Monday, September 8, 2014

Racism Still Exists

Yahoo - Hollywood Reporter - Denzel Washington Recalls Experiences with Discrimination and N-Word Insults.

Mr. Washington was asked about filming in Boston and mentioned how 30 years ago he attended his wife's one woman show and was called a "nigger" and "boy". I was attending college in Boston at around the same time and lived in an apartment with some other students and they were all "liberal". One day one of the other students told me how he wasn't a bigot but always felt uncomfortable when he saw blacks who owned dogs. He couldn't see them in control.

A day or two after I wrote my last post about racism, I was telling an older friend of mine about what I had seen back in the 60s when a black man and his family were thrown out of a restaurant because it was for whites. My friend had lived during the Watts riots but said he had never seen white only restaurants. He may have and not noticed, he had no reason to lie to me, he is one of my dearest friends and the conversation was in relative privacy.

The thing is that people don't notice what they don't look for. A couple of years ago I was with a black female friend of mine, we were taking a short business trip and rented a room together. She is great fun to be around and we walked around San Diego talking business and people watching. We didn't get any strange looks or attitude. We walked past a couple of gay couples and they didn't seem to get any attitude; but, we had no way of knowing what people were thinking. This happened after my divorce and a couple of my children asked me why my friend and I didn't date. The truth is, we didn't want to ruin our friendship, she was more like a sister. She attended a black church and it was her church members who questioned her being with me. We were working on a business deal and one of our partners disagreed with a decision we were making and told her she should support him because he was black and I was not. She dropped him.

Things are not as bad as they were in the 60s; but, that doesn't mean that bigotry has gone away. We still have Nazis in America and Klansmen and we still have Louis Farrakhan; but, it is not as bad as it was. What we cannot forget is that just because it is not as bad does not mean bigotry has ended. Maybe people just hide it better.

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