My Thoughts on Racism
I grew up in a family that taught me people are people and we are all equal.
I didn't really see racism at all until I went to college in Virginia. I went to an all woman's college and we had a mixer with a near bye all men's college. I found a young man sitting outside on the steps by himself and asked if I could sit with him thinking he must be feeling homesick like I was since he wasn't inside. He was a big guy, looked like he could have been on a football team - all muscle. He looked at me and asked why a Yankee like me would want to sit next to a black boy.
I was completely taken aback. I said if he didn't like Yankees I could go. I think he saw he had offended me and quickly changed his tone and told me no it was okay to sit down...I did and we talked for quite a long time. He was sweet and nice and I was very happy to meet him. I know that his reaction was based on his past experiences, just as mine were at the time.
It still wasn't until later when I noticed the college I was in seemed to be the dividing line between poor black people on one side of town and rich white people on the other. I didn't understand where the rich black people in town were until someone looked at me and said "rich BLACK people?!" And the way she said it made me understand....it hurt my soul to realize my mother was wrong...we will never be equal until we can make everyone else realize it is true. Not that it SHOULD be true, but that it IS. When people see it as a fact and wonder why anyone would question it is the only time it will be reality.
Now I'm not saying the south is racist. When I came home I started being able to see it more. I did a lot of traveling for work for a while and I saw it everywhere, it does happens here too and we need to fix it. We need to get to the point where racism isn't a question it's a history lesson.