- Aug 3, 2019
I am "white", blonde hair, blue eyed, Dutch descent, grew up in a mostly white suburb, in Michigan. Sadly, when I was little, my dad told us to "Look at the little chocolate children" when we drove passed a bunch of "black" children. As a 7th grader, my Sun. School class scheduled an outing where we took "inner city" children to the city zoo. I was nervous because I'd never had contact with "blacks", but when a little boy ran up and grabbed my hand, claiming me as his escort, I realized they were just kids. In high school we had one "black" student, she was very popular, but I did hear her complain often about everyone being prejudiced against her, which confused me. In the late 80's I was in SC, staying in the home of strangers. I asked them about a church in town and they laughed and said that was a "black church". I picked up some fast food and they were shocked because it was a "black shop", they didn't even think I should eat what I got. I was shocked at this attitude, she explained they were not racist, or prejudiced, they employed "blacks". But then she told me she would not let them in the house, and if they needed a drink, she used paper cups to give them a drink of water. All these years later, I am still shocked, but it helped me see the difference between the north and the south. By this time, my dad was good friends with the "black" neighbor, and felt bad about his attitudes in his younger years. Moving forward, in 2005, I started a job in a company was mostly "black" (in Maine). I did not think anything of it, but when I met my closest co-worker, she had a fit. She did not want to work with "white trash", and spewed several racial slurs towards white. Again, I was shocked. What made her think all that of me? I didn't know racism worked both ways, but obviously it does. I guess I led a very innocent, sheltered life. When I see people, obviously I notice their race, how do you not? But I do not assume anything about them based on that. People are people, no matter their skin color, nationality, age, size, gender, religion, etc. There are good and bad in each group, no group is superior. God created us all equal, in his image. My late husband was Native American, I have a daughter adopted from Korea, my best friend is an immigrant from Africa (talk about differences!), I have 2 nieces who have children from relationships with "black" men. I am saddened by abuse of various groups throughout history, and in the present. Why can't we just all work together in love?