This past Saturday, my husband had the Mike Calta Show on 102.5 FM playing in the car while we were doing errands. Mr. Calta was interviewing Billy Fucillo of “HUGE” Fucillo Kia and Nissan fame. The topic was racism. Mr. Fucillo was asked what his experiences with racism were in the 1960s.
Mr. Fucillo said he was appalled by what he heard and saw in the news about racism in the South. He had not experienced that in his native town of Syracuse, NY. He trained for the college football team at Syracuse University, but did not make the cut. Mr. Fucillo was the racial minority among the football players, yet remained friends with those who made the cut ever since. He said that no one in his circle ever gave a second thought to giving the other a hug in greeting.
Yes, racism does exist in the North. I’m not blind to that. But what erased prejudice in Billy Fucillo’s mind? No doubt his parents told him that he and anyone could be what they want to be in life, no matter what their color. No doubt his community mirrored that philosophy.
It seems Billy Fucillo was given a foundation of acceptance of others + confidence in oneself. This is the equation for peace. Let us all aim to create a generation of children with empathy and self-esteem. With true empathy and self-esteem of all people, bullying and other acts of violence would not be resorts to go to in problem resolution.