Thursday, September 24, 2009

Racism and Prejudice - Ebb & Flow

I walked on the beach this morning, before errands and before housework! Lots of wind, whitecaps and foam, and hardly any tourists!

I want to talk about the white elephant in the room, or to use another symbol, the stinking, dead fish on the beach that everyone just walks by, holding their breath. That would be racism. My son came home from high school yesterday, aghast and perplexed that so many fellow students feel it is perfectly acceptable to talk about things like "beating up gay guys" or "how much they hate white people." He attends a public high school with about an 80/20 black/white racial balance and a 10/90 gifted to low achieving balance; he is decidedly in the minority. As a political independent, I voted for Mr. Obama, and I'm glad I did, though I admit I'm disappointed at the push and confusion of the health care reform bill. I still believe he will make strides in global relations. I realize, however, that I was naive to think that a mixed race President could heal the divide between the races just by taking office. Now some African Americans might say I am just experiencing what they did for so long - point taken. But why, decades after the civil rights movement, do I have to hope and pray that my son makes it home safely? Why does anyone have to? Schools have become like jails - see through bookbags, metal detectors, constant searches, no doors on restrooms - built to keep unruly students in, and earnest, hard working students out. I don't think any healing can take place until we can admit there's a problem here, and bury the dead fish.

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