That was the line my husband threw at me whenever we argued about his burgeoning racism. I had grown up in a small lily-white town in Oregon where, he told me, it is easy to love all the races because they aren’t your next-door-neighbors. I hadn’t lived through the LA riots and had to barricade my neighborhood while they waited 3 days for police to show up. I had never had a gun pointed at my head simply for being white. I didn’t have to ride a bus to another school across town as part of desegregation. He knew more about history than anyone I knew, he read constantly, he was intelligent, artistic, musical, smart, funny, and … racist. I fell in love before I really saw this side of him and once I became really aware, I didn’t know how to counter his arguments. Not to mention he turned me on my head in regards to my own stereotypes of what a racist should look like. I knew in my gut he was wrong but he was right, I hadn’t had his experiences so I began to question myself. The thing I realized as I found my inner strength was that everyone, every single person on this planet deserves their OWN chance to show me what type of person they really are, not based on snap judgments. And even the guy who might be holding a gun to my head has a story, a reason, probably unspeakable things that happened before he got to that point and even that guy deserves a chance. In the end I couldn’t let our children grow up with his toxic diatribe and had to leave him, but I remembered that he too had lived through unspeakable things to get him to that point.