Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Racist Toddler

Saying that I was a racist toddler may be stretching things a bit far. Or maybe not. I will let you be the judge of that.

I think the best way to start this story is to give a little geography lesson. I was born and raised here - not glamorous, and quaint enough that well, I never left. But that is neither here nor there. As you can see from visiting that link...lets scroll a little to the Demographics section, ah yes here we are:

"The racial makeup of the city was 72.97% White, 5.56% African American, 0.91% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 12.87% fromother races, 1.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race comprised 24.50% of the population."
Now, take this back 20+ years and the demographic "makeup" would be a little more on the white side, so add oh 10-15% to the above white percentage, and take away accordingly from all the others.

Now, Geo lesson is over. On with the story! My dad has had this floor company forever (trust me, there are fossils and shit lying around here). We have lots of guys who install floors for us, and when things get slow at the office dad just sends them over to the house to work on random stuff just so they can still feed their families. Dad is really cool like that. One of dad's guys was a very old black man (where dad found him I do not know, as the stats we saw earlier would show that it would be difficult to find a black man in Canton in the 1980's) But, he was/ and still is a great worker, and hilarious old guy.

When I was about 2 and a half years old mom and dad were building a new house (the one they are still in today, and is right down the street from us!). The start to finish construction on this house was done solely by dad, some relatives, some drinkin buddies, and some of the workers from here. *side note 1: how is this house still standing? must. ask. parents.

This particular day I was at the house while the guys were working on it. *side note 2: why I was chilling out in a construction zone at 2 years old is a question I have never really asked, but maybe should have! must. ask. parents.
None the less, I was wandering around and playing some unusual game I am sure.

As I turned the new hallway corner to go into what would soon be our kitchen I saw dad in there. He was hanging wall paper (hey, it was the 80's leave him alone). And then! Oh my! I saw a man standing with dad who looked so strange. He seemed jolly enough, but his skin...what in the...who the... my tiny mind wondered. "Surely this can't be!" I thought to myself.
I marched right up to the man, I grabbed his hand with both of my hands, and I began to rub the top of his hand furiously! I would swipe, and then look up with my head cocked sideways like a confused puppy. Swipe, and look. Swipe, and look. No matter how hard I swiped at his skin, the dark just wouldn't disappear! In terms of toddler time, I stood there rubbing the back of his hand for eternity. Soon I heard laughing, and more laughing, and then the man took my hands and said, "hunny it don't come off" followed by even more chuckling. I just stared up at him as blankly as a toddler possibly can.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I tried to rub the black off of an old man. It is hard to believe that I made it my first few years of life without ever seeing a black person.

Luckily he thought that the ordeal was totally hilarious, and? He still works for us on occasion, and no one has ever - or will ever let me forget about this story. Good times.

**this really isn't related to this post, but is funny anyways. This blog is all about stuff that white people like. There are even books on this complex subject matter. Enjoy.

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