Being 13 I had no context to parse what he meant by that. I wasn’t sure if I was being complimented or insulted. It wasn’t until many years later that I got enough experience to understand his point of view. In this world if you grow up in a racist home, in a racist neighborhood, in a racist city, and in a racist state… chances are pretty damn good you will become a racist just as easily as you became a speaker of the english language. Marry that with a dominating media portrayal of black people that reinforce the lessons you have learned and you end up having your definition of black people handed to you. That is what happened to my friend’s uncle. And that is why I through him off because I ran against his handed down definitions of people of my color. So much so it baffled him that I could actually be black.
So I agree that the point of change is not going to be automatically judging people that have had these ideas handed to them as villains and meeting them with anger but with seeing them as victims that are victims of ill wrong information who are in turn creating more victims of that information. The best way is to make available new information to the contrary and behave in a way that gives them the chance to see that that new information may be true.”
photo: AuntOwee / flickr