We MUST Understand: The Truth About Respect

MrBy Roy Douglas Malonson, Publisher

Respect is a very powerful word.

In todays world, the calls for respect is important and is the latest trend in American society.  Environmentalists want us to respect nature, foes of abortion and capital punishment insist on respect for human life, people demand respect for those being discriminated against because of their gender, sexual orientation, age, religious beliefs, or economic status demand respect both as social and moral equals and for their cultural differences.

Understanding respect is the key to breaking down many communication gaps that exist in society today.

When people fail to understand respect and disrespect one’s cultures, traditions, values and history -there is where the gap in communication and break in cooperation begins.

For years, African Americans were treated with great disrespect.

History tells us that when we were ripped from Mother Africa and put in stock and chains, sold and shipped to plantations all over the South to work for nothing.

Our families were torn apart, our native tribes, traditions and tongues were forcibly taken away and many of us were whipped, lynched and killed because we sought freedom.

During segregation, Blacks were disrespected and forced to sit at the back of the city bus, could not eat at lunch counters, had to sit upstairs in movie theaters and could not shop freely with Whites in stores. It is a fact that we had to use separate toilets and water fountains in public facilities like court houses.

Blacks were educated separately from Whites and for years Whites justified the practice under the  policy, “separate, but equal”.

Living through some of it and witnessing the visible signs of racism, prejudice and the disrespect Blacks suffered at the hands of people who did not care an iota about Blacks well being was the real deal.

Today’s Blacks have no clue of the real dangers of disrespecting Black history and Black culture bring. The lack of knowledge of Black history and the suffering, pain and sacrifices many Blacks endured cannot be lost on this or the next generation.

The key to the puzzle is making people respect Black people by standing in unity that under no circumstance will be allow our people, our children or our history be trampled on.

Recently, the Houston Astros media office decided to be brash with me in a short conversation about press credentials to cover the teams Black players and their contributions to Major League Baseball.

It was a simple request  and the conversations that followed led to the Houston Astros telling me about issuing passes to “people they trust” and “people they know”.

The dialog that followed led to them questioning our newspaper, motives and journalism qualifications. To make a long story short, it was disrespectful and insulting and seems to happen because we are a Black community newspaper covering news from a Black perspective.

We do not have to justify, nor do we apologize for what we have been doing for the community as a publication for the past 19 years. No one is going to insult or disrespect this newspaper.

The Houston Astros, the city of Houston and others who support the disrespect of Black Press, are disrespectful of our Black culture, history and traditions too. We demand respect.

They do not understand and need a real lesson in sensitivity and understand the meaning of R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

We teach children to respect parents, teachers, and elders, school rules and traffic laws, family and cultural traditions, other people’s feelings and rights, our country’s flag and leaders, the truth and people’s differing opinions.

However, growing older, our youth rebel because much of the effect and meaning of the RESPECT wears off and is lost because many in White America demonstrate complete Disrespect and Hypocrisy  and resentment about the Black Press, Black history and Black institutions.

The conflict comes when the affluent children grow up to run cities, sports franchises and corporations, teach schools, own businesses, hold political offices, and raise more children who end up repeating the same cycle of disrespect to Blacks.

You Reap What you Sow.

It is time to get it right Houston, Texas and America.

If you teach it, live it and give it, you will get it returned to you 25, 50 and 100-fold…

 It’s about Respect…

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3 Comments

  1. Alyson Footer

    Interesting article. Regarding respect – when you used the word “retarded” to describe the actions of people you thought were acting in an unintelligent, disrespectful manner, was that a show of respect to the mentally disabled? Please clarify. Thank you.

    1. ROY DOUGLAS MALONSON

      Ms. Sports reporter. Evidently, you just want to play with words. However, you did not comment on what the Astros said and did to this media entity.If you had done your research as a sports reporter, you would have know that I suffer as a post-polio victim. I have post-polio syndrome! I don't play with words. I meant what I said. And if some of the Astros members are mentally retarded then I am sorry because I wouldn't want to offend myself being a post-polio victim. I am very sensitive to the cause of those whomentally disabled because I am a victim as we speak. You should be careful of what you say without doing your research,Ms. Sports Reporter: I firmly stand by what I said in my editorial. I am not confuse by the context in which I used that word but obviously you are.My questions to you is Ms. Sports Reporter: Out of all that was done to a fellow media entity, why want you address how the Houston Astros handled us? Why won’t you investigate their actions instead trying to play word games with me?You can email me personally. And I would be willing to sit down with you and discuss what the Astros did so you can get clarity to avoid jumping to unintelligent conclusions related to the use of one single word. If you are a true reporter, I would expect you to do your homework and look into the whole story.

  2. Cathy de la garza

    Great article Roy. Respect is a basic that everyone should be given. Nice to see you are still active in the community. I was listening to Michael berry this morning and he was talking about afar news so I had to look it up. When you have some time we should meet over at the redneck country club, I’ll buy you a drink.
    Cathy de la garza , retired former co-worker

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