Brown County decided to give the kids the day off , from school, for Martin Luther King, Jr., day. Apparently, we have not used up our snow day allotment, so JCountry is sound asleep, where he prefers to be at 10 a.m. He is one of those kids who does well on the two-hour delay days, but not so well when he has to catch a bus at 7:30 a.m.
Not to give away my age or anything, but I was a teen in the 60s. I still have a copy of my letter from President Eisenhower in response to my complaint that it is just stupid that people hated other people because of the color of their skin and he needed to do something about it. I’m sure I was very polite though, as children of the 50′s were always very polite. Sometimes, overly polite, like Eddie Haskell polite. And, if you don’t know who Eddie Haskell is, well, I guess you weren’t there.
I attended a fairly large school, address Gary, Indiana, called Calumet High School. I do not know what the facts or figures are, but it ranged from Doctor’s children to children who barely had a home. It also had a good number of African Americans and Latinos. This is unlike the school JCountry attends, which (I am guessing here) has less than five non-Anglos in attendance.
My lab partner was an African American girl and I will never forget the day I sat down at our lab table and looked over to see her, head on crossed arms, crying. That was the first I knew that we were going to have riots. She told me that some of the kids hated her because she was black. I was appalled. I mean, out of all the things in life that you have a choice of, the color of your skin is not one of them. I comforted her, as best as someone who has not walked in her skin could.
At lunch, I was hit and yelled at by a black student, who I did not know. By the time we went home on the bus, school was closed. I think we had three days off to let things settle down and probably let the teacher’s regroup.
I have never understood how people can hold so much hate in their hearts as to hate another person for such a dumb reason. Nor, how the same people who honor and revere someone like Michael Jordan, can turn around and hate everyone else whose skin is darker than theirs.
This blog post does not circle back around to the opening. It has no answers for the question. I wish I did. I have learned though, that you cannot change people’s minds much. If they want to hate someone because they are black, they will. If they want to hate their President, they will. If they want to believe every stupid rumor they will. I just wonder — what can make a person learn to think for themselves and not believe every stupid rumor they hear, no matter how illogical it is.