Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Memories--Times Change

Laws protecting individual rights in this country have come  along, long way just in my lifetime.  There was a time when African Americans could not have bought a house in the suburbs in many cities.  There was a time when an unmarried pregnant woman would be fired.  I remember being sexually harassed on the job until those laws came into play.

My 93 year old mother recently shared with me a story from before I was old enough to know what was what.  She shared that my dad was qualified to be a principal or school superintendent soon after they were married in 1949.  He did get a position as a principal in a very rural district in northern Illinois.  When Dad tried to move to a bigger district or a better paying position he was turned down because he was a Catholic. He was told that they didn't want a Catholic to lead their school or school system.

Many years later, Dad had the opportunity to apply in the area where he grew up as a school superintendent and he got that job.  Times had changed and the area where he grew up had many Catholics and no rural Catholic schools.  Dad finished out his career at that district.  Ultimately my family bought a little farm that was less than 2 miles from the farm my dad had lived on from the time he was 10 until he joined up to serve in World War II.  It always felt a little surreal that I had the same high school English teacher as my father had.

I am thankful that I never had to face prejudice in jobs because I was a Catholic.  I am thankful for the rights that have be granted and the protections that have been put into place.  I hope that we aren't moving in another direction where the freedoms we have enjoyed for so long disappear in the name of political correctness or protecting the rights of people.

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