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View Diary: Meet the Extraordinary Men Who Kept Me From Becoming a Racist (65 comments)

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  •  I never had a black mentor (1+ / 0-)
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    as a white kid raised with a bunch of other mostly white kids, the only credit I can have with early diversity was a gay (white) boy who I became friends with. I don't even think I can credit him for anything... from an early age I always took a path that diverged from social norms. I chose the "outcast" groups to associate with in school, and I chose to befriend this gay boy because... probably because no one else wanted to be his friend.

    Where did it come from that I would reject racism? and homophobia? I can't point to any part of my upbringing, I can't point to my parents. I think I can only credit myself, that I have a capacity for empathy that I can literally feel for myself the kinds of social rejection marginalized groups of people feel.

    That I would embrace these feelings rather than turn against them... that is where I can credit where I came from. I am particularly, pointedly, non-religious, but I was raised on the true teachings of Jesus, of having love and empathy for others. As you do unto the least of these, you do unto me... I hate appealing to authority, but that one passage summarizes who I am better than anything.

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