Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Tough Real-life Lesson in Racism for African-American Pact Campers

An adoptive mom recounts a tough lesson in racism learned by Pact Camp African-American adoptees, when they visited a near-by town (dubbed Whitesville by the author) on the 4th of July:
And so, following an intense workshop in which they and their parents shared their biggest fears, and during which the parents read letters they’d written to their children (I wasn’t there, but I was with a few of the parents after who couldn’t hold back tears as they relayed the experience)—off they went, kids and counselors, into Tahoe City for ice cream. It was the 4th of July. What could possibly be more American than children, ice cream and Independence Day?

Well, it could be this: A group of mostly brown, adult-looking kids and their mostly brown adult counselors walking down a sidewalk in Whitesville when a white man says, “It’s the 4th of July, but it might as well be Halloween, seeing as how all the n*****s have come out.” Apparently, he doesn’t read the Boston Globe [a reference to an article in that newspaper claiming we're a post-racial society].

It should be noted that the man didn’t bother to use any asterisks when speaking; that’s my edit. (For those who may have wondered where my line is, now you know.)
And it should be noted that a white sheriff’s deputy subsequently dismissed the possibility that the word—the whole phrase, in fact—had been uttered at all. Surely, he didn’t say that. You must have misheard him, he said to the group, discounting their collective experience, defending the lone perpetrator and living up to their every expectation of police.


Sharon said...

We've found Northern Calif to be a mostly hospitable place for our family. But I've heard of several incidents like this, when a racial slur is hurled, or racist actions taken, and powers that be simply say "That's not possible! This is Santa Cruz/Palo Alto/ Tahoe etc" We can't possibly be racists here in liberal California!

Obviously, the denial makes it possible.

Reena said...

Our society is NOT post racial. There is still a lot of racism-- sometimes it is subtle and sometimes it is not so subtle. It is all disgusting.

We deal with a lot of immigration bigotry--my stepkids "hear" comments from some other kids. We are suppose to be liberal.

Donna Hutt Stapfer Bell said...

I know this part of the country all too well, and this is all too believable. And not in the least 'nice' - or unusual, sadly.

What a way to get an education.

-J.D. Humenay said...

Geez... look back in that jerk's bloodline far enough and he'd probably discover that he's a "mutt", just like most Americans. I mean, I have blond hair and blue eyes, but 2 genetic traits that only Native Americans and Africans carry... This guy only goes to prove how ignorant he is. Sucks that kids need to deal with people... surprised they can even see color... since they can barely see past the ends of their (possibly european) noses...