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.

20 comments:

  1. I wish he would read this and that his heart would be opened. I'm glad you shared your story. What a terrible ugly intrusion on your beautiful day.

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    1. Donna, I was in the right place at the wrong time. Perhaps he will come upon this space at the right time. Who knows? It's a good thought anyway. Thank you!

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  2. I'm so sorry to hear such a horrible story .... my heart goes out to you - I would have been fuming mad too and probably would have screamed at his bigotry. Many people of that generation seem incapable of moving on .... but they'll not be around forever.
    Blessings to you and yours

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  3. Fil, I'm not sure when this will situation will actually end, judging from the amount of hate crimes we have in this country. Hopefully, I'm around to see it when it does change once and for all. Many blessings to you as well!

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  4. The good news is, with each generation, that sort of thinking seems to be dwindling. Younger people are much more accepting of other races--in fact most of us don't see someone as a race. They are a PERSON. It makes me so angry to hear things like that, but I feel sorry for the person saying it. How sheltered and sad a life must they have led to have not been able to open their minds to meeting great new people?

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  5. That is terrible! I can't stand ignorant people like that, and I'm so sorry that happened during your Mother's Day breakfast. My sister is Asian. She was adopted from the Philippines and her husband is black. So my nephews are half/half and I love them with every fiber of my being. Her husband calls me his "little sister". :) And ever since I was 12 I said I was going to adopt a baby girl just like my sister, which is still a dream of mine. <3 My other sister's husband is Puerto Rican. So we have a very diverse family and I wouldn't have it any other way!

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    1. Oh my Chrys! Your family sounds so interesting and diverse! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  6. Sorry you experienced that! One hateful comment by a close-minded racist person can really ruin your day!

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    1. Sherry, I agree with you 100%. Thank you!

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  7. Let it roll off your back. Especially with older people, I've come to realize you can't argue with them. Their minds are too set in a certain way. All you can do is wish them well and move on, I guess.
    Sorry that you had this experience. It had to be extremely unsettling.

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    1. Stephanie I hadn't thought about it that way but I see what you mean. Thank you!

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  8. Hi Stephanie, there's always a reminder of cruelty in the world, people who are narrow minded and so fixed and conditioned. It's a reflection of them, not of you.

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    1. That is very true Susan. It is painful to encounter but I realize I shouldn't put energy into it. The energy just feeds and waters it, allowing the negativity to grow.

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  9. Since moving to Florida I've been called the N word, told to go back to Africa and more to my face. As a columnist, I've been called a number of derogatory names in emails and online based solely on my race. Racism is alive and well. We are definitely moving forward but we can't heal what we won't face. The very people who don't want us to talk about it are the ones keeping us from healing. Thanks for sharing your story.

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    1. How horrible! That must make is even more challenging to adjust to a new location. I am sorry to hear about your experiences abd thank you for sharing your heartfelt comment.

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    2. I am sorry you had to go through that..i cant believe there are such narrow minded people in this modern times.......hope he realises the value of words and the fact that we are our thoughts....hope he realises how he hurt another fellow human being.......hope he reads this so that noone else have to go through this...thanks for sharing.......

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  10. Athira, your wishes are well put. You put some great energy out into the universe I hope and pray the people that need it, like that guy in the restaurant, receive it!

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