Sign seen at the Kapa'a Hongwanji
Buddhist Temple in Kapa'a, Kauai
"Being good is not good enough; we must become humble persons."
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Follow this link to Dick Cavett's opinion piece titled Real Americans, Please Stand Up in the August 20, 2010 edition of The New York Times.
Mr. Cavett writes:
"All this talk about the mosque reminds me of two things I heard growing up in Nebraska.
I had a 6th grade teacher who referred to American Indians as "sneaky redskins" and our enemies in the Pacific as "dirty Japs." This abated somewhat after I asked one day in class, "Mrs. G., do you think our parents would like to know that you teach race prejudice?" She faded three shades.
The rest of that year was difficult.
As a war kid, I also heard an uncle of mine endorse a sentiment attributed to our Admiral "Bull" Halsey: "If I met a pregnant Japanese woman, I'd kick her in the belly."
These are not proud moments in my heritage. But now, I'm genuinely ashamed of us. How sad this whole mosque business is. It doesn't take much, it seems, to lift the lid and let our home-grown racism and bigotry overflow. We have collectively taken a pratfall on a moral whoopee cushion."
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The writer continues:
"I remain amazed and really, sincerely, want to understand this. What can it be that is faulty in so many people's thought processes, their ethics, their education, their experience of life, their understanding of their country, their what-have-you that blinds them to the fact that you can't simultaneously maintain that you have nothing against members of any religion but are willing to penalize members of this one? Can you help me with this?"