Speech #2 – Babies, Bathwater & Bigotry

Many people are familiar with the old idiomatic expression, ‘Throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” For a refresher, let us revisit the relative definition of this concept. To throw the baby out with the bath water suggests that one eliminates or discards the good when trying to get rid of the bad. Essentially, rejecting the positive aspects of something because of the negative elements it contains. Some people, jaded and cynical in nature may simply view any refutation of this concept as wishful thinking, trying to see the good in the bad if you will. But I think it runs deeper than that. In simple point of fact, discarding a broken picture frame with the photograph still contained within is just lazy.

Think back to a person that you knew, and liked or loved. Someone you had wonderful times with. A friend, a lover, a confidant, and how it went wrong. And now you hate them. I hear it all the time, ‘I wish I’d never met them.” ‘What a waste of my life.” “They took the best years away from me.” Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

 Just because you don’t like them now doesn’t mean the good times, the wonderful times, the VALUABLE times didn’t happen. But all too often, people throw away what should be cherished memories and remembering’s of better days, simply because they cannot get over their own hatred and fear of a person they once enjoyed the company of. This can apply to situations and experiences as a whole, but most commonly is used in regards to people we have known. How quickly we forget the pleasant, and steadfastly remember the painful.

How did does this relate to Bigots you may ask. Well, as bigotry is the state of mind of someone whom, as a result of their fear of a person’s ethnicity, race, religion, gender, etc. etc. views all objects and people that relate to this undesirable condition with a state of abject hatred, contention and malice. Bigots quite naturally, through this fear throw out the baby with the bathwater. These people never doubt what they know to be true, and right, no matter the source of inspiration. Their beliefs, whether mired in mysticism or perceived moral logic is proven through and through in their delusional prejudices. Let me show you what I mean.

POWER POINT PRESENTATION – During this time, I had a power point presentation which flashed back and forth between various bigots I had chosen for examples; Don Black; the white nationalist and current webmaster of Stormfront, Fred Phelps; previous founder and head pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church, Malik Zulu Shabazz; previous national chairman of the New Black Panther Party and Yahweh Ben Yahweh; founder and leader of the Nation of Yahweh. This had a humorous theme to it, as I interspersed each depiction of the aforementioned bigots (complete with a small explanation and caption of their outrageous absurdities) with silly but modest pictures of my two year old daughter in the bathtub. Hence, my theme of Babies, Bathwater and Bigotry. 

Now, I don’t suspect any of you will turn into another Fred Phelps or Yahweh Ben Yahweh, but do yourself a favor and don’t let your fears get the better of you. Doubt what you know to be true. Especially when it is something that you fear or turn away from in disgust. It is the truth that often confines us in a prison of our own devising. It is only doubt that can set us free.

Tis true, sometimes there is no baby in the bath, just murky water with filth and offal. Perfectly worthy of discarding the lot of it. But quite often, there is something valuable to take away from the tub, if one only gives a cursory glance before discarding its contents. Even if, and sometimes especially if, she happens to like to put her broccoli in the dishwasher every once in a while.

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