I grew up in TN, where racism was plentiful and quiet. The N word was the norm in the 50s and 60s. All that said, I left TN in 1969. I've lived in many of our U.S. states. Now that I'm approaching 70, I look back on the racial experience. I went to a tech school in DC in 1974 on the GI Bill, and was the only White male in the school of 100+ Inner City Black males. Young Black males were angry in DC in 1974; however, my experience in the Navy had shown me that I wasn't racist. Still, I did realize, but whatever racism I bore was not overt primarily because I had little experience with people of color at that age, much less the revolution in our country during the Vietnam War. Now, at this stage of life, and having lived in a number of states--both Metro areas and small towns. My personal experience is that the less a person knows of the world, the more they are likely to be "quietly' racist, homophobic, and otherwise into the "us versus them" point of view. I dated a Black lady for 3 years and our most heated topics was "her" racism. "I'm not racist," she said. "Only White people are racist!"
While this is certainly true, my experience taught among Black, Vietnamese, Hispanic, and other races taught me that in the final analysis, people are people. They want to raise a family in prosperity, send the children into the world with healthy values, and retire with dignity. Racism, while it has existed for a thousand years, is not the priority of most of us.
Point of all this being, be your beautiful self. Conquer your own racism first (if it exists) and that alone will help everyone else with theirs.
Blessings to you both! Dan
| Geneseo, IL
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