Friday, May 16, 2014
Separate but Equal
So, you might have read my previous post about visiting Michigan. Most of it was lovely, just as I blogged. Unfortunately, on Mother's Day there was a very dark comment made towards my family at a restaurant, while celebrating that holiday. We were having a lovely breakfast. The restaurant features a lot of organic and vegetarian foods, which I love. We had received our food and everyone was busy eating when I heard something so troubling--such a throw back to olden times that I couldn't quite believe my ears.
An older white man was saying something I couldn't quite make out. He couldn't have said what I thought he said, I thought. Then he stood up, ready to leave the restaurant in a huff, and repeated what I thought I might have heard. "That's why things should remain separate but equal," he proclaimed, looking directly at me. My family is interracial. Apparently either he didn't like that or he thought my son and I should not be allowed to eat in the restaurant where he was, also with his family. Maybe it was both.
That hateful comment was designed to hurt. After leaving the restaurant for hours I was fuming. I texted my children that weren't with me but who know the area well, what had been said, as well as a couple of friends. They were all incredulous. "I thought everyone that thought that way was dead," said one of my sons. I knew people with such sentiments were still around. After all, the town where I grew up was segregated well into the 80's--heck it might still be. I don't visit there much. There is too much pain there.
I hesitated about posting this because mentioning it further only re-opens the wound that ignorant man carved. Still, we should never forget this ugly past of America. We also should be reminded of all the sacrifices made during the Civil Rights Movement so that we could eat and sleep wherever we chose.
To summarize--all I can say is how unfortunate to carry around such ignorant, hateful thoughts. Carrying around daggers like that can only do damage to the soul. That sentiment should remain where it is held--in the history books for educational purposes and enlightenment.