“Oh, how exciting!! But I hear Boston is really racist.”
I was surprised by how many people said this or something similar when my family announced that we were moving north. 1) I guess I had never heard this, being from the South, and 2) We were coming from West Virginia, which pretty much has the same reputation, if not worse.
I recognize that many stereotypes stem from some truth in some people. But I’m not sure how clumping an entire city or state full of people into one terrible category is really any better than assuming things about me and mine because we’re black…
Anyway, if it’s a matter of some stupidity here and there, I can’t say it would be my first time dealing with it.
In VA I got followed by a truck full of guys waving Confederate flags.
In GA multiple black men told me and my husband that we’re “a damn shame.”
In WV a car full of teenagers shouted “Nigger” at me and some other black people that they passed. That was about a year after being told by an angry loser that I should stop trying so hard to be white.
In NC I was referred to as “that colored girl over there” by a guy that I was supposed to trust to fix my car.
None of these are mentioned to gain sympathy, but rather to let y’all know that fools are EVERYWHERE. Trying to avoid them will only make you tired, and you may miss out on some amazing opportunities. I wouldn’t be married to my best friend or have my precious daughter if I’d allowed my fear of homogeneity in West Virginia control me. And avoiding Boston would mean no job with some of the most renowned institutions in the world.
What’s more important – trying to protect yourself from discomfort, or grabbing it by the horns and becoming a stronger person? Don’t get me wrong, I will never accept it. I sure as hell don’t want my daughter exposed to things that I’ve experienced, and I’m sure that my mom felt the same way. So let’s do what we can to ease the blows and fight for change. The world can be a scary place, but living in fear isn’t living at all.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind
2 Timothy 1:7