When I was a young child I lived in an area where there were no people of color. My family went to visit my grandparents and while I was playing I saw a kid who was black. I had never seen anyone that had skin color other than my own, at least not in person. I was curious and interested and said in a friendly tone “Are you a real n*****?” The boy, who was older than me, came and punched me in the face.
I didn’t know that what I said was wrong. I had heard it once on TV and since we never had a need to speak of people of color (since they were none around us in our daily lives) I never knew how to address a person’s color. I was just a young kid amazed and interested, who didn’t know.
I wish I could go back and apologize to that young man. I think I may have accidentally hurt him more than he hurt me that day.