Growing up in Raleigh in the ’50s and early ’60s was a distinctly white Anglo-Saxon experience for me and my pals. Black folks lived and went to school across town. (Black men dug ditches and hauled away our garbage in ancient trucks; their wives cleaned houses and strolled white babies – as some still do.) The state Capitol had “Colored” and “White” water fountains, a terrible thing, though the water tasted the same from each.
“Indians” and Mexicans were only seen as the bad guys in bad Western movies. Even the few Jewish youngsters looked just like us. Our resident minorities were two second-generation Greek brothers and a fast-talking kid from New Jersey.
Today a majority of my peers nationally are clinging to the old paradigm of white superiority and entitlement, even as “we” slip irrevocably towards minority status in the electorate. To all of them I say, calm your fears. Diversity can only make us stronger, and richer. The future is in good hands of many hues.
Everything is going to be all right.