A story of mine
My sister and I were attending college together.
We are very social and have no problems making many friends.
There was one young man, I will call him Nick, that we had bonded with and had a lot of fun in his company. We would meet everyday for breaktime and talk and laugh, along with a few other friends. It was my favorite time of the day, as breaktime was sure to bring laughter. After breaktime, we would all hug each other and go our separate ways.
One day, we entered the breakroom to find Nick with his head down and looking upset. We asked what he needed from us, his friends. He then launched into a huge tirade about how the other guys made fun of him and threatened to beat him up. He started talking about how he hated spics, n-words, injuns, lesbos, etc. and how the guys were saying they would beat him up if he continued to meet all of us at breaktime and how the guys didn't understand how great we all were and how much love and care he felt when he was with us.
I then gently asked him who he thought he was sitting with everyday. He replied, "My friends, the greatest people on earth!"
I said, well in light of the tirade you just went on, I would like to point out to you, Nick, that my sister and I are 'injuns', Chris is a 'spic', Diane is a 'lesbo', Charlie is a 'n-word', and Alison is Jewish.
Nick looked up and really looked at us, each of us. Then he said, 'Quit messin' with me, I'm already havin' a bad day, you guys."
When he realized we spoke the truth, he ran away and cried. We didn't see him for weeks. One day he came to the breakroom and said he was sorry and did we still care about him and still want to be friends with him. Of course, we all said, "Yes!" He told us about how he started hanging out with the other guys and how hateful and mean they were and he just couldn't stand it anymore. He talked about how they wanted to ride in the pick-up truck and throw full cans of beer at the black people sitting at the bus stop and how he, Nick, just could not bring himself to hurt any person, no matter what. He jumped out of the truck and ran home. He decided then and there that he would rather be friends with us, people who cared about other people, then those who wanted to hurt others.
Weeks went by and school was ending.
We all went over to Nick's house. There we learned that Nick came from a home of a single dad, who had been taught all his life to hate and be racist. Imagine Nick's father's surprise when we all showed up to be there for Nick. Nick knew what it meant to be loved, though, and I think that is what really crossed the border and put blinders on when he could not see us as different, kwim?
At graduation, we all cheered for Nick, along with his father. We all purposely hugged Nick's dad and congradulated him on such a wonderful job raising Nick and letting us be a part of Nick's life.
His father still gets drunk and spouts off all sorts of hate messages.
Nick married Alison, they even had a Jewish wedding.
He still says ignorant things, but when it is pointed out to him, he realizes he doesn't really feel that way, it is what he learned/heard all his growing up years.
What I believe the moral is? That a child who is raised with love, even if they are taught from birth to be racist, will still act out of love first and seek out others who know how to love and be loved.
Luckily for Nick, he also grew up without television and his father never pointed out exactly what or who the racist names were for, kwim?
I asked Nick once, what he thought those certain words would look like. He said, "I don't know. Something scary, I s'pose." :LOL