February 26, 2012

Racism, Labels and Life

Racism has been around for as long as I can remember.  And to be honest, I think as long as there humans walking this planet, it will always remain. Just if different degree's.

Personally, I'm not racist. Well, by the sense of the word in all major dictionaries. I'm an equal opportunist I guess, as there are groups or certain people that I dislike in every race. But I feel no one race is above the other.

Example, my grandfather, full blooded Seneca Indian up in NY.  He hates and will have nothing to do with black people, African American, how ever you want to put it, (I am in no way PC either. But I wont use the "N" word). He has stated time and time again, when a young black family lived below him down the road, that if their house ever caught fire or they got stuck out in the snow he wouldn't stop to help. An awful lot of hatred coming from a man where his land and ancestors were persecuted by white man. And yet he married a white woman and has a lot of "half breeds" as kids and grand kids.

So what brought this post about? Well, yesterday I had gone out and washed the car. Afterwards, I had stopped at the gas station to fill up and my tires needed air.  Now being me, I try to help others a little from time to time. A young black woman had approached me, asking me if I would give her a ride down a ways and she would  give me five dollars for doing so. At first I was hesitant. Mainly because I could smell the booze on her. But then I pushed it all away and told her to get in.

So as were driving, which her destination was on my way home, she made a call to get exact directions. I turned the radio down and was watching street signs. As we made our way through this neighborhood, it reminded me a lot like the neighborhoods from the movie Boyz in The Hood. I mean, were in FL, but the yards, the houses all looked like they came straight out of the movie, (one of my favorite movies by the way).

Anyway, At each stop sign we came to, there were always at least 4-5 young black guys in each lawn. All standing around drinking beer. All starring at me, probably wondering why I was driving through. At one stop sign, one fairly large man started to approach the car. After making eye contact and nodding, probably stupid idea, i proceeded through the intersection.  Not at a fast pace, but not crawling either. I mean, what did I have to worry about? At most if anything were to happen, if all of these people wanted to live up to societies standards of how they live and act, I would have gotten my ass beat and my car stolen. Worse case, shot or stabbed. But I've dealt with worse. Anyway, I dropped her off at her location. And as she was getting out of the car, she never did offer me the five dollars. However, she paused for a moment when I told her to have wonderful evening and to smile.

As I drove out of the neighborhood and back to the main road, I just kept looking around. Seven times out of ten, on any given day, I can drive by this area on my way to work or from work and always see multiple cop cars down here with their lights on. I never think about anything, and just keep driving.

As I hit the main road, an old memory came back to me. One that had me scared shitless as a kid. I'm talking 5th grade kid. Back then, my mom had married a guy she went to school with. The ass was in the Army and was stationed in VA at Ft Belvor. I was to start the 6th grade on base. So one weekend, my mom and the ass drove down so she could get directions and the following week, we were to head down.

Fast forward to the sunny afternoon in DC. Mind you, this is the early to mid 80's. My mom took a wrong turn off the freeway and we ended in downtown DC in a bad neighborhood. So here is a single white woman, with a young boy in the passenger seat and a baby in the back seat. In a green Pontiac towing a small Uhaul trailer. She had stopped at a red light and this is where i started to flip out. Because on all four corners there were prostitutes, black men, etc. And coming from a very small conservative area in NY, you didn't see this. Only in the movies. And every black man started walking toward the car.

I told her to forget the red light and go. She asked why, I pointed out her window and there was a very tall, well built black man about three feet from her door and you could see the gun under his spring jacket. She hit the gas, made a hard turn left through the red light and down to the next block. Putting the Uhaul trailer up on one wheel, I remember her saying it if tips, we leave it. We came to the next intersection just as the light turned red. She didn't stop. Hard turn left and we were headed back toward the throughway. I could see the White House off int he distance. Needless to say, I was scared beyond belief. As was she. But we made it to VA just fine, trailer in tact.

Over the years, I've grown up with friends that are black, Hispanic, Italian and other races. I even dated a wonderful black girl in college for a little while. And during all these years, I've had my share of issues with people from all these races. But not once, did I ever think myself, my race or any other race was above that of another. I may have labeled a few people as "trash." Due to how they act, carry themselves, etc. But never that I was better then them.

What I find funny is the bitching and complaining that comes from certain groups of people. Their actions in society seem to make society reflect negative things on them. One has to wonder that instead of robbing gas stations, breaking into pawn shops and apply themselves, if they would not live the lives they do and make something useful of themselves. That if society would have a better look and a lot of the tensions and second thoughts would just go way.

Dislike me if you will, as I'm not a racist. But an equal opportunity hater. Instead of taking the easy way out, instead of robbing, killing and rapping people. Work to get yourself out of those situations and no one will look negatively upon you. Life's a bitch and always will be.



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