A Better America

My father was a career officer in the Air Force, and a racist. He passed his views onto me, so that when I was in kindergarten and met my first black classmate, I belittled him as inferior because he was black. Once.

Fortunately, my kindergarten teacher and my mother were not racists and helped me to understand that I had the wrong idea. A person with a different color of skin is still a person just like me, they said, with the same feelings and hopes as me. I was cured after one conversation.

My dad, on the other hand, had been a life-long racist, and he had lived much longer than me. He would be a tougher nut to crack. But my kindergarten teacher reported the incident to her superior, who reported it to hers, and eventually the complaint made its way to my dad’s commanding officer. My dad was ordered to change his views.

It took him a few months, but he did.

We must no longer tolerate racism in our country. We must no longer be quiet when someone belittles someone just because of their race no matter the consequences to ourselves. Tell them what you think. Tell them how you feel. Tell them their racism disgusts you.

This is a fight for the soul of our country. Let’s make it a fight to the finish.