My original intent was to write a short note to my community of Eastvale, California. Then, as usual, I got a little long winded and decided that this needed to be posted publicly.
In light of always being so ‘Politically Correct’ and not insult someone – it is hard to put what I have to say into words. I hope what I am going to say is taken in the most positive light. Assume good intent here.
I feel very blessed to live in the great culturally diverse community of Eastvale, California.
Tonight, I watched my granddaughter walk with her friends to the Picnic in the Park.
A great group of teens, off to enjoy a community event.
It brought tears to my eyes, 20, 30 or 40 years ago this would not have happened.
Things were very different then.
In her group were Asians, Whites, Blacks, Mexicans. They are all friends, spending the night together having fun at a community event and being welcomed by the community.
To steal a bad quote, “We’ve come a long way baby!
I thought back…. I am old enough to remember sitting and hearing Martin Luther King and thinking, “Why not?”
Then there was Eighth Grade. It was the first time I ever went to school with anyone other than white kids. It was also the first time I had to dress out for PE. My PE locker was next to Dora’s. She and I got along famously in PE. Dora and I had a lot in common. We both loved PE, we both loved to run and we were both nervous about dressing out for PE. More importantly, both her father and my brother were serving in Vietnam. She and I shared a common bond. Through that year she and I laughed and supported each other through the trials of tribulations of 8th grade PE but outside of that one class, we had no contact. She was black and I was white. There was no official segregation – it was an unwritten rule.
Tonight, I thought of Dora. I wondered what ever happened to her, I wondered if her brother made it back from Vietman and I wondered if her kids and grandchildren are free to walk to a community event with their friends together, despite their racial heritage.
I know it isn’t this way everywhere, but I am thankful and blessed to live in the culturally diverse community of Eastvale.
To quote Martin Luther King, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
I was only 6 or 7 years old when I sat in front of our black and white television and heard those words. I am glad to report that I have seen the day when the youth of our community are free to chose their friends by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.