Growing up, my race was the majority. Yes, I saw other races in my every day life, but my neighborhood, my school and my church were predominately full of blacks. This was my normal. Yes, there were neighborhood or school fights, but nothing was racially provoked. If there was an issue it had more to do with gangs or drugs. I was never treated differently because of my skin color. I was never called out of my name or treated differenly by another race.
In my school, of course we were taught about slavery, The Civil Rights Movement and all of the Blacks that paved the way to help us gain rights. I thank God for my ancestors, their prayers, their fight and their innocent blood that was shed on my behalf. All this evil because of a darker complexion of skin. How ridiculous.
College was different. My race became the minority. Yet, everyone seemed to not care about race. I did met some people who had never been around a black person growing up. I thought that was odd, nevertheless, they still seemed friendly. I can’t say that there wasn’t racism present, I can only say I didn’t experience it.
As I matured and became an adult, I’ve been blessed to meet all types of people. If they didn’t like me, I couldn’t tell. I’ve been blessed to encounter some of the greatest people ever that were different races and religions.
Now, I live in the South, in a state people say is full of racist people. I suppose there are some. There are probably racist people every where, but I refuse to treat anyone differently. I smile and I’m kind. I truly believe God has his hand on my life and he shields me from unnessary foolishness.
Recently, I went to see the movie Selma. These types of movies always give you a greater appreciation for what others have done for you, but at the same time have you feeling some type of way when you leave the theater.
When I went to work that following Monday, my mind tried to convince me that the white patients didn’t want to be seen by me. And so I called a seventy-nine year old white man back to my room. I kindly introduced myself and took his vitals. He wasn’t rude or mean, he just didn’t say much, nor did he smile much. He just allowed me to clean his teeth as he sat there in silence. I was in such inner turmoil and the man hadn’t done a thing to me. I honestly, just wanted the appointment to end because in my mind he didn’t like me.
When the appointment was over I walked him to the front to check out and to my surprise, he turned around, shook my hand and kindly thanked me for cleaning his teeth while addressing me by my name.
I could have hugged him!
I left his prescence relieved and happy that although my mind was trying to convince me otherwise, in the end all things worked out for my good. Another satisfied patient.