I never think about racist people because, all my life, in every facet of my life, they were always there. Sometimes overtly but most times covertly, always there. It is impossible for White people to understand living through constantly watching your back, looking over your shoulder all your life, knowing they are always there. Literally. In fact, before I reached my teenage years, it was natural to be forever on guard for the comment, subtle action, where I am always, escape routes, and other things White people never have to consider as a life mechanism for protection.
As a child, as far back as I can remember, I was taught how to act, what to say and not say, around White people. I was especially taught to be on watch for the police and, as a child, I have seen the aggressive actions police have toward Black people. I learned that what a White person does and say is always right and a Black person is considered wrong while doing or saying the same exact thing.
It was drilled into my head many times that as a Black person, applying for a job, would have to know two or three times as much, be much better at, if not perfect, and present a better dress and attitude to even be considered than a White person. I remember my first real job where I did almost everything there was to do on the job except, I could not touch the cash register, I had to wait for a White clerk to receive the payment. I still remember some of the rude remarks made to me or about me when all I was doing was my job, silently. A White person would never bear that nor understand that. To the Black people, I was a big successful person because I was the only Black person working in an all-White store.
While in the military I endured, over and over, many rude comments, missed promotions, uncalled for actions but I made it to retirement. I was told, to my face (after the Bill of Rights was passed), that I could not be in a particular corps of military duty because I was Black, it took me three years to finally make it into the outfit and another four years to be its leader. However, I had to endure many, upon many racist attacks. I constantly watched my back and trusted no one at all.
Upon retiring from the military, I joined the police force and immediately met racism that was everywhere within the force. I have seen racist actions, heard racist comments and endured every type of racism there is. Who could I turn to? What could I do? Who could I trust? No one. If I did or said anything I could be like my cousin, the first Black policeman of the same force years ago, setup and killed.
Yes, I have been around it and have seen it all my life and the marching today are echoes of when I marched in the ‘60s. In my blogs, this one and http://www.faithingodministries.net, I often have said that history repeats itself with the only difference being the date. Blacks have died for thousands of years (it goes back to before the Pyramids) because of racism and it is not over yet. Although I would like to see the end of it all, I won’t hold my breathe. I have lived a full and interesting life and, today, I still watch my back. I am still very, very careful. I could be next. I could be stopped by the police for anything at all. I could be erroneously accused by a White person and be killed for being Black. I am in my 70s and I could be next.