This is a hodgepodge article to touch on a few subjects requested by others.

First, I want to point out that November is American Indian Heritage Month, first proclaimed in 1990.  American Indians (now referred to as Native Americans) had their land, health, children, dignity and rights taken away.  So should one be surprised that alcoholism afflicts some Native Americans (not unlike other mistreated people)? 

Who cares?  I do, and so should you, especially if your ethics, politics or religion encourages love, compassion and justice for fellow human beings.

The Public Broadcasting Station has aired a series on African Americans for the past few weeks, with Professor Henry Louis Gates.  As everyone (hopefully) knows, Africans were brought to America as slaves, and although legal slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1865, African Americans are still oppressed.  As people from other countries supplant African Americans in jobs, housing, and educational opportunities, African Americans continue to suffer as second-class (or third-class) citizens.  They and the rest of society suffer the consequences of their plight. 

But who cares?  I do, and so should everyone.  Survival is the name of the game in the animal kingdom, and this means people will find ways to survive “by any means possible.”  Crime is not necessarily a sport.

Years ago, as I painted a picture of rabbis in an art class, a white classmate came over to me and asked, “Why are YOU painting rabbis?”  I took a deep breath and didn’t say what raged through my mind and ached to come out of my mouth. 

“Because I want to,” I answered quietly.  He walked away.  I assumed his curiosity was piqued because I was (still am) a black person.  Although I was annoyed, I reminded myself that my classmate didn’t pay my tuition, and I was in an area with racial and religious issues. 

Chicago.  Who cares?  I do.  Separation and discrimination of people ethnically and religiously is alive and well.  No matter what anyone says, I and others feel that anti-Semitism played a role in the City of Evanston’s denial of a Jewish school in Evanston.  Diversity or tolerance means more than counting heads and meeting to talk about the terms.

Last but not least is the subject of spitting.  Once upon a time there were signs in public places that said, “No smoking, No cursing, No spitting.”  Well, smoking has legally become a no-no in many places, but cursing and spitting seem endemic and epidemic in the USA today.  People of all ages, colors, races, ethnicities, and religions in both genders seem to embrace cursing.  Women claim that men are the ones guilty of spitting.  I have no statistics to back this up.  Yuck!  Spitting in public is barbaric. 

Who cares?  Evidently, women do – and probably those people that are barely missed by the action.

Peggy Tarr

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...