I am as white as they come… Blonde hair, blue eyes; English, Swedish, Irish, German, French heritage… I grew up in Nebraska, surrounded by the ‘whitest’ people you can imagine. The first ‘black’ person I saw was a professional photographer when I was a toddler, and I was absolutely shocked (I have the pictures to prove it, even though I was too young to remember). Now, I am embarrassed for my 2 year old self; but if you have never seen a different skin color, what do you see?
I was lucky enough to have an open-minded mother who taught me to look beyond skin color, but to this day my father is still surprised when he meets a ‘colored’ person who he thinks is decent. I can’t count the number of racist, bigoted, small-minded comments I have heard from him, and from some of the people I grew up around. I just count myself lucky that one of my parents tried to make me look beyond color. Until we can break the impressions/presumptions/assumptions of racist people, that word should be as dirty as any other cuss words. To be racist should be an insult, and if someone accuses you of that, you should take a sharp look at yourself before you judge someone else based on a superficial characteristic, such as their skin color.