I have recently been reminded by the blogworld that we have come so far, yet have so many more steps to go. A fellow blogger had an interesting conflict with an employee. It had to do with stereotypes and, more than likely, just plain ignorance. It has been at the forefront of my mind since I heard about it.
I am a minority to the United States and I guess to European nations. I am Native American on my mothers side. I am a true Heinz 57 on my fathers (German, Scottish, Czech). Or you can say I ™m Czottman! I grew up in a bi-racial home. But whatever I am, I ™m a shade or four darker than some. On the flip side, a shade or four lighter than others.
How has that affected my life? Greatly. I have been called hateful things as a child. For being white, and also for being Indian. I have been left behind by my authority in school as punishment. You're Indian right? Yeah. You stay here and count to 20. Then you can come.
I recently read a book titled The Wednesday Sisters. It talks about women around the late 60's early 70's and the world's transition at that time. While reading, all I could think about was my mother. Graduated Suma Cum Laude. Received her Bachelor and Master degree's in English in three years. A woman in 1971. A Native American woman in 1971. On top of her gender and race, she wanted to teach on the college level. It was a battle, people. And in the end, she won. She taught English until she died. But in my parents personal life, it was also a battle. They were a married bi-racial couple in 1970. You can imagine some of the things they faced.
Fast forward to 1994. I married my best friend, Amos. We are also a bi-racial couple. But things have changed, right? Yes. They have quite a bit. But do we still get looks in certain areas? Yes. Most definitely. Have I been told that people who marry another race are only hurting their children? Absolutely. Do my children have to deal with some of the same prejudice and racial comments I did? Most definitely.
Prejudice is still out there. I know that. It is in every town and still in so many households. It doesn't go away with a bill being passed, voting rights, or with a black President. It is an idea that has to be flushed out generation by generation. I for one am on the fast track to flushing it out of my family. I took a mental picture of my son a couple of months ago, playing with a pale white boy and a very dark boy. They live on either side of us and I know those boys didn't see it, but I did. It was unity. Acceptance. They just wanted friends to play football with. Their weight, their height, the way they dressed, or the color of their skin was not determining that friendship. I hope I never forget that picture I took. It is a reminder of what we should be. What I should be. And if these boys stay with that idea, maybe they will be the generation that changes for good. We will see.