I am mostly white, but both my parents are slightly racially mixed. I should say “Thank God” for the reason that there was never any racism in our family growing up. No one ever said a cross word regarding how anyone else was or is. Comments were not made, names were not used, ever! Since all of us were exposed to every color of the rainbow growing up, I have to think that this was an awesome thing.
When I was very young I lived in an all white neighborhood with my grandmother who is actually from Jewish/German descent, though she was a practicing Christian. I remember being chased out of some of the kids yards to go home and I knew I didn’t do anything wrong. I used to be so scared and wonder what was wrong. I would ask my mom why they would do that to me and why I couldn’t play with the other kids and she just told me “some people have problems, they’re not very nice.” That was enough for me at the time but it really, really hurt me inside and effects adversely to this day.
One night, after we kids were in bed, someone came to our door and our parents let them in. Trying to peek downstairs, the only person I could see was some blond-haired lady. They were asked to be seated when I heard my dad raising his voice and I got really scared because he was yelling at these people to get out of our home at once. I asked my mom the next morning why dad was yelling at those people like that and she didn’t want to say too much at the time but told me when I was older that those people were going door to door trying to block a black family from moving into our Detroit neighborhood. They came to the wrong house, much as they found out.
Another time I was reminded of being “different” was right after we moved to the suburbs and one of the students at my new Junior High School asked me if I was a Gypsy. I thought she was being funny and said no, then someone else piped in saying “Yes you are gypsies. I know where you live and I saw your whole family and you are gypsies!” They were being very serious! It didn’t really bother me and I actually thought it was a hoot. I told my mom what was being said about us and she just laughed because we were darker than the average white person and people love to label you so gypsy is a good as any other stupid label I guess.
When I was older I asked her why some people were racist, because I thought it was strange and she said “Some people seem to think they are better than other people.” Again that was enough for me because that’s all racism really is.
Now there are a lot of young black men today that are really not representing and that’s a fact because they do not represent the way most blacks think or live but who does the media print so much of their articles about shootings, murder and violence in our country? So that kind of behavior and those kinds of stories do promote prejudice and racism and you can’t blame folks for being fearful, untrusting or even hating others if they think they have a reason for it. I have a problem with those that refuse to tolerate or accept anyone who isn’t exactly like them and I have reasons for that.