Well, at least I'm not freckled.

with no more reason or wit than a cow with an upset stomach.

by Edward Langenback

© May 23, 2002

"Well, at least I'm not freckled."

The words landed on my ears leaving me in stunned shock. The words that my lovable niece, Wendi, had just spoken sounded like more than just a mere eight year old non-sequitur blurted out in a second of supreme super silliness. They brought to mind pictures of the civil rights marches of the 1960's, Dr. Seuss's Star Bellied Sneeches and Plain Sneeches battling out who was better, ever rushing to change to whichever version was considered the "IN" crowd at the moment.

Could there possibly be the beginnings of prejudice taking root in her innocent soul? God forbid! I could not bear the thought of the wave of social change that she was about to launch upon an unsuspecting world.

Completely unbidden, I could see it beginning here in our living room. It would spread slowly at first, among her friends at school, who would each take sides in the freckled / non-freckled race division and carry word home of the new rule in society . . .

"Freckled People are second class citizens."

At first it would be only half taken seriously, easily dismissed with a chuckle. Then a group of young people having a drink or two more than they should and not a single freckle among them sees a freckled man. What follows is a scene that has been played out endless times in every society that has ever existed . . . names are called, jeering comments made. The intelligence ancestry and mating habits of the unfortunate-freckled person are called into question. Having had a few too many himself, the freckled person understands only that he is being belittled by a group of drunken sots with no more reason or wit than a cow with an upset stomach. Thus he returns their comments and verbal barbs, in his eyes restoring his own dignity by giving them some of their own. The first group lunges forth in its second wave, vowing not to be beaten at this game of slinging verbal sewage.

Things heat up and before long there are two groups, one freckled, one not. Each trying to out shout the other. Before long someone is pushed, then blows exchanged, and the fight is on.

- - - - From this it's only a matter of years or possibly months before the division widens across all of society. Signs appear in shops "No Freckles", restrooms are labeled "Freckled" and "Non Freckled". Segregation of those who have these curious spots on their skin from the rest of humanity proceeds at an amazing pace. Freckled people are relegated to the back of the bus, not allowed to vote, and sent to separate schools with substandard teachers.

Fortunately for the world, Wendi really IS the soul of super supreme silliness and could never in a million years be the source of such nonsense. In fact, when the idea of prejudice was explained to her, she truly did not know that some people were considered to be somehow not as good because of something like skin color. She summed it up very nicely. "Besides, that's just the outside. On the inside everybody is human."

My thoughts exactly Wendi. You keep right on being silly, The world needs all the fun silly moments we can get.