Spruce Pine, NC
Having grown up poor and white in the deep south in the 1960’s, it was common to hear racial slurs whispered among my white classmates, but never directed in anger at my black or brown friends. Before segregation we all went to the same local school; rich, poor, black, brown or white. But when the buses rolled in to take us all from our mixed local school to a black neighborhood 20 miles away in Savannah, our lives were forever changed for the worse. Within a few short years, my black and brown friends were forced to choose between the city blacks and their “honky” friends that they had grown-up with. In Savannah and throughout the south affirmative action, segregation, and busing triggered the end of the lower white middleclass dream for a better life. Our standard of living had been lowered to help rich white guilt pay for the crimes against poor African Americans.