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An 8 year old is on the deck of a ship. She is on her way home with her parents, after two years away in a distant land. She sees a cute toddler close by and goes over to play. As she is about to reach out and touch the little one, a voice calls out, “Don’t let her touch you. She’s dirty.” Shocked and stung, the 8 year old looks towards the voice, and it is that of a girl about her own age. The girl continues, “Go away, don’t come near.” The girl and her sister are blond with white skin. The 8 year old has black hair and a brown skin.

Nearly 50 years later, that incident came to mind when asked at a conference to recall an event that had an indelible impact  on my life. It came to mind again, when I read Hillary Clinton’s comments about hard working white people. What is the color of pain?

Originally posted to Jupiter Wilson on Fri May 09, 2008 at 07:05 PM PDT.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Isn't it odd? pain is transparent, but textured (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bablhous, empathy, redtex, Septima

    .. it creases the brow
    .. it bends the spine
    .. it bows the knee
    .. it dulls the eyes
    .. it rends the heart

    ...the underlying color comes through, whether brown or black or white or other.  But it leaves the soul a bit older and bit crumpled and the heart heavy and sad.

    How unfortunate that the little blond baby missed such an opportunity to meet a friend, and the 8 year missed an opportunity to be a full human being.  How sad that you had to be on the receiving end of such ignorance passed from parent to child.


    A politician looks forward only to the next election. A statesman looks forward to the next generation. THOMAS JEFFERSON

    by Wanda517 on Fri May 09, 2008 at 07:21:13 PM PDT

  •  children have to be taught (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bablhous, empathy

    Kids naturally have a strong sense of fairness -- prejudice and indifference to the pain of others has to be carefully learned. Luckily, I do believe it will be a different world for our children and their children...

    I am sorry for the pain.

  •  how sad! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -Plato

    by Snickers77 on Fri May 09, 2008 at 07:58:42 PM PDT

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