Friday, August 17, 2007


I am a little girl frightened because I don't understand why people are so cruel. Why do people treat my friend Sheila so much differently than they do me? I don't understand because she lives in a very nice house with very nice parents. I go over to her house and she has her own bedroom with beautiful crisp white sheets, wonderful light green curtains and a bedspread to match. Wow, if only I had such beautiful things I would feel like a princess. Her house is so clean and neat you would think that they have a full time maid. My house never looks like theirs. Her mother always greets me so sweetly and offers something cold to drink along with a snack. She could really be my mom any day. Sheila's dad is always busy working on something and takes the time to speak to us any time we are around. He always has something positive to say to us too. They are an ideal family to me. The same people that mistreat Sheila at school or when we are out somewhere together call me poor white trash if they know where I'm from. But if they do not know who I am, they always treat me nicer than Sheila. That truly makes me angry and embarrasses me cause I am really beginning to believe Sheila, that it is because she is black. I really cannot deny that it happens, because I see it with my own two eyes. I am so glad that Sheila is still my friend in spite of the ignorant things we experience from others, due to my being white and her being black. Being friends with Sheila was the best thing that could have ever happened to me because now as people look at the question of how one becomes racist, I feel that I have a little insight. Looking back over 45 years of friendship with Sheila, she helped move me out from the sheltered belief of whatever my family and community tried to teach me, may not necessarily be the truth. Through our friendship and my love/respect towards her I did a lot of my own personal investigation into what I chose to be truth for me. Therefore, I am a firm believer that through the intimacy of relationships we can really get to know one another, either by sincere friendships, work relations, or love -- marriage relationship, it will move us closer to understanding one another. Moving beyond the stereotypes can open doors beyond our beliefs to create new ones. The more we diversify our relations the quicker we can move our Society beyond racism. I couldn't even imagine my world without diversity because if my circle of family was all white I would feel like someone was missing and there would be so much less to my story. The flavor I bring to a story is exciting and refreshing to me because the diversity opens doors of understanding, just as spice livens up the taste of bland food. This is who I am! I am proud to say that by the grace of God and with Joy, I have had the courage to write about my own life story.

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