Monday, November 30, 2009

Racial Discrimination

        A few weeks ago a local weekly paper I get had a historical feature on  Jewish settlers who attempted to homestead here in the early 1890's. Discrimination was one of the many things that challenged them and made their short time here extremely miserable.
       These settlers came to the area out of desperation as their opportunities in other areas were limited. They apparently did not have an agricultural background. I say apparently as few, if any people got to know them during their short stay here. They were not used to or prepared for the rigorous climate here. They built partial dugout homes with earth piled up for sides. The roof was made from poles covered with long grass. They were not able to break enough land to grow food or crops to sell. No one knows if they had animals for food or power. Very few written records remain of these people.
      Apparently some of these people perished from the harsh conditions and their inability to produce food. Again apparently is the key word. No one really made it their business to communicate with them so they could assist or share work.

      Why weren't these early settlers assisted? Their neighbors simply looked upon them as Jews and did not go to their aid as they thought they would have lots of money some where? Other settlers of different backgrounds helped each other out. They shared work and ideas of how to make shelter from the land and raise and gather food. The Jewish settlers were ostracised.

      It's rather sad and tragic that a group of people suffered so severely just because of being different. Now this incident took place over 100 years ago. You may be tempted to say ,  "Well, we wouldn't do that today."

     I'm not so sure that we would be much better today? There are altogether too many incidents of discrimination taking place today not only in our own area ,but around the world.