Posts tagged “racism

Racism in Modern Day America

Marcus and Mason - Idyllwild, CA - 2005

A few years back, we had a cabin in the beautiful mountain village of Idyllwild, CA. We cherished our weekends there, and talked often of moving up permanently. Our unique family of two white gay dads and two African American boys never seemed to garner even a raised eyebrow. We had many friends and felt incredibly connected to “the hill” and its inhabitants.

Then, one day while driving through town up to our cabin, we passed the village’s ultra-tacky Christmas store, only to see a Confederate flag hanging outside.

That flag hung in my thoughts all weekend.  Why would a Christmas store fly a Confederate flag?  What did it mean for us?  For the community?  What underlying hatred did it speak to?

I decided that, instead of letting the question fester, I would get an answer.  I took the kids into the store and asked to speak with the manager.  (more…)

The Dreaming Fields

Growing up, we often spent summers in southern Georgia —  Waycross, to be specific.  My mom, Dottie, had grown up there, and it seemed that whenever someone got married or died, we’d return.  That is, until I was old enough to protest, and stay on my own.

During those early years, I felt incredibly connected to my southern relatives.  They had big, friendly hearts and outgoing natures, but it was hard to see the connection between them and my often-rigid mother.  Still, I felt close to them.

Every trip, we would stay at Waycross’ finest, the Holiday Inn, the lobby of which retained the faint hint of cigarette smoke, escaping through the cocktail lounge door.  Aside from the pool, the motel also featured a putting green, where we kids would play for hours.

I always noticed, though, the division that seemed to exist between black and white.  There would be African Americans by the pool, or at the lake where we often had family functions, but it was almost as if I could tell they were eying us cautiously, making sure that neither side stepped over an invisible line into inappropriate behavior.

There was something about the inhabitants of the south which I found intriguing, regardless of color.  Something about their unhurried pace and languid tongue…  The way the humidity didn’t seem to bother them at all, while I, on the other hand, almost felt as if I were suffocating. (more…)