Marginalized. I remember the first time I heard a friend use that term. I didn't understand what it meant. She explained that it means not being accepted by the central part of a social group. We were discussing women in the business world at the time.
I have since realized that it describes blacks in America.
I have since realized that it describes poor people in America.
I have since realized that it describes gays in America.
Being "marginalized" means more than just belonging to a minority. Rich people are not marginalized in America. Asians are not marginalized in America. People are pushed to the margin because a society refuses to acknowledge their needs, their beliefs, and their concerns.
I fear for the child who is growing up gay in America. Imagine trying to learn about homosexuality, only to find that the software that protects against indecency also blocks access to any mention of homosexuality. This child has just been labelled indecent. This child has just been marginalized.
McCarthyism was a form of marginalization. It wasn't acceptable to be a communist, to associate with communists, or to agree with the ideas of communism. McCarthyism showed us that freedom of expression can be suppressed in this country.
For America to be the great country that it can be, we must respect others, value diversity, and cherish free speech.