I grew up in a town that was Jim Crow. There were no black families. There were very few Mexican American, Middle Eastern or Asian families. My father, who was born in southeast Missouri, was not overtly racist. I do remember him once saying that Martin Luther King Jr. was a “rabble-rouser” and angrily turning off the television.
When I started college, I came into contact with African-American and Asian students. I found their differences to be enlightening but mostly we were entirely the same.
When I started teaching in Fresno I was blessed with a diversity of students that made me proud to be an American teacher.
As I traveled with my performing groups to out-of-town and out-of-state performance events, it was sad to see many groups that were all one color or another. However technically proficient they were, we had a spirit and strength that was strongly representative of America. The collective pride, strength and unity of our groups could not be matched.
To every person I’ve ever encountered whose skin tone is not the same as mine, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for making my life richer and more rewarding.
Scott Thomas Crawford, Fresno