“H-ate manifests itself on the playground. My family relocated to this little Indiana town three years ago. We didn’t know anyone when we first arrived. My boyfriend worked for a local firm that rented us a nice apartment to start off in.
New Albany was the name of the city from where we had relocated. My bir-acial kids and I grew up in that town and lived there for many years. At her very first school, my eldest daughter faced r-acial prejudice and har-assment. I couldn’t even wait for my child to adjust to Kindergarten before ex-posing her to ra-cism. In fact, it was this that caused the change. I didn’t have the patience as a mother to sit around and wait for parents to regain control of their children. The school system seemed utterly unconcerned about how my kid was being treated.
We relocated to a new city, and I registered my kid in their educational system. We saw a significant change right away! We have been greeted cordially during our time in this city; neighbors wave and chat to us readily.
My daughter’s school experience improved dramatically, and her grades reflected the change in environment.
My fiance leave this world only a few months after we moved here. Everything we had constructed had cr-umbled all around us. I’ve discovered that my kids and I are trying to make ends meet. Everywhere I looked for assistance, I was turned down because, in their words, “you help yourself too much to obtain our support.” As a result, for about a year, my children and I were compelled to devote all of our time to devising solutions. We lacked a support structure, as well as relatives and friends who could help us in our time of need.
I worked out how to work as a freelancer to at least keep the rent and food on the table. Slowly, we began to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we were able to get back out into the world this summer to travel and find happiness. Our second excursion to appreciate our little community was a visit to the city’s lone park. It’s a really cute small park. For this park, there are two parking lots. The one on the left faces north, while the one on the right faces south.
It was a lovely day. My children and one other kid were on the playground. My children are bir-acial and I’m white, and we’ve never had a problem with anyone in this community. So when the other kid, who happened to be white, approached my children and asked if they preferred to play in the rock pile, I didn’t think much of it. My children like making new friends and eagerly accepted the invitation.
I could see how wonderfully the girls were playing together, and it seemed like they were having a fantastic time. After about 20 minutes, I noticed a middle-aged White-skinned woman approaching the youngsters. I saw her pull her daughter a-way from the rock pile the girls were building together, spoke to her for a second, then left the kid at the playground.
The mother returned to the playground for the third time in a row a few seconds later! Her mother was very fru-strated at this point.
What she said to her child was audible to me. ‘I don’t want you associating with those (N-word) kids!’ she added emphatically.
I was watching the little girl’s behavior as her mother departed the playground for the last time. She was standing behind the massive slide, staring through the bars towards her mother’s automobile. This poor child was hoping that her mother would be distracted so she could return to playing with my kids.
I got up from my bench and walked forward to greet the mother, deciding that enough was enough. ‘Hi, how are you doing?’ I replied as I went squarely into her line of sight. ‘Hi, hang on,’ she murmured as she stared through me to see her child. ‘I need to get my youngster to q-uit playing with those other kids.’ ‘What do you mean, those bl-ack girls over there?’ I inquired. She looked at me as though she realized she’d chosen the wrong words. ‘Oh no, we don’t know who they are; it would make me feel safer if she didn’t play.’
‘I just want you to know, those b-lack girls you’re so ter-rified of are MY daughters,’ I told her. They are caring and lovely people. What I don’t see is why you’d want to interrupt her being such a considerate kid just so you could come down here and educate her how to be a r-acist like you?
‘I’m sorry, I simply didn’t know them,’ she murmured, looking at me. ‘I don’t want my child to play with strangers.’ ‘If you’re so worried, why are you driving all the way out here in your car?’ I asked. ‘You should be dis-graced of yourself going to a playground and messing with innocent kids on the playground,’ I told her afterwards. ‘I’m not going to put up with it.’
With regard to the acceptance and tolerance of others, we still have a long way to go. We continue to enable individuals to indulge themselves in their stu-pidity for whatever reason, and it is proliferating like a di-sease.