Wasn’t taught “discriminate…so I don’t.

Christina Hermann
Mentor, OH

My dad was in the military so we knew and were friends with people of other races from other countries. Like any other community you’re friends with whomever you get to know and have a connection with. However like everyone else I was exposed to media and fed a culture of fear…that I had something to fear from certain people. Sometimes I struggled with my experiences versus some people’s perceptions. I remember as a teen in the 80’s driving around at night and pulling over to ask someone for directions. When he turned around, that someone was an African American boy about my age. My girlfriend immediately locked her door. He said with disdain, “Relax, I ain’t gonna rape you.” I immediately apologized for her behavior and our exchange was brief and pleasant. I’ll never forget that look of insult on his face though. Hurting someone, even if it’s their pride is something I never want to cause anyone to experience.


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