|Prejudice at Issue|
|Constitution of the United States|
|Links of Interest|
|List of Presidents of the United States|
|Map of the United States|
|Oath of Office|
|Roles of the President|
|Ruffles and Flurishes & Hail Columbia|
|Ruffles and Flurishes & Hail to the Chief|
|Vice Presidential Candidate|
|Wasted Vote Theory|
|What it will take to win|
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|Articles of interest||Antisemitism in American Politics: Putting the Leiberman Nomination in Perspective|
|Web Sites of Interest||Understanding Prejudice.org|
|Conflict Research Consortium of University of Colorado|
|The Prejudice Institute|
|What to Tell Your Child About Prejudice and Discrimination - Anti-Defamation League|
When I was about fifteen years old, I transferred from public school to a private High School in the city. I lived far enough away from the school to make a daily commute too burdensome. So, I signed up for a room in the High School Dormitory. I took the railroad to the city each week, rode the subway uptown to the stop just a few blocks from the school, and walked to my dormitory. The school was part of a university with a few campuses each made up of a few buildings. So, it was not uncommon for me to be walking to or from the subway station in the company of some college guys who also lived in the suburbs but who still chose to stay in the dorms during the week.
I had only been making this weekly round trip to home and back for few weeks when I spotted a college upperclassman and asked if I could walk back to the school with him. He said, "Sure", and proceeded to tell me some of the history of guy who had walked those streets over the years. As we passed one of the main buildings on our campus, he pointed out a large bell or gong mounted on an outside wall. It looked like it had been there for a long time. I did not remember having ever heard it ring. But, then I had only been on campus for just a short while.
I was familiar enough with the High School routine to know that we did not change classes at the sound of a bell. The teachers and the students all knew the time and classes ended and began just as they did in the college building down the street. As a matter of fact, there was a large study hall across the corridor from some class rooms on the main floor of the Old Building, the building in which the High School was housed, that were dedicated to one of the university's graduate schools. A bell system would have been too disruptive to the men of learning who frequented those rooms and that study hall.
But the bell I had noticed was right outside one of the huge windows of the Study Hall. I can remember how briskly the college senior walked, and how he spoke with an almost fierceness as he explained the bell to me. He told me that when the Old Building was new it, in 1929, was the school's only building, and there was very little else in the way of buildings or neighborhood around it. As the school grew, so did the area around it. There were very nice apartments overlooking the river to the east, with scenic parks that featured a series of pathways and stairways that gave residents access to a riverside walk down below.
As the suburbs became more popular following World War II and with the advent of affordable cars, people abandoned the city for larger stand-alone homes with a yard of their own. The nice apartments fell on bad times. Yet the school was there as an island of solid positive growth. And where the rapidly decaying neighborhood came in contact with the school was in the street.
The frustration felt by the now largely immigrant non-English speaking minorities who lived in the area when "rich college kids" walked along their streets often erupted into torments, harassments and violence. It was in the aftermath of such an encounter that the bell outside the Study Hall came into being. One of the boys from the gradate school, who studied at the left hand of one of the great scholars we had on our faculty, had been brutally beaten by group of boys from the neighborhood. He had either been killed or beaten so terribly that the school took preventative measures.
The bell outside the Study Hall was installed. It could be triggered by any one of several carefully hidden switches the locations of which the entire academic community was made aware. It was understood that when the bell would sound, the Study Hall, filled with perhaps fifty to a hundred young men at any one time, would clear out on to the street to deal with the situation and save those being attacked.
I will tell you, I am downright prejudiced against death; also against being beaten up by thugs of any stripe. I am an equal opportunity defender of those being attacked by no-good-nicks. No matter how frustrated a person might be, if they act out against others, in my opinion, they must be stopped. I definitely discriminate against those who act as though they are above the law. Whether such bad guys are sick or malcontents, they can not be allowed to act out on their own prejudices at the expense of the health and safety of others.