I supervised a compressed video Louisiana history class this evening in the absence of a professor who had succumbed to the flu.  It was test night, so all I had to do was supervise the test.  The  class combines a cohort from campus–in the heart of Cajun Louisiana–and a group from  Central Louisiana, 60 or so miles farther north in the more Anglo Scotch-Irish Deep South part of our diverse Louisiana.

I spoke some Cajun French in the course of good-naturedly addressing the two sites, and right away I heard one of the Central Louisiana students complaining, “This is America.”

The ugly insinuation, of course, is that Americans should speak English.  And French-speaking Cajuns must not be American?

I reflected on that episode quite a bit this evening.  Although I am not Cajun, I married among those good people, and my kids are intertwined with them, and I consider all my Cajun relatives as American as that yo-yo that made the remark (Some of my wife’s kin made valiant sacrifices of service in WWII).  What was this  guy’s problem, anyway?

What the issue underscores, I’m afraid, is that prejudice “is.”  And prejudice is not just white vs. black (or vice verse): Prejudice is simply “You’re not like me, so I don’t like you.”

“Lord, help us get past all this foolishness!”

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