“Straight From The Heart” was one of my absolute favorite columns that I wrote for a newspaper. I was given a lot of freedom as to themes and content. The column ran for two years from 2003 till 2005.
The Ugly Face Of Prejudice
By Richard Mabey Jr.
When I became a victim of prejudice, it changed my whole feeling about the concept of discrimination. Till that point in time, I thought of prejudice as a terrible social injustice. However, when it hit home to me personally, it took on a whole new arena of depth. When the poisoned arrow of prejudice hits you, it hurts; man oh man, does it ever hurt!
On the first of July of 2004, I devoted my “Straight From The Heart” column to the details of the pains of knowing first-hand, the evil of discrimination. At the age of 50, I went for a job interview for a copy writer at an advertising agency. In this column, I wrote about the pain of being a victim of age discrimination.
But what I left out of my column is the deeper dig. In the very early part of my job interview, the young executive interviewing me got up from his chair and closed the door to his office. Then he stated, with this arrogant and pompous attitude, that if I lodged a complaint against him for age discrimination that he would deny everything.
Generally speaking, we think of prejudice as being an act of discrimination against an individual because of their race, creed or color. Yet, the mass media often forgets to focus on the horrors of age prejudice. Yes, age prejudice is real. It is painfully real.
Now, over 11 years later since I wrote this column, I can tell you that I have run into age prejudice again and again in going for job interviews. Oh, most of the people who dealt me the card of “too old” weren’t as obvious and obnoxious as the young executive that I wrote about in my “Straight From The Heart” column. But when all is said and done, you know when you’re the victim of someone’s discrimination and prejudice. You just know it.
To all my readers out there, who have crossed the 50 milestone, don’t give up! If you’re looking for a job, keep on trying. Yes, you will probably encounter age discrimination in some degree. But please do keep on believing in your talents, your skills, and in all of your abilities to do a great job in your particular field. Never give up! Never, ever give up!
Peace and harmony,