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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 20, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Susan Boyle wows world

A lesson in respect

I truly believe that most of us attempt to be open-minded and fair. We teach our children not to judge by first impressions. In light of this, Susan Boyle’s performance on “Britain’s Got Talent” should have been an eye-opener for all [“Contestant who turned snickers into wows,” page one, April 16].

When this 47-year-old, plain-looking, small-town Scottish woman walked out on stage, we all witnessed the rudeness of both the snickering audience and the cynical panel. I’m afraid that many people watching the show probably related just a little to this response. As panelist Amanda Holden later stated, “At first, we were all against you.” Then, as Boyle proceeded to knock everyone’s socks off with her amazing performance, we realized once again that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

This isn’t just about Boyle. It’s a blatant reminder that prejudice takes many shapes and forms. It can sneak up on you without warning. It’s a stark reminder that young people learn behavior like this based on adult behavior. Shame on anyone who doesn’t realize this and practice being open-minded on a minute-by-minute basis.

Boyle caught us by surprise and proved that. The standing ovation she received should have been a reminder to all of us that recognizing a person’s value has nothing to do with their appearance.

Boyle is just one example of why we must work each day to eradicate prejudice on many levels. Thank you to her for allowing us this gentle reminder.

— Suzanne Wiggins-Ackerson, Seattle

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