The 1-5 Scale Of Shame Explained

The Lord has taught us to treat our neighbors as ourselves in Matthew 12:31, yet I’ve seen too many people calling themselves Christians while mistreating others for no apparent reason.

The damage that these people do to our faith is incalculable, in my opinion. No wonder why Christianity is in sharp decline in the United States for decades. The levels of hypocrisy and the mistreatment of brothers and sisters in Christ are too high in number for the average thinking American to handle.

Before we talk about the 1-5 scale of shame, let’s not forget that the Lord is in control and that He alone will judge. By the way, I’m doubtful that in heaven everybody will look or speak the same. Salvation isn’t color or nationality specific.

“It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” Hebrews 10:40. I pray for those who mistreat others at the time of judgement… They don’t know what they do.

Let me be more specific. Let me introduce to you a provocative thought that I’ve seen overtime here in the US of A. Keep in mind that although I’m a US citizen, I have less bias on the topic to be discussed due to the fact that I was born in a different country. Here we go.

The darker the person’s skin is, the poorer the treatment they get if ceteris paribus. The more non-western European a person looks, the less patient and more mean people are with them on average. The more English accent a person has, the more impatient and difficult “things get” for them. Rolling of the eye, pauses, and dismissals in non-verbal behavior occur more often to them.

On a color and accent scale from 1-5 where 1 is white and no accent and 5 is black with a harsh accent, I’ve seen a disproportionate number of non 1’s being mistreated in America. The higher the number, the more mistreatment they seem to get.

In the southern region of the USA, more specifically in Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama… where I’ve lived, the tolerance for outsiders is small. Color and nationality matters a lot around here, especially in Tennessee and Alabama. South Americans seem to be the new “black” in this region, especially if they are mestizos, which is a combination of Spaniard and Native Mayan, Aztec…

Let me give you an example. I’m a highly educated America citizen, fluent in English, of mostly Portuguese descent, with olive skin and an accent. I’ve studied voice to reduce my Brazilian accent back in Pennsylvania in an attempt to fit in better in society. I’m glad I did. It moved me from a 5 into a 2 or 3 in accent.

On a scale of 1-5, I’m a 3 in color and accent, I say. I’m perhaps the perfect middle of the road fella!!!

Yet, when I’m in church with my wife in Mississippi, two congregants introduce a 1 out of 5 color man for my wife to go out with in front of me. The pastor treated me quite well in person but avoided speaking with me in front of the congregants, I noticed. It wasn’t just the pastor. At least, most 1 Mississippians didn’t completely isolated me and my family.

In Tennessee, the treatment I received was much worse. My wife calls the treatment given by 1’s there, “sneaky mean.” Anyone other than a 1 was fine chatting with me, from my experience. A number (too many actually) of 1’s unkindly spoke at me, called me names, judged me harshly, bluntly lied and did nothing when I reported a racial issue.

I just moved to Alabama. In three weeks of living here, a 1 hit my car in the back when I was at a red light stationary. So far, the unofficial police report has elementary errors about me. I’m not retired, the speed limit was 40MPH not 45MPH. I’m doubtful that the driver was driving at 40MPH.

From the collision videos I’ve seen on-line, it appears to me that the driver (who was a 1, by the way) appeared to be driving over 50 MPH. My lawyers are already investigating this issue. Am I witnessing white privilege? I hope not but I wonder… In two days, I couldn’t get my inflammatory meds. What was worse was that people in the pharmacy would hang out the phone on me and repeatedly state that I didn’t have a prescription when I went there in person. My wife, who is a 1, goes to the pharmacy and gets the meds quick. You tell me. ???

I can only imagine how a 4 or a 5 is treated. Is the treatment they get exponentially worse? I don’t know. I suspect it is. What I do know is that these kinds of treatments aren’t the way that God intended His people to be treated. I don’t like to ask things to anyone. I’m old school, you know?

But, when the “system” seems to operate against fairness of treatment, then I have a problem with. What really disappoints me is that some of this behavior is done by my fellow “Christians.” How sad.

Are you a 1 or a 5? How have you been treated? I would love to know your thoughts. The Lord is great! His ways will last forever. In faith I trust in His will. Glory be to Him and Him alone.

Author: Dr. Luis Camillo Almeida

Communication Arts professor who has taught over a thousand students in his career. By empathizing with his students, he advises them to think with no box and motivates them to have a successful college life. Through his multifaceted approach to traditional and new medias, his students have the opportunity to become better communicators. Dr. A has helped hundreds of young adults to truly discover who they are, what makes them tick and where their passions lie, in order to achieve long term success in life. He is a very productive college professor who can be found on a variety of social media outlets, public and academic sources, and even on merchandise showcasing his photographic art. Technology complements but doesn’t define him. Colleges house him but can’t hold him.