I Didn't Realize

How on earth my parents could raise me, in the 50s, and for me to have no idea at all that there was predjudice is beyond me.   I knew certain people had these ideas, but my mom made it clear to me that they were basically insane.  Our home was always filled with people from all over the world.  So much great variety of religion, background, and so many pretty colors too. (Well, that is how I saw it as a kid).  We even visited my dad's relatives in Tennessee, but Mom acted like maybe they had a screw loose, and I didn't think a lot of people felt that way.  I guess I was totally sheltered, and also living on military bases and in foreign lands, we had so much variety of people at school, church and at home, I was blissfully unaware I guess.  Which is easier to be when you are an only child and very shy anyway.

It didn't really dawn on me until my junior year when we moved to the mid-west and my dad had met a man who's son was the captain of the football team and took me over to meet them, thinking I would make a new friend before starting school.  So, he and I were talking and the first thing he said was "This year the "___" are coming to our school, and I am going to be ready to beat them up."  I was so shocked.  I told him what I thought of him, and bugged out of there.  Needless to say, when I started school my first day he was there to make fun of me as well.  Funny too, I ducked into a bathroom and three of the new girls at school said "We're gonna cut your blond hair off girl", and I laughed and said "Don't confuse me with this group, and also, this is not my hair, it is a fall, and ****, we could just take it off if it means that much to you".  They laughed too.  Actually, in that year, we managed to have some great times with everyone together.  They called them Zebra dances back then, yep...the schools did, and we had some good times. 

When Martin Luther King was shot, I was due to sing at a coffee house down town.  My friends called to tell me not to be there, as they knew what some of their other friends were about to do.  I'm glad I didn't go, because it burned in a matter of minutes.  No one was there because of the warning, so I am sure grateful for that.

Later, during the hippie movement, people seemed to get along really well too.  Then the Yuppie thing began and all hell broke lose.  I mean, seriously disco came into being, so what can I say?  Maybe that is what screwed up the path we were on.  But, seriously, people are a lot more open now in spite of what we hear from the media all of the time.  It is like I tell everyone, they can ***** as much as they want to about the "immigrants" but their daughters and sons are still going to be marrying them.  I'm sure glad mine did, or I'd not have the fantastic son-in-law and grand baby that I do. 
TodayNow TodayNow
5 Responses Jul 18, 2010

Ooops..yes a "fall" was like a wig, but just ...hmmm...well, like a large extension you can take on and off I guess.

That is so true, 4vrUnique, about making friends quickly. That was a shock to me entering civilian life. Civilians had time to make friends over a period of a lifetime, and making friends took much longer in their world than in the service where you knew time was short and you had to connect right away, as that person was probably moving soon or you were. <br />
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I'm wondering if the media isn't playing it up a lot more than exists. I have a feeling that keeping people divided is good for those in certain modes of power.

Yeah, I didn't understand that part either "this is not my hair, it is a fall, and sh*t". Does that mean you were wearing a wig? I'm not familiar with that term. <br />
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Army brats (the term for any child of a military family no matter which branch you parent served) always stick out. People are afraid to become your friend because you'll probably move away in 2-3 years anyhow. I've found military families are usually more friendly, I think because you are always moving around. <br />
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Ignorance and Racism exist anywhere. The new prejudice seems to be ethnicism (if that's such a word). People are judged ba<x>sed on their ethnicity. Yes, its been going on a long time, it just seems to be more in the media in the past few years.

I think they were on the defensive because so many of the kids who had been going to the school were being very unwelcoming and downright offensive. Also, I stood out a bit, having lived in so many places, I'm sure my fashion was different than the others, and it was such a limited time as far as any sort of freedom of ex<x>pression went, at least in that area of the country. <br />
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Thanks for reading, and commenting. I appreciate it. <br />
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I do think most people felt like your parents did. The media makes it sound as if everyone was "hippied out", but it was just a small percentage of the population. The most joyful part of it for me was all the sharing that went on. That was beautiful.

Oh how I would have loved to be there for Woodstock =) My parents think Woodstock was an embarrassment, that it millions of hippies doing drugs for three days is not admirable. They seem to miss the point. It was a music festival, not only that but it was one of the rarest points in time. A moment where we all seem to agree on the same music, and it creates a deep bond so unimaginable... <br />
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Anyways I didn't understand this part:<br />
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Funny too, I ducked into a bathroom and three of the new girls at school said "We're gonna cut your blond hair off girl", and I laughed and said "Don't confuse me with this group, and also, this is not my hair, it is a fall, and ****, we could just take it off if it means that much to you". They laughed too.<br />
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Why were they bugging you if they weren't racist? It sounded like they were going to cut your blonde hair off because they knew the football pla<x>yer who was also racist. And what does it mean "It's not my hair, it is a fall". Fall? Like the season?