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WORDS MATTER

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WORDS MATTER

Cindy Maddera

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Over the weekend, I inserted myself into a bit of a quarrel. I commented on a guy's Facebook status that had him railing against the high gas prices and putting blame on a "Muslim President" at 7:30 on a Saturday morning. It wasn't his anger at the price of gas or even placing the blame on the President that put me off. It was the way he tried to turn "Muslim" into a derogatory word and the fact that he felt the need to express his bigotry first thing in the morning. You have to wonder what kind of person starts their day with such negativity and hate. There was at one point where that guy expressed his frustrations in a non derogatory way and if he had used those words in his status, I would not have thought twice about it. Of course, he then went on to get uglier and show his true bigot self, but my point is, words matter. It's one thing to say things around a table of like minded pals, but quite another to post it for the world to see. I feel that we have a responsibility not just to the people closest to us, but to everyone, in how we speak. Hateful, bigotry words beget hate and bigotry. So, I set him straight.

There's a line in the new Captain America movie where young Steve Rogers is asked if he wants to kill Nazis. He replies "I don't want to kill anybody. I don't like bullies. I don't care where their from". Now, I've never been keen on Captain America (he's a bit too much cheese), but I do have to admit to feeling some pride at this. I don't like bullies either and I come from some pretty strong stock of people that don't put up with bullies. And I like to think I've made them proud. "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

*For J.