What are an individual's views and attitudes towards those who belong to a different race or culture is always determined by the type of attitudes they observed from those who raised them. From the information they received?or most likely didn't--regarding the problem of racism in our society. And from the misinformation they were bombarded with, and never clarified, during their early years.
Around the same time the events in Ferguson again shoved the issue into the comfort of our living rooms, my son told me about something that both gave me hope, and reminded that when we despise those too quick to pull the race card, we are often directing our anger at the wrong group of people.
Home for the summer during school break, my son worked at a local cafe in downtown Palo Alto. This place is on the ground floor of an office building.
One day, as he wiped tables on the patio of the cafe, the private security guard for the building approached him, and politely asked him whether he could help him with something.
"Of course, go ahead", my son replied.
"Does a Black guy with dreadlocks work here?"
"Yes, my son answered. Why?"
"Just needed to know. People who work up in the offices reported some suspicious activity. They have seen him sitting out by the back entrance."
"Oh yeah? Well, tell them he works here."
"It ruined my day to see that people can be so mean and ignorant." My son told me when he came home from work.
"And you know what's very sad?: This guy is one of the nicest people. And because he is early to work every day, he sits by the back door to wait for his shift to start. Besides, he always has his apron on, what do they suspect he's doing outside the kitchen?"
There are many things that make me proud of my children.
Their understanding of how racism works and how it affects innocent human beings is one of the biggest.
Let me say it again: No child is born being racist and prejudiced. Whatever they play out on others as soon as they have the opportunity to, is all instilled and learned from the adults they grew up with.
Whether it happens with intention or by omission, it doesn't take us off the hook.
Tell me again. Who is constantly pulling the race card, and on whom?