I trusted adults that taught hate.

Stan Pitts
Anchorage, AK

I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and was 10 years old during the fateful year 1963. My father was a Birmingham Police officer terribly conflicted between upholding the law and the treatment of the civil rights participants. My trusted adults and role models, the church leaders, scout masters, and teachers, taught me that while “all men are created equal” and that “Jesus loved the little children of the world”, it really meant white men and white children. I didn’t have a black classmate until high school, and my last two years were wracked by school-wide violence, especially during sporting events. I didn’t realize I was a racist until I was drafted and exposed to new people and ideas. I struggled with prejudice until my daughter married a black man. He is a wonderful person, husband and father and they have been happily married for twelve years. I asked my daughter why she married him, knowing the difficulties of bi-racial relationships, especially where she lives in Texas. To my surprise, she said that I had taught her to respect and care about all people, and that’s what she did. I cried.

 

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