Suckling at the Teat of Racism

As a kid growing up in a rural NYS town just outside of NYC, my classroom, school, church and neighborhood were pretty much a sea of white faces. At the time it seemed that Catholics and Jewish folk were about as exotic as we got. Yet I can remember to this day my father telling the story of being accosted because he helped a black woman.

Dad was in the Army on a base down south. This was at a time when that neighborhood at least did not seem to have a love affair with the Military – Industrial Complex. Places of business sported signs saying, “dogs and soldiers not allowed”. Dad was rushing into a grocery store and bumped into a woman coming out, knocking the bag from her arms. Being a gentleman he apologized profusely and helped her to gather up her groceries. The enraged storekeeper rushed out, threw the woman’s groceries into the street and harangued Dad for helping a N*****!
I don’t know how a young man from the wilds of upper-upstate NY grew up to be accepting of other folks. Perhaps growing up in a place and an era when the locals served as ‘the help’ to the upper crust in their vacation ‘camps’, gave him a certain camaraderie with others in low stations. I know the experience shook him greatly.
My point being that Dale Hansen is right. Kids often mirror what they see in their parents and their community. With the right light, they can mirror the best.

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” – Albert Einstein. In case you missed it, this is why everyone is talking about Dale Hansen.

Posted by WFAA-TV on Friday, February 27, 2015