Yo, dumbass white honky mother f*****

U-City-Yearbook-1983Rudy Owens,
Portland, OR.

So, you want six words?

Here are six I heard so many times I can’t even count them. They came in various themes on being a “honky” or “f*****” or “dumba**.” They weren’t intended to provoke, to share hatred, and to demonstrate power. They were repetitively used by many people, my peers at my high school (a majority African American high school in the St. Louis metro area) in the early 1980s. I was in the minority, and I am Caucasian. There really has been no Race Card story I have heard on your show that highlights that racism is a two-way street that can sometimes impact groups in ways that flip the conversation. I have not really heard a very hard conversation that no group, regardless of their race, is immune from this problem that is universal in scape and human at its core. (For reference, I reference Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, where he states that sometimes those in the prison could be the cruelest and those who were guards were not all evil, as a way of framing the universality of choices made by all of us, every day, to do good or bad.) Maybe you will take this on. I can assure I was not the only one who was baited with hateful words and a lot more. But that’s called life, and no one said it was supposed to be without challenges. The trick is to master your response to these challenges and grow. So, here’s a chance for the Race Card Project to grow. Enjoy your work and keep it up.

Rudy Owens
Essay on public school and race I wrote: http://iwonderandwander.rudyfoto.com/2013/09/09/making-the-case-for-public-schools-the-highest-stakes-poker-game-around/


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