It used to annoy me when I was completing any form of application that wanted to know not who I was but what I was.
One form that I came across included a list of racial and ethnic categories that was rather long and my group wasn’t even listed. Of course, “White” or “Caucasian” was there for me to select but they are so bland and limiting and didn’t really describe the Jimmy Newell that we all love.
When I was in a particular peevish mood I would select “Other” and write in, if asked, “Bronx-Irish-Catholic-Blue-Eyed-Yankee Fan.”
I could relate to that sociological category.
Politically speaking we have less control over our groupings.
I have been told by those with whom I disagree politically that I am a radical leftist. Some even used the much-derided term, liberal!
I guess they are right.
I believe science and medicine.
I do not believe anyone should own weapons of mass destruction, including AR 47 rifles.
I believe the federal government should protect us from foreign interference.
I believe black lives do matter, and I would go on to state that so does the lives of Native Americans and immigrants from all nations. (This does not mean that, for those of you who consider yourself to be white, that white lives don’t matter. It just indicates that some of us have to be reminded of the worth of the lives of others.)
There are other things that I believe, but I think I have gotten my point across. None of the things I listed are what anyone would logically consider radical or leftist. That is not to say that you have to agree with me. I accept your right to disagree with me on any of these topics.
However, assigning any identifier to my beliefs is my responsibility. It’s call freedom of association.
I was at a Yankee spring training game a couple of years ago, and I was seated at a table having a hot dog and beer. A father and a young boy approached my table and asked if they could join me. Of course, I said yes, but I added, “You’ll have to take that hat off first!”
The father had a Red Sox hat on, and we both had a good laugh.
We spent the next half hour talking baseball. They were from Massachusetts and, as you would hope, were big Sox fans. We didn’t engage in any trash talk but sang the praises of each other’s team.
Finally, the father asked, “I guess you’re a NY Giant fan.”
I replied that I had been as a kid but that I was a Jet fan.
“Really,” he said, “We love the Jets!”
It just proved to me that you can’t really know anything about a person from the hat they are wearing.