Letter: Show understanding to those who are 'different'
To the editor:
A few days ago I took a BRTA bus from the Walmart in Pittsfield to the bus station on Columbus Avenue. On a stop on Williams Sreet, two Latinos boarded the bus. One was a woman who appeared to be in her late 60s while her companion was a male who seemed to be in his late 40s. As the two people got to their seats they started to have a conversation in Spanish. As the bus continued on its way to Elm Street, another Latino woman who looked to be in her mid-20s made her way on to the bus. After she scanned her bus pass to pay her fare the woman asked the bus driver a question in broken English with a heavy Spanish accent. The bus driver had trouble understanding her but was polite and asked if she could repeat her question. She asked her question again and this time the bus driver answered her question as the bus continued to the station.
I didn't give the bus ride much thought until I got home.Then I realized that these ordinary moments that happened on this bus ride would be troublesome to about 40% of the citizens in this country. There are quite a few Americans who have a difficult time dealing with someone of a different race speaking a language that is not English within their earshot. I could really care less if someone lives in the United States and does not speak or understands English well. As long as the individual can get through life with their limited English who I am to judge another person for not being fluent in our native language. I know that if I came here from a Spanish-speaking country I would have a very difficult time learning English as an adult.
Throughout most of my life I have either been overweight or obese. I also have a lazy eye. I know how it is to be bullied, teased and treated negatively because my appearance is different from that of the average person. Just from my life experience I know how wrong it is to be judged solely based on appearance. That is why I try not to judge people because they happen to be unlike me in terms of their race, gender or religion.
My point is that a person should be courteous and civil to people that treat you the same way. As long as a person is not being rude, hateful or violent toward me I am not concerned if someone is a different color than I am or speaks another language that I do not understand.
TALK TO US
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