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ismnotwasm

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Member since: Mon Aug 23, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 36,833

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I was raised by racists

Raised to think that black people were inferior. Raised to think that there are “good” black people and there are “finger-popping N******”. My Dad, a big Swede who worked hard, worked along side of black men when he was a what used to be called “Garbage man” picking up curbside trash, altered his racism that much. He used to tell a story of how I hid behind his leg the first time I saw a black man, and roar with laughter. His racism altered with age, as did my mothers but never went away. My maternal grandmother never altered her racism one iota, calling a child of a friend of mine “a repulsive pickininny” I was in my 20’s by then

Anyway When compulsory busing started in the 70’s, I was exposed to black kids, and truth to tell, we rarely mixed, but one wonderful thing happened, I was required to take Black history. So books about Harriet Tubman and the Underground railroad and Sojourner Truth, the book “Black like Me”, I was precocious,reading all kinds of books on ethnicy and racism In middle school, books readily available

So began my education, and it continues to this day. I don’t know when the last time I used the N word as an epithet was, decades ago, but I do know by the 80’s I knew Blackface was not funny or cool. It was not something I ever would have done. To deliberately CHOOSE to mock a black person. I knew people who remained racist, but I had friends of different races by then. I began to choose my friends with more care, and this despite the fact by the time I was 30 I had experienced many things, drug addiction, homelessness, extreme poverty. But I still knew mocking other races was wrong.

I don’t understand people very well, or maybe I understand them too well, I dunno. Racism exists everywhere and and it is MY responsibility as a white person to call it out and condemn it. I don’t forgive it, because it’s not my responsibility to forgive it. I’m not a target of racism, I never was. And trust me, I spent time in more than one situation being the only “white girl” but, at the end of the day, I could always go back to white spaces and blend in. It didn’t matter.

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