I Hear Them Calling My Name

I Hear Them Calling My Name

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The Fear of People

     People fear not succeeding, negative activities in their environment, death, terrorism, etc, but from a multicultural standpoint, we as a whole fear change. Our human race is also fearful of difference. We fear the difference of our religions, color, race, and sexual preferences. We are afraid of things not in our norm and things that stick out in the world. The issue of change and difference is very prevalent in the book I Hear Them Calling My Name: A Journey Through the New South. This book was well written by Chester Fuller. You can really see this multicultural issue by the way fear controls the characters’ emotions directed towards other people with difference.
     In the book, Fuller journeys through the South just after the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s. He is assigned to travel and find any difference or enbetterment in the treatment of blacks since the Civil Rights Movement. His first experience comes when his car breaks down on a highway in deep southern part of North Carolina. He walks to a gas station to get his car towed and the only mechanics/tow men are white. At first he gets the feeling he’s going to be abused by these men. In his mind, Fuller is plotting where he’s going to strike the men when they attack him. Fuller is so scared and set in his ways that he doesn’t look past the man’s race, but is rather intimidated and brainwashed. They arrive back at the station with car and the mechanic asks what seems to be the problem. Fuller thought maybe the fuel pump or something really expensive. The mechanic proceeds back to the car and tinkers with a few things and the car is done is minutes. The mechanic could have possibly put in a new fuel pump among other things and cost Fuller a lot of money, but instead charged a whopping eight dollars. The thing with all this is Fuller’s views of the mechanic the whole time and his emotions of being ready to fight. This amazes me.
     Fuller missed this man’s kindness and respect, because of his fear of difference. This fear still occurs today. The only problem is that it exists in many other things than race or color of skin. Socially we have had a major problem with violence in schools. This all occurs because of difference.

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The differences in schools aren’t mainly races or cultures, but rather social statuses and appearance. People get the measureless fear of people and social groups. A high school may be divided by economic status, religion, colors of clothes, athletics/activities and other things. This occurs as result of difference and people, such as teenagers, placing a large emphasis on people’s appearance, social rank, and popularity. This is not good for our world. There is major carryover with this and it is a growing problem with our world of major difference. This all goes back to our deep roots of prejudice with blacks as slaves, Nazis, and ancient Rome. People, especially at an early age, need to learn and begin to look inside someone, rather than their outside appearance and past stereotypes. As a future teacher I see this will be very important, especially with me planning to teach in a diverse and heavily populated area. For example, I the teacher come the first day of school and a student is draped in black with fourteen colors in his or her hair. His or her eyes are covered with black makeup and piercings are high in frequency on his or her body. Should I automatically assume this student will be a problem or a non-motivated student? NO! This type of ridiculous difference is the type of thing that causes violence in our schools. Students stereotype others, such as the student I just described and place them in a high school social class without even knowing them. I’ve seen this a lot when I was in school in suburban Chicago. That is why it is a big role for teachers to try to eliminate these fears and differences in our schools. It will definitely be a positive situation in our schools.
     Another scene in book occurs when Fuller enters a restaurant with all white present. He walks in and all of a sudden the dining room is a lot quieter. Fuller is fearful of what will happen, yet he shouldn’t be. The whites in the restaurant are fearful and they shouldn’t be, because Fuller is only hungry and is a paying customer. This happens I’m sure still today in parts of our country with non-diverse populations. Nebraska is an offender of this and a victim. I don’t really see too much this back home in Illinois but I witnessed it the first day I was in Hastings. I walked into a grocery store with two of my teammates and a friend who are black, and we were eyeballed immediately by workers and many other customers. I’d love to know what people first thought of these three black men coming into the store and secondly what they were thinking of me, being the only white in the group. This may have been a minor situation, but in the realm of things in our world, it’s a touchy and vital situation. This doesn’t help things in our world and certainly not in our schools.
     I ask again, what are people fearful of and why? Is what I consider minute differences or the fear of change? It’s probably a mixture of both which is a major problem that will take time fixing. Happiness is a goal of everyone and if everyone can just get along and be accepting, our world will be that much better.
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