Lacey’s story about her first brush with racism in Houston reminds me that they were well intentioned. I am not very hard on such people because my so very white grandmother has made similar comments. Hers was that the neighborhood was suffering from all the crime, the specific example was that my bike was stolen out of our yard. Actually it was stolen by a white kid on the street.
Despite that my father is black and my mother (her daughter) is white, to my grandmother I wasn’t black. I pointed out that to most people who make similar comments who don’t know me consider me black and part of the crime problem because I am black. She never made such a comment again (at least in my presence). I was 13 or 14 at the time.
A couple years later, a guy who was part of my “crew” told me he believed it was morally wrong for blacks and whites to interbreed. However, he didn’t consider me a bad person. I was highly offended at the time. It took a while for me to understand people have lines they consider good or bad, but the line can be easily moved at whim.
Being a mixed kid, race is something I have to deal with almost every day. For the most part, I have come to have blinders to many things that upset those who are still sensitive. There are plenty of opportunities to get upset:
- Slow service at a restaurant.
- Sales people following me in a store.
- Police officers stopping the path changing directions to shadow me.
- Evil glares from women of African descent when I am with a woman of European descent.
- Assumptions about my intelligence.
- Assumptions about my athletic ability.
Why get upset over other people’s ignorance when it doesn’t have an impact on me? The police officer who arrests me just because I am “black” would, of course, have a lawsuit coming.