Thursday, July 28, 2016

Racism

Racism is defined as a belief that one race is superior to another. I grew in the days of the civil rights movement. At a young age I learned what racism is all about. I grew up in Tampa, Florida and at the time there were still separate water fountains that you could drink from. There were fountains for blacks and fountains for whites. While I was downtown one day with my father I became thirsty and wanted some water. I thought the hardest thing would be for me to be able to reach the water. I was only three and wasn't very tall yet. I went to the one fountain and nothing came out. I went to another and some sweet cool water came out and man it tasted good. All of a sudden my father had scooped me up and started spanking me. He was yelling at me for going to the wrong fountain. I was able to get out a question among the flowing tears. What's the difference I asked? He said it was there in black and white and it stated one fountain was for whites and the other one was for black people. He yelled at me for going to the black fountain and asked, didn't I see the sign? I said yes I did see the sign but I can't read yet. You could see shame in his eyes. He had forgotten I couldn't  read and he became so apologetic. This was the time I grew up in at a very young age. The civil rights movement caught on and the stupidity seemed to go away, or did it?

Recently thanks to Donald Trump and his presidential campaign those old feelings of racism have risen to the surface of society. People speak of the days that their family had a black person working for them so that made them good ole people. When Trump attacked the Mexicans who have come into the United States illegally, calling them rapists and murderers, he didn't look at those who came across the border and started a life for themselves and their families. As a teacher for I have come into contact with children whose parents came over the border illegally. The parents are now citizens but they were never rapists or murderers.

When Trump speaks of herding all Muslims into a ghetto style living it brings back the memories of the holocaust. I read the stories of the attacks and murders of the Jewish community. I don't want to live in fear. I don't want to live in a society where because I'm white I'm superior. Simply put I don't want to go back to that damn water fountain. It's time we stood up as Americans and said enough is enough. It's time we all live together in peace. It's time.