwhelming majority who looked down on those in the minority. And I have spent a lifetime in repentance.
Now I am a minority in the context of a majority … and I understand the anxiety of being in the minority. I keep asking …” What do they think of me?” I am so thankful … that in a rare exception … they allow me to be me and invite me to also be one of them.,
Always in His Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz