It’s not in the cards

I’m tired of the proverbial race card. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist; what I am tired of is the fact that it does exist.

I’m tired of human beings who think they’re better than others because of the color of their skin, their religion, their ethnicity, their intelligence, or their wealth.

I’m tired of the fact that there are those out there who do profile racially, and who react based on race, often with violence and hatred.

I don’t understand prejudice. I don’t understand how a human being, a child of God, can be so petty as to think the outside of a person supersedes what’s inside.

In Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice,” Shylock, the victim of anti-Semitism, asks a Christian, “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?”

Yes, yes, and yes. We are all brothers and sisters in God’s family. But not everyone is a racist. Today, police, much like Catholic priests, are being lumped into the same category because of the actions, evil actions, of a small percentage of their peers. Just as African-Americans or Hispanics are categorized by those few who make the headlines doing evil deeds.

We are all very fortunate that mankind will not be the judge at the final Judgment. Otherwise, only the same arrogant, ignorant few will make it to Heaven.

But all is not lost, good people. Take a look at the photo to the left. Look at the McCourty Brothers — a pair of talented professional athletes who recently took the time to brighten the day of the residents and staff at Madonna Manor in North Attleboro.

Obviously, the brothers are not white, and I’m willing to wager that they brought smiles to faces of very few African-Americans that day. Also obvious is that it didn’t matter to them.

Both are nominees for the 2015 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, given to an NFL player who exemplifies an off-the-field lifestyle of volunteerism and charity. Payton, an African-American player with the Chicago Bears from 1975-87, was known as “Sweetness,” because of the fluidity in his running style, and his giving heart. Payton befriended a white teammate and roommate, Brian Piccolo, who was diagnosed, and shortly later died, of cancer, cutting short a young career with the Bears. The friendship was not unprecedented, but also not the norm — a black-white friendship. No race card there.

And last weekend, the sports world lost a young giant in the broadcast industry. ESPN’s Stuart Scott died at age 49 of cancer, leaving behind two daughters whom he adored.

Scott, a black man, entered the world of stuffy white men broadcasting sports news, and brightened the day of countless sports fans with his upbeat, hip-hop, love of sports. He was an inspiration to many young black boys and girls.

His catch-phrases, “Booo-yah” and “Cooler than the other side of the pillow,” will be missed by blacks and whites alike. Scott had no race card to play. 

I long for the day when none of us do.

Men like the McCourty Brothers, Scott, Payton, and other Christ-like brothers and sisters only have one card to play: the Ace of Hearts.

As I posted on ESPN’s Twitter account this weekend: “There are tears on the cool side of the pillow today.” RIP Stuart, and carry on McCourty Brothers.

© 2018 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing   †   Fall River, Massachusetts