Discriminate, according to the dictionary, means to show favor, or disfavor unjustly. Murder means the unlawful killing of a person. 

I remember when I was little, Mother talking about how a man didn’t like Indians, and was a patient at the hospital where she worked. Mother’s parents both came from Northern Norway. She was pretty with jet black hair, green-eyed, and skin that tanned very easily. Her father had a farm, and all his children had to work out in the fields, and also help make bricks for his carpentry business. She had a friend who also tanned easily. That man thought them both Indians. He went wild every time either of them came near him. Someone had to sneak and close his door so they could treat the rest of the patients down the hall from his room. He didn’t like those people much either. 

That was the first time I heard of discrimination.

I transferred to town school, finding town kids were often treated better than country kids. I went a year to an expensive college. The dean of women didn’t like my non-curling hair, warn straight long. I was told I looked too hippy, so I’d better cut it and style it. 

I gave up the school finally. I wanted a certain job, and was told they needed a man for it because men had to support their families. As a single parent, that didn’t sit well. I was called a prostitute by a minister because I was divorced. I was told by a man that I should give my daughter up for adoption because I didn’t have a man around to see she was raised right. I was told by a sewing machine mechanic that it was my fault that the old worn sewing machine I had to use at the piece work sewing place, broke down since I didn’t know how to sew with it right. I’d been sewing since I was little, and still have that sewing machine I used back then. I was told that only people who could spell would be hired by that school principal. Man, was his school missing out on a lot of smart people. Having to sit through smoke-filled rooms where I could barely breathe, to medical problems that cause more problems. My list keeps going, but it’s all discrimination. I haven’t been murdered by any of them, but they have hurt my budget. 

 I haven’t rioted or burned anything. Peaceful marches have helped fight these discriminations I’ve mentioned, but they haven’t stopped. They will probably never stop until they find a new thing to be nasty to. 

I’m glad someone thought enough of our town to put on a peaceful march where it was organized. 

I lived through the awful marches that went on when I was much younger, and am glad someone thought enough to try and keep it peaceful by working with the discriminated against persons. I’m white as they come, but haven’t found it much helpful in a lot of ways! They talk about women’s rights. 

When I was young the bathrooms for the colored females were marked “women,” while the one for whites was marked “ladies.” Saying someone was all woman wasn’t a compliment. Has the fight just lowered us all? 

We should pull others up, not mire us all down in the nasties of life!


Liala Nordling