Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thoughts On The Damage Of Racial Hate

I will never understand why our world is so focused on color. Color of your clothes, the color of your eyes, the color of your very skin. I grew up in a city with many people of various racial backgrounds. I had friends of many of these backgrounds. I also grew up with racism. My father can be a very angry man. When angry he seems to first look at your skin, then gender. At least he used to. These days he is too ill to hate anyone. I once worked in a thrift shop when I was 17. I came to care for a very kind and caring man there. My parents threatened to disown me and throw me out on the streets if I had anything to do with him beyond working with him. He was an African American. I never saw the color of his skin. I saw how his eyes lit up when he assisted a young mother and her children. Or when he helped an older couple. I still remember his bright smile and the way he would look at me sometimes. I do not remember his name. In high school I knew a boy named Bobby, he too was African American. I had kept him a secret letting my parents think he was a white boy. I did not do it from shame of him, but rather out of love, because I knew what my parents would say even then. My parents were not needed to destroy that relationship. The other children in the school did the damage. He received calls threatening harm on him and calling him horrid names because of me. We broke up. We barely spoke after that. So many are angry because of skin color. Because of past hates and wrongings. No one seems able to let it go. In some shape or form it lingers like the stink of rotting fish. In high school I felt the hate. Every where it suffocated possible happinesses. My youth was full of hate. There was little real happiness. My parents wanted me to be with a white boy. Yet none they deemed suitable saw me. I was that thing that was friends with the ... I refuse to use the words. They are filth in my mouth that lingers never to be removed. I did not find anyone that cared for me as myself until I left my parents home. He is white, but I did not see that, I saw only that he was good to me and others. He was giving and compassionate. He is now my husband of ten years. We have 3 children, 2 of which are girls. My husband is like me, he does not see the color of a person's skin as a determining factor of their worth. He sees who they are and how they treat others. So, when our girls are old enough to date we will welcome any boy they bring to meet us. Regardless of skin color or racial background. Any man will be worthy of them if he is good, and gentle. If he is anything like their father he is welcome in our family. Never will we refer to him as any of the racial slurs we heard growing up. Never will our grandchildren be called by the foul names made up for children of mixed heritage. I laugh at that term: Mixed Heritage. It is a mockery to life. No one anywhere is pure anything. I know, I have Italian, German and Polish in my veins. My husband knows of Irish and Italian. We may be white but we are not pure anything. Our children are proud of their heritage. And we will be proud of our grandchildren's heritage. Whatever it may be. Because hate only creates more hate. Hate is the root of all wars, large and small. Be brave my reader and smother the hate. Spread only friendship and love, for only these will save our war-torn world from itself.

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