Cant' We All Just Get Along  

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I just don't get it. I have never considered myself driven by much in the way of race. I live in a predominately Hispanic community, mostly Mexican. We are a farming town (or were). It was pretty common to have more friends that were brown skinned than white. We didn't think much of it, but there were some parents that made funny looks or made comments that we didn't understand. We learned later what the comments meant. Being called a cracker or white bread was not a big deal to me, mostly cause I didn't know it was supposed to be insulting at the time.

As I got older, and developed friendships from a greater area than just school. I still normally hung out with mostly Mexican or at least half Mexican friends. Don't get me wrong I had white friends as well, and even a couple of black friends, although there weren't many black families around my little slice of the world.

I joined the military and was told that there was no longer black white brown or yellow. We were all green. Dark green or light green, but green all the same. I wasn't taught to look at a skin color to decide if somebody would like me or for that matter if I would like them. I was taught that people that shared my interests, had my values, or hung tough to their loyalties would be the people that I would want to look for as friends. Not if they had the right skin color.

My kids don't look at color when deciding friendship, my parents told me not to, and my children will teach their children not to. Yet I wonder if that is the right way to go anymore. I am hearing more and more that if I'm conservative, I must have a deep seated racist side. I have been told that I might not even be aware of it, but that I was raised to be afraid of people that are different than me and that don't share my ideals.

I didn't realize that somebody else had such a good grasp of my life and my standards. It's good to know that there are those that are out there offering their generalization of society though. It especially comforting to know that they have taken it upon themselves to tell me what a hateful person I am, and how I will probably never really understand the true issues that face our country.

Well be that as it may, I think that I will continue on living my life the way I have. I think I'll continue to befriend people that have similar interests, that are of like values, maybe somebody that makes me laugh, or offers an ear when I'm upset. I think that I will continue to try and judge people for what they do, and not for what skin color they happen to be born with.

I have Italian grandparents, and German/Irish grandparents, but I don't think that people are generally judging me by that, so why should I judge someone else because they have grandparents from somewhere else? It's all silly and it's gone from unsettling to irritating, to downright annoying.

We now have the Congressional Black Caucus, the Democratic Hispanic Caucus, and the Republican Hispanic Conference. For a country that is supposedly working past racial division, that certainly does seem to be pretty divisive. I don't know I guess I am just a crazy cracker after all to think that huh?

To those of you that are prone to judging by color, and being offended by those same comments. Here is a bit of advice. Toughen your skin a little bit. Words are just that words, and yes they can be powerful when used certain ways, but they only have as much power as we give them. I don't remember who said it, but the saying went. "The man who looks for racism is sure to find it." I guess that makes me sexist for using that quote because I didn't mention women, children or farm animals huh? Everything can be taken the wrong way and anybody can get offended by nothing more than a misunderstanding by one person.

I might not have agreed with anything else Rodney King had to say, but I have to give him credit for that one little quote. "Can't we all just get along?"

This entry was posted at Saturday, September 26, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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