Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Breaking Down of Racial Barriers

The other day, I was sitting outside with my husband and we were watching some kids playing in the neighborhood. They were 3 boys, oldest probably about 13, skate boarding down the street. They were doing pretty decent, no one fell and broke their butts. As we were watching them streak by on their boards, I couldn't help but notice a change in things, the boys, 2 were Hispanic, one was black.

Now, allow me to explain this before you go saying..."well what the hell does that have to do with anything?"

The reason I point this out is when I was young, skaters where white. Just some low class white kids with nothing to do but see how far they could push it before they broke a bone, or worse. In fact, not only were they white, but, if a black kid tried to skateboard, they were considered a "poser" So much has changed. I see the teenagers walking from the other neighborhood down the street, and they are all colors, hanging out together, laughing together, dating each other. To me it's like looking at the colors of the world finally deciding to come together and make a rainbow. I go to the grocery store, and see so many parents, grand parents, with children who are mixed. I see on TV, commercials depicting inter racial couples, even homosexual couples. To me, this is beautiful, amazing, and such a wonderful breath of fresh air.

Not saying the problems of race are gone, by no means. I am saying that it has come a long way...a LONG way in a short amount of time. I remember the "Rodney King" incident, how the racial tensions really hit a pentacle then. People were fighting for nothing but the color of their skin. In my school, I remember clearly a time when I was sitting outside at lunch, and a Vietnamese kid came running out of the school, scared to death, and not far behind, a group of black kids were chasing him. I remember thinking then how ridicules it was. When I began high school, a good friend (she was white) and myself were escorted into the school by the older brother of a friend (he was black) so that people could see WE weren't to be messed with. A very good depiction of the racial tensions when I was in school is in the movie, "Freedom Writers" I highly recommend that movie.

Now though, I watch people, and all though there is still racism, in the younger generation, it's like a joke. They joke about it. No one is kicked aside because of their race. No one is left out because of their sexual orientation. In fact, the younger generation look at the older generation like they are idiots. I can hear them now, "Uh, hello, what makes YOU better then someone else?" The younger generation does not see color, gender, sexuality, they see friends.

 As we still have a long way to go, I think we are running FULL speed to the path of equality. No longer taking baby steps, we are hopping, skipping, and jumping to it and for most of the younger generations, it's "uncool" to be raciest....DUH!!

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