How to End Racism in One Generation
By John Ceccon
If you are a couple who are about to have a child, listen up.
Whenever I see news reports of or witness acts of racism, I get aggravated – really really aggravated. I don’t point fingers, I don’t pick sides, I blame racists as well as their victims, because, in my experience, the victims of racism usually become racists themselves. Right about now, you’re probably engaging in some form of judgement of me. Don’t worry about me, just teach your kids right.
I remember coming home from my first day in the first grade at Cathedral Grammar School in 1963 and my mother asking me about it. She asked me some of the questions you would expect a mother to ask her child after the first day. She asked me if I liked the Catholic nuns and if they were nice. Well – I didn’t, and they weren’t. (i’ll get to that in another rant) She also asked me if I made any new friends, which I did. I told her I met this “nigger boy” named Harold. I was seven years old, it was 1963 and I only knew of three words used to describe black people – nigger, colored, and negro. At seven years old, I had no way of knowing that in the 60’s, negro or colored was considered to be politically correct words, and nigger was not. After hearing my innocently ignorant description of Harold, my mother and I had a little talk about all God’s children. She taught me. She taught me right. From that point on I was OK. It was like this weight of the future had been removed rom my shoulder.
I don’t ever recall my mother, father, or grandmother (who owned the house we lived in) referring to a black person as a nigger. I don’t ever remember them watching a news report on TV of, say, a black person robbing a bank and hearing them say “what do you expect with THOSE people”. We lived right next to Chinatown, and yet, I don’t ever recall my mother, father, or grandmother referring to a Chinese person as a chink. Never heard them call a Puerto Rican a spick. Interestingly enough, my parents friends also reflected this mindset. We lived in a racially mixed neighborhood. When we hung out in there park, there were no groups of blacks, or whites that were exclusive. We all hung out together. Because of this, I have always lived on the periphery of racism.
I was like butterfly wings – not yet touched by racism.
I have two children, and guess what? They have never heard me, or their mother call a black person a nigger. They have never heard me refer to an Asian person a chink. They have never observed me watching a news report on TV of, say, a black person robbing a bank and hearing them say “what do you expect with THOSE people”. MY friends reflect my non-racist mindset. My children see who I interact with and how they treat people. The story goes on, and so does the teaching, but it doesn’t end there. Yes, the teaching goes on. Fours years ago, my daughter had a son. Guess what?……………… Yeah, thats right. Guess what words she uses around her son to describe a black, asian, or hispanic person.
Teach your kids right people!
If you hate someone that you have never met and know nothing about, you’re part of the problem – please stop! If you hate someone because they hate you – you’re part of the problem – please stop!
Copyright 2015 John Ceccon. All rights reserved.