I will share just a hand full of my experiences with you.
When I was young boy around 10 years of age I lived in Chicago with my father, who was attending the University of Chicago at the time. I do not remember a lot form my time there but I do remember my school experiences.
Since my father was a student we had very little money and so I lived in a really bad part of town. I attended a little school called Ray School elementary. The students were mostly African-American and even at that time in the early 80’s it was not a good idea to be Caucasian and in that area.
I remember almost every day being attacked on the way from school. Continuously enduring the most horrendous treatment just because my skin color was lighter than the other children around me. The biggest thing I remember is the fact that it never changed no one ever helped and it only ended when I was lucky enough to move away.
Eventually I wound up at an orphanage in Louisville Ky and once again mostly African-Americans and the same treatment was leveled at my expense.
Even at that time the individuals who ran the orphanage acted as if Racism by African Americans was okay. I remember on several occasion being chased and beaten just because I was Caucasian, listening to racist chants day after day and when I reported it they only harassed me about what I did to deserve it.
There are really so many instances of racism I could not possibly recollect them all.
I recall as a young man severing in the military I had an African-American drill sergeant that would openly express his hated towards Caucasians taunting the soldiers and especially any one who questioned his racist views.
On one such occasion he made do push ups and jumping jacks until I threw up and then told me how much he hated “White People”. It got so bad that I finally started to make complaints in writing and telling anyone that would listen about him.
Amazingly nothing ever happened no investigation no one asked me about the complaints. The only thing that ever happened was that one day before I shipped out he came up to me and said there was nothing that I could do because he was black and I was not.
Some time later when I was stationed at Fort Carson Colorado I was in the barracks with some friends and down the hall a large group of African-Americans were listening to their music very loudly and we asked them several times to turn it down and they did not so we decided to turn some music of our own on.
That’s when it took a turn for the worse they came down the hall and starting yelling at us and calling us racists cracker among other things and a fight ensued which ended with the cops being called. The next day myself and my friends were all dragged up to the first sergeants office to answer charges of racist behavior.
We were investigated and humiliated over the next several months and of course we were all labeled as a bunch of racist even though I had several African-American friends that testified that I had never said or acted even remotely racist.
More recently I was at work a couple years ago and an African-American gentlemen was telling everyone about the racist situations he had been subjected to. The 2 examples he used was that he was getting on an elevator and the white folks inside moved away when he entered the elevator.
Then he talked about how the other day while at the mall he was walking along and as he approached an elderly white women she put her hand on her purse and he felt she did that because he was black.
I then tried to explain the situations, I explained that when you are in an elevator and the door opens and people start to get in you move to try and make room for the people entering and that what he construed as racist behavior was nothing more than good old common courtesy. The same was true for the elderly lady she did not want her bag to bump anyone so to avoid it she pulled her purse out of the way, I know because my wife does the same when she has her purse and we are in a social environment.
I tried to illustrate to him that the problem is that he was viewing everyday events as some racist activity by everyone around him and that perhaps he should try and look at things from a common sense point of view. That not everything everyone does has something to do with him because he is black. Well of course he went and complained and the next morning I was marched into HR and fired for making racist statements.
I suddenly remembered Obama discussing his racist encounters. Obama once said that he knows how racism feels because he remembers walking and hearing a car alarm go off.
I thought what kind of world do we live in were you have to scan the parking lot for African Americans before you turn on your car alarm just to make sure you don’t send out a racist message. When someone gets on the same elevator as you you can’t move over to make room because you could be called a racist.
That was just a couple situations I wanted to share with you.