Introduction to Racism: My First Hate Crime
One day, when both of my friends are gone for whatever reason, I see three kids standing on the corner of the street talking. They looked to be about 7 years old. Like I said, I was only 4 or 5, so this is pretty intimidating to begin with. I tried to get their attention to come over and play with me but they couldn’t hear me (or they were ignoring me). So I yelled out the only thing I could think of to get their attention, “Hey black kids!” Their attention wasn’t the only thing I got that day.
As they walked over to me, I could tell something was wrong. The leader of the pack looked at me and asked, “What did you call us?” My confused little mouth just blurted it out again, “Black kids…” He turned back and looked at his friends, and then he turned back and looked at me and smiled. I would like to add a disclaimer here and say that the next part of this story(along with the entire story) is 100% true. He jumped straight into the air and karate kicked me in the chest.
I flew to the ground in what seemed like in slow motion. The moment I hit the ground I burst into tears. Like a superhero, my mom flies out of the house and scares the kids away and swoops down to my rescue. She must have been watching the entire thing go down. So she asked me, “What did you say to them?” At this point I am thinking, well I shouldn’t tell her either. She might kick me too! But I told her anyway. She just sighed and said, “Yeah, you can’t say things like that.”
So that was introduction to racism, and how to apply it. Luckily I haven’t had to use it since. But for my little 5 year old brain, it was the only way of getting their attention. To me it was like saying, “Hey you in the red shirt!” However, I am proud to say that 20 years later, and I have yet to commit another hate crime.