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Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:49 AM

I was raised by racists, and then one day it just went away [View all]

I was raised by my grandparents, both of whom where born in the late 1800's. They came from western South Carolina. They were both racists who had been raised by men and women who had endured the worst of Sherman's march. That is who they were, I am what they raised.

In 1966 I was a young fellow and I 'moved' from the suburbs of Washington DC to Miami, Florida traveling by hitch-hiking. As luck would have it I got a ride in northern Virginia with a fellow who was headed far south, but unfortunately also to the west. The next morning he dropped me off somewhere in eastern Alabama, a hundred or so miles inland from my route south (US-1, US-17, US-301, and such small arts of I-95 as existed at that time). After walking through a small town I got a ride with an entire family, traveling in a 1958 Ford. The family was black, I was in the back seat along with two young women and a couple of kids. One of the women was breast feeding her child. An old man was driving and his wife and another middle-aged woman were in the front seat. They were all interested in what this young white boy was doing with all his worldly possessions in a paper bag and his thumb stuck out in a place he should not be. And I told them that I was headed to Miami and that I had a sister down there and pretty likely a job waiting too. They were horrified. I would never make it to Florida or even back into Georgia as far as they could see. I was told quite bluntly that I was awfully lucky to have even made it through that town without being arrested. The old man told me that it wouldn't make any difference that I was white and not black. I was from the north and that would be enough, I would be on a road-gang with not a thing in the world to help me within the day.

And while he was telling me that the old man turned to the left and that family went 75 miles out of their way to get me safely out of Alabama and back into eastern Georgia. And that changed everything. It knocked the racism right out of me and at the same time it caused me to be a more generous, or maybe a better way to say that is a less self-centered, person than I had been raised to be. My god, those were wonderful people. Anyway it was one hellacious learning experience.

I don't know that it means much, but that is what happened. By the way, I had $5 with me on that trip and I put $3 of it into their gas tank when they dropped me off. I know that doesn't sound like much but it made them whole and left plenty of money for me to eat as I got on my way.

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Reply I was raised by racists, and then one day it just went away [View all]
1-Old-Man Feb 2013 OP
southernyankeebelle Feb 2013 #1
bigtree Feb 2013 #2
Baitball Blogger Feb 2013 #3
dkf Feb 2013 #4
brewens Feb 2013 #5
Nay Feb 2013 #24
socialindependocrat Feb 2013 #6
DrewFlorida Feb 2013 #7
sad-cafe Feb 2013 #8
Wounded Bear Feb 2013 #9
1-Old-Man Feb 2013 #11
Orrex Feb 2013 #10
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #12
Mockingjay Feb 2013 #13
kelliekat44 Feb 2013 #55
ReRe Feb 2013 #14
ismnotwasm Feb 2013 #15
heaven05 Feb 2013 #19
ismnotwasm Feb 2013 #22
OneGrassRoot Feb 2013 #16
renate Feb 2013 #48
OneGrassRoot Feb 2013 #50
xtraxritical Feb 2013 #17
tblue Feb 2013 #18
heaven05 Feb 2013 #20
graywarrior Feb 2013 #21
BlueJazz Feb 2013 #23
WillyT Feb 2013 #25
Trajan Feb 2013 #26
Ashgrey77 Feb 2013 #27
grilled onions Feb 2013 #28
skeewee08 Feb 2013 #29
Curmudgeoness Feb 2013 #30
tavalon Feb 2013 #31
steve2470 Feb 2013 #32
lunatica Feb 2013 #33
lunasun Feb 2013 #36
Mnemosyne Feb 2013 #41
Lithos Feb 2013 #34
1-Old-Man Feb 2013 #52
calimary Feb 2013 #35
southern_belle Feb 2013 #37
yardwork Feb 2013 #38
truedelphi Feb 2013 #39
NBachers Feb 2013 #40
defacto7 Feb 2013 #42
BlueStreak Feb 2013 #43
Skittles Feb 2013 #47
Jackpine Radical Feb 2013 #57
abelenkpe Feb 2013 #44
Smilo Feb 2013 #45
DeSwiss Feb 2013 #46
aquart Feb 2013 #49
MrMickeysMom Feb 2013 #51
Amimnoch Feb 2013 #53
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2013 #54
zanana1 Feb 2013 #56
malaise Feb 2013 #58
eppur_se_muova Feb 2013 #59