Saturday, August 14, 2021

It's gnawing at me ...


Something has been gnawing at me and I've decided to write about it and see if anyone can relate. As many of you know I wrote a book a few years back and titled it “My Halcyon Years”. It basically referred to the eight years after I graduated from Boston University in 1954 until leaving NY City in 1962.

The strange thing is that those years were definitely halcyon for me, but I NEVER equated them with being possible (or “due to me”) because I was WHITE. I never even thought about it because I was brought up in a loving family with four older sisters and a mother and father who I realize now were extremely “liberal” for that time in America. I can't recall ever hearing a racist remark from either of them.

I met my husband, Dick, in New York City in1957. He was a photographer who had just left a 3 year stint at LIFE magazine and was starting his own free lance business and I was thrilled to be working at WABC Radio. It was a very exciting, time for me. It seemed like an extension of my upbringing because my life had always been filled with exciting people of all colors, ethnic backgrounds and customs and Dick's world (which became mine) was, if possible, even more open minded.

Now I come to what's bothering me. I was shocked when Trump became our President and have watched in disgust as he has brought white supremacy and racism to the fore. However it has really opened my eyes and perhaps I should be thankful that it is finally in the open where we can face it.

What really bothers me when I think of “My Halcyon Years” is that, despite my liberalism, I should have made it loud and clear in my book that I had no idea back then that what came so easily to me was a near impossibility for my black, brown and, otherwise “different” friends. I will spend the rest of my life doing all I can to bring about that equality. 


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Yeah, we think about this more now, as we should. On the flip side and relatively speaking, however, I was not privileged growing up within the context of my particular society. I can't always reconcile these two truths. I guess they're both true in a parallel way.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

I haven't thought of it that way but you are right. Even when I thought I was definitely less privileged when we did my back to school shopping at the Salvation Army, my freedoms and rights to go as high as I wanted were never in doubt.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

I’ve been thinking the same about my life. I didn’t grow up with people of colour or visible minorities until I was about 16. I had no concept what it was like for others in Canada. Awareness of privilege is a good beginning.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

My 18 year old granddaughter sent this to me after reading this:

"RIGHT ON THE NOSE! Well done!"

6:26 AM  
Blogger Joared said...

We did have many privileges because we were "white" others did not have. I was only vaguely aware of this fact though I do recall when I was elementary school age my mother talking to me about how some people discriminated against others because of their religion (our dentist was Jewish), skin color being different from their own (only a few "negroes" in schools but not my own), other differences. That fact hit home some years later when I was a pre-teen and we moved to a southern state that openly practiced discrimination with signs excluding "negroes", for example. Some years later as a young adult, moving back to what I thought to be a more liberated part of our country, I discovered discrimination existed there, too, but it was covert. I have had some opportunity to actively successfully combat a few racist acts and continue to do so. This is what is needed, for each of us to act for equality in our everyday lives.

2:07 PM  

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