The Things I'Ve Learned To Notice.Growing up in Southern Ohio is very interesting. You can learn everything there is to learn in about a month and yet years later they still surprise you in how much acceptance and ignorance can come from it's people. Oddly enough, those to things come from the polar opposites of where you think you might find them in Southern Ohio society.
If it isn't obvious by now, I'm in a interracial marriage. Also, my relationship is the often lesser seen of the two types of interracial couples in my neck of the woods, she's a black women and I a white man. I guess I should give a little more background info though, huh.
We met in college about five years ago, we've only been married for one year though. A lot of our experiences came while we were waiting to get married. Side note: we waited because we got married on February 29th. Side note aside, almost all the racism we've experienced together, did not come from where I had anticipated it.
I guess times have changed form the early 90's. As a poor kid growing up in a "redneck" town. You come to expect the guys waiving the confederate flag and screaming the "N" word while they are drunk to be the racist ones' in the bunch. For a time they were, as time has progressed people have changed and so has the face of racism, in my area.
No longer do you see the white hoods of The Klan, or the Neo Nazi flags. Hell, I'm down to seeing one confederate flag in the whole town. Thank God that its only on the back of this one guy's jacket. No, today racism has taken on a new face, it's become an educated one.
In the first couple years of our relationship I thought there was no real, substantial, amount of racism in my area. I was wrong and blind! As it turned out, the people I protected my wife from were, for the most part, not the lesser fortunate or "hillbillies" as I tend to say. I say hillbillies because that tends to be what my family is maid up of, lol. It was the people I didn't protect her from, the well off and/or the educated. By educated I mean the people who have had a higher education.
It's sad really, how a little privilege and some education can make such a bad combination. Now, I must also say that I do not find this true of everyone of influence and/or intelligence. We have just encountered it so much in the last five years.
You might be asking in what ways could they have been racist. For some it was the staring or snickers or even a unsavory comment. For others it has been a blatant snooty attitude displayed upon our recognition in a room. My favorite is the peculiar "I'm not racist" mantra that people my age tend to spout. I find it odd because they tend not to know anything about racism either way. It's almost like they are needing your acceptance of them for being accepting of you. It's an odd paradox that I simply tend to think of racist because the people in question still tend to say or do racist things. Especially thinking that it is now cool for them to say the "N" word. I mean what the hell, if I said that around my father-in-law my *** would be beat up one side and down the other! I love you dad, just say'n.
After being together for as long as we have, we still notice every once in a while but it just makes us laugh.