by Sure Washburn
"I was watching a baseball game the other night, and they showed a shot of a really beautiful woman in the stands," she said. I thought, Who cares? I was going to ignore her, but I caught her eye in the rearview mirror and she had the mom look that told me I should listen.
"I thought she was so lovely," she continued, her eyes flicking again to the mirror to look at me. "But then they showed her husband at bat. He was a black man." She paused. "You know, after seeing him I didn't think she was so pretty anymore." I felt her eyes on me again.
I didn't understand what she was trying to tell me, but I knew she was trying to give me an important message. Something in my childhood brain held on to that moment to interpret later.
Chances are that later that day I went back to the miniature golf course my dad and mom ran each summer and spent another afternoon with my friends Alan and Paul, who were black.
Later, it became clear to me what my friend's mom was trying to tell me. Playing with black boys will diminish you. Make you less than. Today, I understand she was a racist...
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