Hi Everybody, not sure if this should be classified as a rant as i have a valid observation behind this post so mods feel free to move wherever. The
point of this post is to share the story of one of my great grandmothers, and racism she experienced throughout her life.
Well a little about myself, i come from a pretty large family and have lots of family members in circles that are completely separate from each other,
as on one side are a group of wealthy Car Dealership owners here in Vegas, another side has some property and business owners and proud alumni of BYU
residing in Park City and Salt Lake City, UT.
Another side of the family comes from new york city, whom they themselves had been the first generation born in America from Sicily..and moved out
here to Las Vegas over 50 years ago to open Verrazano's pizza and Villa Pizza ( if you live in Vegas you have probably heard of it! ) . Another side
of my family are all natives of the Las Vegas valley and have lived here since the town began, while my great grandpa enlisted after Pearl harbor into
the Navy and survived multiple large scale combat operations, my great uncle was chief of fire for around twenty years, and a great aunt was a
prominent city official for a number of years in the 60's and 70's.
ANOTHER side is stemmed from another great grandpa, who was a Hungarian born acrobat who came to Vegas back in the 60's, who later married a Japanese
woman who happened to be the daughter of one of the great masters of calligraphy in japan at the time. And last but not least, one more side of the
family is African American, coming from countless generations of Iowa born natives, they lost track of their lineage somewhere around the 1890's. Well
on this side of the family for a number of years there oldest member was 94 years old, and she was not very shy about talking about how it was while
she was growing up.
In fact she was so experienced in the ways of dealing with ignorance i could not help but sit and listen for however long she decided to tell her
stories, just for the sheer fact of the wisdom she emanated while speaking on the subject. Now her father at the time, lived a very hard life. He was
a half black half white poor man in the slums of a country town in Iowa, early 30's. Now the reason it is kind of an important fact to note that he
was mixed, is because of this there whole family was racially discriminated against by both the black, and white communities!
In those day she told me the Man was the head of the house, the direction of the house, and the will of the house! A mans position at that time was
the families position, so naturally her father suffered greatly knowing there was not much he could do for his family. When the war started, My great
grandmother in law was around 16 years old, and her father could not enlist due to hearing issues. As well as being in a part of Iowa where virtually
no manufacturing jobs existed, and the depression was still taking its toll the family continued to suffer.
Shun between communities, she told me about how they only had a couple friends, most of who were also mixed, there were only two other families in
town that were known to be mixed and they were treated much the same. In school, she was picked on by the white kids, and the black children as well,
she even says most days she would plan on not drinking water while at school, or drinking it from the faucet in the bathroom if nobody was in there,
because that's where most of the harassment took place.
And don't think the teachers cared, as she puts it in those days the adults taught the children the way. But through it all, even though her family
was also shunned from every church in town, she held no ill will against anybody. All through it, her father kept telling them "that's just the way it
is", and having a large family with around six children, they all realized they had each other and that was enough.
Well through all of her stories, i began to realize how she perceived it all. I began to see how racism was simply an act of being totally ignorant of
another persons perspective. To see that even in a time like that, the race who was discriminated the most continued to pass it on as she puts it,
"just a cruelly" down to their family Giving them a double dose DAILY.
Is it any wonder the hate hasn't stopped at all here today? Is it any wonder Slightly different races worldwide continue to fight each other? Or that
modern American men still exist who are truly uncomfortable with the idea of a president who does not share their skin color?
is it any mystery why the hate continues to be perpetuated? It more and more begins to seem like a trait of insecurity, a trait of those who feel an
unknown fear because of lack of understanding. A trait of not caring because their neighbors might shun them. A trait of group mentality!
My great grandmother in law had no community, only family. And she went on to live a very successful life, four children, a husband, college! it may
have been fifteen years after she graduated high school but college is college! She ended up being a social worker, and helping many families and
individuals with her caring attitude and spirit.
My point is that she was not the only one, her siblings lived just as righteously, and they had no community to cling to, they had no group to try and
impress. Of all my family, there have been so many trials and accomplishments from different people, her stories ring the loudest in my mind. She
lived through adversity and refused to keep the circle of "racism creating racism" going, she refused to keep the hate alive!
So in the end, she passed in 2009, just a few months after Barack Obama was inaugurated, and regardless of your political affiliation, to see it from
her eyes was literally a triumph, and it reminded me and her that this was what America is about. After her whole life, after everything she
experienced, not only did she see equality rise, she saw it rise in one of the most ultimate ways possible! She saw people unite like never before,
and in the end it may have been a materialistic society, but it is one where we stand side by side of each other regardless of race or color and
religion. She even got to see her granddaughter give birth to two children who happen to be mixed, and she got to watch them grow up in a world where
they are treated like everybody else, and not shunned for being who they were.
And in these trying times, that's a message i feel needs to broadcast louder than ever at the moment. We are all in this together, and that goes for
other nationalities as well. One people, one voice, even in joking the hate is spread!
No matter your affiliations, or your religious beliefs, in the end..we are all human..
We should be proud of our Diversity**, not the opposite!
edit on 14-10-2012 by POPtheKlEEN89 because: (no reason given)
edit on 14-10-2012 by POPtheKlEEN89 because: (no reason