A friend of mine wrote the following piece. I'm sharing it since it mirrors the way I was brought up and the way I raised my own children. Today, I work with and interact with African-Americans (and Hispanics and Asians and Middle-Easterners and Orthodox Jews and just about anyone else you could possibly think of). No one "in real life" has ever accused me of "racism", even when I discuss politics. Only cyber-idiots, who choose to "read into" the words on the screen have decided that I am a "racist". There are some of you right here, reading this, who know exactly what I mean. * * * * I was raised in a white town in the western suburbs, where I still reside. When I was a kid, we just figured blacks are the same as us, just a different skin color, since none of us ever knew any black folks. Some kids I knew hated blacks, probably because they were raised by racists. Not very many though. And I didn`t associate with kids who were the hateful type. My parents always taught me that we are all God`s children, and that HE loves us all equally. This is the beleif that I hold to this say since it is fact. And I have instilled this fact into my own children. The high school I attended was all white 100% untill my Sr.year. That year there was 1 black kid who was a Freshman. He was the 1st black student in our school`s history. I didn`t know him personally, but from what I heard from those who did, he was smart, funny and a great guy. As I entered the work force right after High School, that`s when I began meeting black people. And I never met ONE black person that I didn`t totally respect and get along with. They all were hard working, fun people, the males and the females alike. And I beleive that I represent the vast majority of white America. I grew up in the 50`s + 60`s, so I remember what racism was. As a white child, seeing a public drinking fountain marked "whites only" made me wonder why the heck is that all about. Blacks were forced to ride in the backs of busses. It made no sense to me, and I remember my Mother telling me a story about a black man who looked at her when she was a young girl. Back then, a black man would get a whipping from a real leather whip, just for looking at a white woman. If a white woman got so much as looked at by a black man, all she would have to do is complain to someone and that black man would get the crap beaten out of him. She told me that when their eyes met, he quickly looked away. He didn`t want to get a beating. You know what she did? She whispered to him, "that`s ok. I would never do anything to see you get hurt, and I pray that some day, you will be treated equally"-- and he was shedding tears as she walked away. This is the woman who raised me, and these are true stories. So let`s fast- forward a few generations, and take a look at how things have changed. Racism in America could have and should have been killed dead by now. Blacks got their equal rights long ago, and even back then those rights were long overdue. And in time, we began seeing black men being signed to major sports teams, etc... which was great! Personally, I think black guys are generally better athletes than us white guys anyway. And in time, we saw more and more blacks -- or African-Americans, as they respectfully prefer to be referred to, not only performing in sports- but reporting sports on the news. And reporting all of the news, acting in television commercials, major motion pictures and getting heavily involved in the music industry as well. I truly beleive that all of this has made black/white American ties stronger. Now enter politics. We have made history at the highest level. The election a Black (or African American) President of the United States of America sent a very strong messege to the entire World, a messege which is so much stronger than the day we signed the first black man to a major league baseball team, or a major motion picture contract. This is a messege which cannot be topped. And my HOPE is that this messege is that America is not a nation of RACISTS. And another strong and important messege is the fact that no matter what color you are, there is no longer any limit as to what you can acclomplish here in America. My HOPE is that the youngsters struggling in our inner cities will see opportunities as never before. This may be the most important messege of all. My FEAR, however, is fact that the word "rasist" is being tossed around by certain political groups, like frisbees at a rock concert-- will have a negative impact, and thusly create some regression. To my African- American friends I must say -- we have been through a lot together, and we have come a long way. YOU have come a long way--a very, very long way. And I truly beleive I speak for the vast majority of of white America when I say that if a Conservative disagrees with President Obama`s policies, it is strictly about the political issues at hand, and NOT the color of the President`s SKIN. There were a tremendous amount of white voters who supported, and participated in the the Obama campain, and he is the same color at his current approval rating as he was earlier on. Too many politicians, both present and former, both black and white, have been using racism as an excuse for the unpopularity of some of President Obama`s proposed policies. We all need to back off on that and stick with what America`s true hopes are. No one wants to be beaten down for being a certain race, and no one wants to be falsely accused of bering a racist either. I sure don`t - and neither would my Mother.