White people are the perpetrators of ‘White’ racism – plain and simple. Whites have relied on fear and the façade of never-ending power in their attempts to cause Blacks to feel insecure and helpless. White people allow the notion that Blacks must go along to get along (with them).
BlackParentSpeaks asks – What people in their natural minds would ever choose to imitate the beyond-ugly behaviors and actions of White people!? It is White people who have spawned hatred, ravaged, raped, killed, scalped, stolen, castrated, hung (strange fruit), tarred, whipped, enslaved, and oppressed. The history of White people is horrible and ‘outside’ comprehension for some of US.
In spite of the history, presence, and legacy of White people, BlackParentSpeaks remains convinced that ‘as long as there is breath, there is hope’. As long as there is breath, a White person CAN embark on a road leading towards his or her redemption.
I am reminded of a White female child who lived with her White family in the vicinity of my Black family’s house on NE 12th in Portland, Oregon. That child and I attended the same elementary school at the time. I was a young ‘Black’ student at Irvington Elementary School solely because Whites-in-power had ‘mandated and forced’ me to integrate ‘White’ Irvington School. It was the 1950s.
‘White’ Irvington School had rules that befuddled my young ‘Black’ mind and I was a serious and curious soul with an independent, stubborn and quiet nature. Although I was but a third grader at Irvington, I quickly felt and experienced the racist resentment of Irvington’s ‘White’ community – teachers, parents, students and others.
The White child who lived in the vicinity of my family’s house was a ‘chip off her family’s racist block’. That child’s mouth was a ‘racist’ garbage can and her mind was similarly cluttered. Earlier, she had learned the painful lesson of spewing racist words while in reaching distance of yours truly. As a result, she learned to shout her racist filth at me while safely out-of-reach. Accordingly, I soon learned to ignore the White child’s racist words and I accepted that the White child was a reflection of her White family.
One day as I was walking alone through the halls of Irvington School, I barely heard what sounded like a muffled voice and cries. Looking around to make certain that I was not observed, I took a detour in the direction of the sounds. And, although I had been told to never ever open the door which, I believe, led to the boiler room – I extended my hand and slowly and quietly opened that door.
Drawn to the sounds, I saw a White male teacher and the White child who lived in the neighborhood of my family’s house. The blood I saw stunned me and I quickly and quietly exited the area and left the school – running all the way home. In my ‘young’ mind, I believed that the White male teacher had by now ‘killed’ the racist White child who lived in the neighborhood of my family’s house.
Thank heaven that my daddy was home when I ran through the front door of our house.
I told my father what I had heard, what I had done, and what I had seen. I identified the White male teacher and the child and I looked to my father for answers. Daddy asked me if the teacher or anyone else had seen me and I said ‘no’. In the wake of my fears, Daddy told me not to worry and to stay home – he assured me that that teacher was NOT going to kill me….
Daddy and my mother talked in private and then Daddy told me that he was going to the White girl’s house and he would soon return. Daddy told me not to tell anyone else what I had witnessed.
Upon Daddy’s return, he explained to me that what I had seen was “White folks’ business” and he assured me that the White child was not dead. Daddy explained that White folk were different than us Blacks and he told me that changes would immediately be made for me and any other Black students at Irvington Elementary School!
Daddy phoned other Black adults and some came to our house. The next day, Daddy met with the White Principal of Irvington School and told him what would and would not be allowed with respect to Black students.
Changes did happen. However, racism at Irvington Elementary School continued and the White community remained UNwelcoming and abusive.
As information, the White child’s family soon moved – as did many of the other White families in the neighborhood. As for the White child, she appeared to lose her rambunctious and mouthy personality following what I had witnessed at Irvington. I do not believe that I ever again heard that particular White child utter a racist word. Instead she seemed subdued and withdrawn afterwards.
During the time closely following the Irvington Elementary School incident mentioned herein, I did not know what had caused the White child’s dramatic personality shift. As an adult, however, I believe I have come to overstand at least one of the reasons she CHANGED….
‘Don’t forget our reparations’.
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We are all works in progress.
Undying love for Black people!