For much of my adult life, when I walked into a store or restaurant I always scanned the room. Maybe I recognized a friend or exchanged a brief smile with a stranger. I’m a sales representative and eye contact is a way of life for me. I’m a proud man and white, and racism touched me only through the news and my friends’ experiences.
I married a black woman nine years ago, a doctor no less. Since then, I no longer look up at public places when I’m with my wife and daughter. I learned very quickly that some older white people look at me like I’m piece of dirt. I deal with old, white hatred every day that I do look up.
Last week, it was a nun who stared me down, and I wanted to say, how dare you, a person of God? I just internalize the rage when the old man sitting next to me and my wife says the n-word aloud as he’s looking at us. Not all older white people look at me with hate, but a lot do.
Steve Carr, Fresno