Tag Archives: Ferguson

Why I’m Not A Racist

I was born in the late 1960’s to European parents. My parents were pureblooded Spaniards, but for all intents and purposes, acted “white”.

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I don’t recall when it was exactly that I was made to feel different, but what I do remember were these comments:

“You must be from another planet.”

“Why do you always have to play with the black kids?

“Don’t you have any friends who are white?”

The crap hit the fan as a teenager, when I decided to date the brown and black boys against my parents will. My parents happen to be like many who grew up in an era of racial ignorance. They were a product of their environment. All I knew was that I didn’t think like they did nor did I want to.

One childhood memory stands out the most. I had a best friend. She was like a sister to me. Forty something years later, we are still friends. I remember hanging out in her house a lot. Her parents loved and embraced me like if I was their own.

Yet, my parents would not permit my friend to enter our house. My girlfriend eventually figured out why and I remembered feeling embarrassed and ashamed. I wanted to bury myself in a hole somewhere. It was the worst feeling in the world and I never forgot it.

I vowed to never have my kids feel this way. My home is open to any race, religion and creed. I am not raising them to be racists or discriminatory toward anyone.

Gratefully, when friends or family come to visit, they feel comfortable, as it should be.

I am not a racist. I love and embrace the African American community. Truthfully, the African American community has always treated me better that my own demographic.

I would love to live in a world where no racism, discrimination, ignorance or injustice existed. Unfortunately, that doesn’t to seem to be happening.

I can’t change people. The only thing I can do, as a white person, is bring awareness and not go along with the status quo, but challenge it.

With the recent current events, I’ve been inclined to speak up in favor of the black community. I am finding that many people want to shut me up. But I will never be silent when it comes to injustice.

Maybe I couldn’t do anything as a child to defend my best friend, but I can now as an adult. I will always speak up and stand up for what’s right. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, feels or says.

Do you go against the grain of what was expected of you regardless of what your family or friends think?

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