An Open and Honest Conversation about My Racism

August 1, 2010 by  

“You see, you’re one of the good Blacks,” I told my friend Al, at a high school graduation party. “It’s the bad Blacks that are the niggers.”

“I think I hate you now, Bill,” said Al, walking away.

It was 25 years ago when that scene took place, and his words still haunt me. Partly because I haven’t spoken to Al since. But mostly because that those words started me on a path toward acceptance and enlightenment that I remain on to this day.

Racism toward African-Americans was instilled into me from birth. I never got a sex talk, but I got plenty of racism lessons. And until that night, those lessons formed my opinions of African-Americans.

Being racist was an unnatural fit for me, especially since the vast majority of my experiences with Black people were positive. Al, in fact, was one of the few people who I felt close to in high school from freshman year through senior year. But mind you, my casual racist mindset was on display more than just that night. And regardless of how I got that mindset, I take responsibility for every racist word that ever came from my mouth.

Plain and simple, I was an extremely ignorant boy, swimming in his own privilege. I knew nothing of the African-American community. In fact, I knew nothing other than the limited culture of an upper-middle class white home. So while I feel I’ve never been deeply racist in my heart, I grew up being deeply racist in my mind, and thought little of it.

In the 25 years since that horrible conversation, I have had myriad experiences and travels that have helped me understand my own racism. I have learned that - while I can never fully understand a culture that I am not part of - the cultures of all minorities are a vital part to American culture as a whole.

Nonetheless, I cannot ever bury that ignorantly racist 18-year-old. He exists inside me as a never-ending lesson to myself. That boy teaches me that education and experience have helped me get on the road to becoming the man I always felt I should be. He teaches me to never become self-satisfied on issues of race. And he teaches me that the road from racism to acceptance is a road that will never end.

I am an imperfect man and I always will be. But the 43-year old writing this post has a much more open mind and much more open eyes than the 18-year-old who ended his relationship with a close friend with a racist diatribe.

This is for you, Al. Someday I hope to apologize to you face to face. But I want to thank you for your words that night, because they helped turn me around and put me on a path of acceptance and self-examination.

The path I am on today began that night, a quarter-century ago. And that path has made my life better in so many ways. Accepting and learning about the cultures and lives of other races and nationalities has made me a better husband, friend, writer and man.

So along with my apologies, I send you my thanks, Al. Because of you, I aim to create love, not hate.



45 Responses to “An Open and Honest Conversation about My Racism”

  1. BrianK on August 1st, 2010 5:59 pm

    Amazing - thanks for sharing this story. I feel the same way about the stupid homophobic comments I made in high school. Without recognizing what I was doing, I was making it harder on my friends who were struggling through a difficult experience — an experience that I realize now is harder than anything I’ve ever done.

  2. dgun on August 1st, 2010 8:50 pm

    Imagine this:

    It’s the early 70′s. Circa 1975ish, a kindergarten class in Alabama, full of Caucasian children..

    One of these Caucasian children has caused quite the raucous amongst his classmates, in fact they are close to riot…

    Seriously, I was going to try to make this funny, but I can’t. And not just because I’m not funny..

    When I was 5, in Alabama, in my Kindergarten class, 1975, I got in an argument with another child when I told him we were not white. I recall he and most of my other classmates were extremely anger, but the one child was shaking in anger..

    I held up a white piece of paper to my skin and said something like, “Look, it’s not the same”

    My first experience at the stubbornness and irrationality of racism..the boy insisted it was the same color.

    And I knew what I was doing. I knew the conversation was about race. All the kids in the class knew it also.

    We were 5. Freaking 5. I swear this is a true story.

    And why did I have a different opinion? We were all Caucasian children from Alabama. We were all in the year 1975ish. We all had the same kindergarten teacher (who was awesome, byw). The difference is that none of the other children had the good fortune of being the child of a left wing bra-burning radical. Or so to speak. I don’t know if mom ever actually burned a bra. And it’s strange, her being such a lefty in her views and yet maintaining some semblance of tradition..

    Anyway, Ma, as she hates to be called, grew up listening to racist bullshit from some in her family and she hated it. So her first born child was/is a radical too. Or at least compared with my peers.

    Racism to me was always shocking. It always pissed me off. Not that I couldn’t occasionally catch myself being prejudice, just that the injustice of racism and bigotry would make my blood boil - when I recognized it.

    I think it all comes down to the fact that I don’t like to see anyone treated like shit. And I really hate knowing that on occasion I treated others like shit. I really, really hate that.

  3. dgun on August 1st, 2010 9:11 pm

    Fast forward 2010 - My 7 year old has little to no conception of race. He literally believes that some people just have better tans than others.

    Race is a total bullshit concept anyway.

    In 1969 we landed on the moon. Yet in 2010 here we are, still talking about this random arbitrary concept of race.

    What is the quote about things perceived as real having real consequences?

  4. hugh.c.mcbride on August 2nd, 2010 10:45 am

    Amazing post, Bill. Just when I think I’ve fully grasped the reasons why this site is a must-stop on my daily laps ’round the Internet, you take things to the proverbial “whole ‘nother level.”

    When honesty, guts & talent come together, the result can be awfully powerful.

  5. dgun on August 2nd, 2010 2:32 pm

    I agree Hugh. I too value honesty. And some times practice it. And it does give Bill’s post that extra zing.

    And knowing that Bill can be a slug makes me feel better about myself. And that’s what it’s all about.

  6. SnikkiG on August 2nd, 2010 2:38 pm

    I am really glad to see this post! Even though it seems like it shouldn’t be, this is still a very relevant and very ‘American’ story. This is a beautifully multicultural nation and, instead of rejecting that, we need to embrace it. I don’t know if I’ll ever see an America where racism is not an underlying issue. I do know that recognizing racism in ourselves is the first step towards that place. This is a powerful post!

  7. baltimoregal on August 2nd, 2010 2:49 pm

    OUCH. It’s so great that you came out and admitted a hard truth but it still hurts, doesn’t it? It hurt me just reading it.

    I spent most of my childhood in the south, but I was raised by a mother who grew up in SW Georgia during segregation and knew (thanks to my grandfather) that racism was wrong, that the “n-word” was wrong, that it’s all just wrong. But he suffered for his views, because he had to keep them quiet. I mean, the “mixed” settlement down the road from where they lived was firebombed, for god’s sake.

    My mom hated that. She felt like a hypocrite.

    So I was taught from early on not to be that way. I don’t accept such behavior or language. I won’t use the “n” word. Won’t allow it to be used around me. Don’t want to hear racist jokes or innuendos. Didn’t make me very popular as a child, apparently, from what my mom tells me. But I’ve always been a bit mouthy and bossy. I threw a guy out of my house in high school for saying something like you did. Of course, that doesn’t make me better, as I shouldn’t have done it that way. I’ve learned to talk to people about why I don’t like to hear words or attitudes with hate. I have to do this with some of my own family in the South, still.

    But I can’t blame your friend. He was angry and hurt, even though that wasn’t your intent. It definitely could have been worse! I think now it would be different. You’re very different, after all.

    Thank you for sharing this!

  8. dgun on August 3rd, 2010 1:10 am

    Thanks for sharing baltimoregal. My experience growing up in the south is so very similar. Like you, it was my mom who wouldn’t tolerate racism in our house. Not that my dad was a big racist, it’s just mom was motivated in regard to that issue.

    And yes, I too have to deal with family members with some very prejudice views. Like you, my inclination is to lash out. But I’ve learned that doesn’t help matters.

    But where do you draw the line? How do you tolerate intolerance amongst family without tolerating it, so to speak?

  9. William K. Wolfrum on August 3rd, 2010 3:44 am

    It is very interesting, with you and Dgun from the deep South basically, and I was from So. Calif. It starts at home, as they say. It was pretty diverse where I came from, with most my friends growing up being Mexican-American & Asian-American. But there was never a campaign against them. It would seem for parents & grandparents in the South, making it clear to kids that racism won’t be tolerated is an important stand, because it seems so a part of the norm there. But you guys know better than me, obviously.

  10. William K. Wolfrum on August 3rd, 2010 3:45 am

    Thank you Snikki. And thank you for helping me put it together in my head with our little Twitter discussion on the subject. That helped me a great deal :)

  11. William K. Wolfrum on August 3rd, 2010 3:47 am

    I Love this story, Dgun. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  12. baltimoregal on August 3rd, 2010 8:18 am

    @dgun, I’ve learned you can’t change people’s minds if they don’t want to, but there are times when you can make headway.

    My first step is to say, “Hey now, no need to talk like that.” Some people will just shut up. If they persist I will try to talk to people as equals in a calm, casual tone, so they don’t assume I “think I’m better than them” or preaching to them. I explain that I don’t like that kind of talk, that I don’t feel that way, and it pains me to hear it. If they want to talk more, explain why they say what they say in a sensible tone, I will continue to listen and explain my point of view calmly and carefully. The “not all of them” argument I answer with the infallible logic- you can say that about any group of people- that’s not exclusive to race and no excuse. You simply cannot apply the actions of one or 50 or 2,000 people to an entire race of people.

    Again, if people don’t want to hear it, or want to argue, then that’s another story. If they don’t want to hear it, FINE. But neither do I, and I have that right. People should be able to live in mutual respect for one another. If they refuse to respect me enough to avoid such topics, they refuse to respect me, period, and they will see much less of me. The fact is we will never be as close as we could- I can’t truly love someone who hates. If they want to bait and argue with me, I walk away.

    It’s a whole other world in the South, Bill. My dad’s from Baltimore which may be technically the South but believe me, it is NOT. He felt strongly about this as well, facing discrimination in the Army and in the workforce in the South for having black friends (in the 70s & 80s!!) but never had the kind of experiences my mother had. The stories are truly upsetting. That said, in the part of Baltimore I live I hear things more than I expect from the locals and try my best to work it out as I can.

    I think it’s important for parents EVERYWHERE to be clear on this issue. The fact is if it’s not reinforced with children, they don’t have the ammunition to stand up when it happens. It is a matter of preparation. I lived in New England as well and although overt racism was rare, it did happen and I was much more prepared to deal with it than most of the other kids I knew.

  13. baltimoregal on August 3rd, 2010 8:19 am

    Wow, pardon my novel!

  14. dgun on August 3rd, 2010 3:58 pm

    baltimoregirl said: Wow, pardon my novel!

    No, no.. Thanks very much for the novel! You make a lot of sense on the issue.

    Bill said: But you guys know better than me, obviously.

    I doubt that I’m nearly as enlightened as you, sir. And your situation was from what, 25 years ago?

    Life is interesting if nothing else, huh?

  15. William K. Wolfrum on August 4th, 2010 5:36 am

    I just meant that your neck of the woods seems to have more outward racism than where I came from, in Southern California. But who knows how it is now with the OMG!! ILLEGALS!!! campaigns going on.

    Brazil is interesting in how the racism is more ingrained into society. In the U.S., it generally sticks out. Here, there are still some Black poor people I meet that won’t look me in the face. It’s much more accepted, I think. It’s very strange.

  16. William K. Wolfrum on August 4th, 2010 5:39 am

    Your novels are fantastic! Keep them coming :)

    I do have to admit that my knowledge of the South is very limited. I’ve only been down there (Louisiana, Texas) a couple times, so I’m pretty ignorant of the culture. Except what I see on the TV. And learn from you guys :)

  17. William K. Wolfrum on August 4th, 2010 5:40 am

    Thank you so much, Hugh. That really means a lot to me.

  18. baltimoregal on August 4th, 2010 6:39 am

    William, I’m just continually impressed with both your humor and depth. It’s refreshing and exciting. Keep it up!

  19. Anomaly100 on August 4th, 2010 1:29 pm

    A very brave and very honest post. Good for you and good for everyone that reads it.

  20. Jane on August 5th, 2010 4:51 am

    I was in my early 20′s working in a retail store. I was waiting on a young black mother. She had her daughter, about 3 years old, with her. The little girl was one of the best behaved children that had come into the store. She was simply adorable. An older white couple walked by us and made a remark. I honestly don’t remember what it was that was said, I just remember being horrified. I wanted to grab that little girl up and protect her. I wondered then as I still wonder today, how do you raise a child to “accept” being hated for no reason? There were certainly enough brats that came into the store that I felt shouldn’t be allowed out in public, If the same sort of remark had been directed at one of them I probably would have silently agreed with it, but this little girl had done nothing to deserve it. I did nothing. Her mother and I concluded our transaction and they left. The memory has haunted me for over 30 years.

  21. ckerst on August 5th, 2010 6:16 am

    Thanks foe the great read. I too was brought up in a home where blacks weren’t actually hated but were tolerated as long as they were “in their place”.
    I also know I can never rid myself of my upbringing (nor would I want to) but I can rise above it. There are good people and there are bad people the difference between the two has nothing to do with race or sexuality.

  22. Peggy O'Neill on August 5th, 2010 7:05 am

    I had a similar experience in my teens in the 40s. I had a Jewish friend and said something to her about a stingy person being a “Jew”. I, of course, did not even know what I was saying, but she DID. She would never speak to me. Too bad because a conversation would have done both of us a lot of good. As for me, I realized I was wrong and from that day forward would not tolerate bigotry of any kind in my life and do not to this day of my 82nd year.

  23. Batocchio on August 5th, 2010 8:39 am

    Frank and good post, and good thread as well. Thanks.

  24. Jerry in the mountains on August 5th, 2010 5:26 pm

    Just surfin’ by and thought this was a good thread. I was born in 1950 in the Appalachian mountains. There was plenty of racism, but it wasn’t Jim Crow in your face.

    My family had a business, and there were a few black employees, and everyone seemed to get along OK. I had an uncle who was pretty bad about n***** this and that, and terrible racist jokes. Then one day my cousin Amy (his niece) showed up to visit Grandma with her beau, Sarah. Who sang with Grandma playing the piano. She was a great singer, a teacher, and black and proud.

    My Uncle shut up. He never said another word like that. Gay or black, nothing. I don’t know how he felt inside, but I was so glad I didn’t have to hear about it any more.

    My Grandma was born in the late 1890s in a little river town, and everything came in on steam stern-wheelers. It was like a Mark Twain story. She played piano in the movie theatre for the silent films shows. She didn’t have a hateful bone in her body, but she was a product of the 1890s and 1900s.

    While I was in the service in Mississippi, my wife got a job as reference librarian. She hated MS and being away from home in the mountains.

    Then one day an older man, Herb, who worked for my Dad, was in town visiting family nearby. He knew my wife was working there at the library, and she knew him, as she had cousins working there, and worked there herself summers. She was so homesick she hugged him. a,d chattered away about family back home. 1972. Mississippi. Herb was our parents’ age, and an Electrical Engineer - and black.

    They wanted so bad to fire her. But they couldn’t. It was like it was still 1950 there; they knew that things were never going to be like that again, and hated it. Then I got out, and we headed north.

    I’ve been down south since then, and I hate it. I know people are mostly good everywhere, but I can’t put those signs about “White only” or “Colored only” on bathrooms and water fountains out of my head.

    Things have been getting better my whole life, until about 15 or 20 years ago, when Reagan broke the unions. Without unions, people are gradually becoming the wage slaves everyone was in the recent past. Once people realize they’re wage slaves, they suddenly need an underclass to feel better than.

    I think that’s where this immigrant hatred is coming from. If you can’t be proud and independent, and you can’t feel that way trapped in a shitty job you’re scared you’re about to lose, you have to have someone you can look down on. Something wrong in our brains I guess.

  25. Ray Colon on August 14th, 2010 2:16 pm

    Hi William,

    I’m surprised that your four-year relationship with Al ended so abruptly and so permanently. People of color, like myself, have been faced with responding to the kind of comment that you made all of our lives. We are tougher than that.

    If the situation is an encounter with a stranger, I may react harshly, but if this happens with someone who is familiar to me, I am more apt to turn it into a teachable moment. It’s happened more times than I could count.

    One of the earliest encounters that I can recall was similar to your story. My high school friend had some peculiar thoughts about race. They became more evident when we ventured into subjects like interracial dating. I discussed these issues with him, rather than walking away, or punching him in the eye. After meeting his father, there was no mistaking the source of the problem.

    Like you, my friend (and he still is my friend 35 years later) grew up in an environment where negative stereotypes of non-whites were seen as gospel. At home and in his neighborhood throughout his upbringing, the message was hammered home. To expect that those negative views would suddenly disappear would be to expect too much. He came around, but it took time.

    Have you considered that the ending of your friendship may have had more to do with the separate ways we travel post high school and less to do with your comment? This isn’t to say that it was the right thing for you to have said to your friend, but you shouldn’t beat yourself over the head these many years later because of it. We learn as we grow, and we ought not to expect ourselves to be perfect as we are doing the learning.


  26. Johnathan Henley on September 1st, 2010 3:41 pm

    I grew up in north Texas. obviously like many of you and other who haven’t/won’t post, grew up with people around me and in my family who treated people with a different skin tone differently. The first memory I have of this is when my little brother who was 4 (i was 8 at the time) i think was trying to piss me off my mispronouncing the name of a west African nation. I know that he was only doing it to get under my skin, but it didn’t stop me from being an older brother and doing what all big brothers do at some point and beating him up. we were both wrong, so whatever. I did learn early on in life to view a person’s character and who they were on the inside before i made any judgment as to whether it would be wise to allow them to be a part of my life.

    Fast forwarding about 15 years to my first deployment to Afghanistan, I had the unique opportunity to recognize racism before it hit the main-stream and do my small part to educate myself and those around me. the term ‘Hadji’ is a title given to a Muslim who, at some point in their life, makes the pilgrimage to Mecca to worship. When I arrived there in 2004, it was the cool thing to do, to refer to the local nationals from Afghanistan in this term simply because they were a Muslim and not from America. about 2 months into my deployment i realized that what I and everyone around me who was doing this was wrong and I immediately changed and stopped. It was the right thing to do because not only was I showing how ignorant I was, and I was, but I was further hurting the cause for all people of the world to stand up free of oppression. My wife sometimes uses the derogatory term for an African-American because she thinks she is being cute or something. It breaks my heart to hear her use such slanderous vocabulary, however, I can’t force her or anyone else to change. I can only control my own actions and the way I conduct my life.

    In my life I have stopped using terms to describe a person based on their race, religion, ethnicity, creed, sexual preference, or anything that might be used by me or anyone else to promote a sense of them being beneath someone else. The biggest and best thing I feel I or anyone else can do is to educate ourselves and those around us of what they are actually doing by using such horrible ideals to describe another person.

  27. Feral on September 2nd, 2010 2:26 pm

    I read the excellent and honest post, and most of the comments. Since I didn’t have time to read them all today, forgive me in advance if I’m repeating something that was better said by another. In the interest of honesty and context, I am a 47 year old white man who comes from a working class background and consider myself left of center politically. So much so that in the past I’ve even considered leaving the Democratic Party because we have drifted too far to the right. From a minority perspective, I am gay and have been in a happy, stable relationship for over two decades. As long as my home state and the country I love continue their policies toward marriage I remain a second class citizen.

    My comment is this: We wish that race doesn’t matter. But race does matter. Each group, however defined has its own unique culture and sets of challenges to overcome. Where African Americans are concerned, those challenges are being addressed by brave and innovative African Americans who know far, far better than me regarding cultural challenges. I have my own business to mind in that regard. I’m not and never will be qualified to mind theirs. So when they bring me solutions, as a voter and vocal American I can pledge them my support in helping them get implemented. White solutions to black problems? I don’t think so. We white liberals have always meant well, and without our support a lot of good laws would have taken a lot longer to achieve. As a gay man I can tell you that there is nothing in the little we have achieved so far that we have done on our own. Without our straight friends, we wouldn’t even be this far along.

    I’m reminding myself and others here that when we begin to speak -actually bragging, in many cases- about how colorblind we are, we do a huge disservice to those we are trying to help. Because this is about race, not skin color. It’s about culture. Racism doesn’t exist because people have different skin color. It exists because we don’t understand one another. I acknowledge that African American cultures and mindsets- there are many- are different from those I was raised with or that I hold today. When even well meaning white people talk about colorblindness they are unwittingly sending the message that African American culture, with all its positives and negatives, and its many forms, should just go away. That is a form of disrespect, friends. I am not colorblind, nor do I ever wish to be. I see the Black person , along with the cultural values he or she identifies with. And I celebrate it. I don’t pretend problems away by making myself colorblind. Let’s remember to show respect for those who are different by reducing everything down to skin color, or who one loves. It’s more than that. Let’s begin to embrace one another for everything we are, and begin to help create a better world together. I know that sounds cliche and I realize it could been said better by others so please be kind. I’m not much of a writer, but hope that I was able to get across the ideas about honesty and respect that I feel very much are missed when we get too simplistic in our discussion of racism and other forms of bigotry.

  28. Feral on September 2nd, 2010 2:31 pm

    Just to be clear, I meant to say that we should not disrespect one another by reducing the issue down to skin color, who whom one loves. Had to correct that because without the word ‘not’ I would be refuting myself. told you I’m not such a great writer. Peace

  29. William K. Wolfrum on September 2nd, 2010 3:40 pm

    You did great. A very thoughtful comment, thanks :)

  30. tyiesha_m on October 20th, 2010 12:45 pm

    As a heterosexual black girl swimming in her own privilege back when DADT passed and I could have voted in the mids but skipped it, I feel really awful in retrospect. If something was not negatively impacting my privileged little circle of heteros, I didn’t see it. It didn’t matter. I never actively participated in homophobic slurs or hate but my blindness and apathy to it was worse than the hate.

    Fortunately, I was redeemed and woke up eventually but I was in real danger of it not happening b/c my proximity to gays was zilch.

    As a black person, I would prefer to deal with a person like Wolfrum who has a frame of reference to compare the truth to propaganda b/c he actually was raised to believe all the wrong things. He would understand the inner workings of the racist mind better than someone raised never hearing such things. He would be the one to say something crazy and leave himself open to be corrected.

    It’s really frustrating to deal with some liberal know-it-all who cant see the forest for the suburban trees. That’s why you frequently hear black people say that the clueless liberals make them more depressed than the rabid haters. The people who are liberal but “get it” are the shining hope of the world to us. That includes Jews, gays, Muslims, transgenders, Latinos, Native Americans etc.

    Thanks for sharing, Wolfrum. Late reply but I just found your blog! :-)

  31. tyiesha_m on October 20th, 2010 12:49 pm

    oops! Make that “HAD a frame of reference…”. Sorry..

  32. peg on October 21st, 2010 2:10 pm

    I had a very racist family growing up. The Ultimate threat was to be told we would be dropped off in the all black township of Kinloch, thrown out of the car, my father would scream “N—” and take off. It is extremely hard to overcome that kind of fear. However, when I was 7, and my bike was stolen, it was not my father or brothers who helped me look for it around the neighborhood, it was my friend Venosta. When my mother took me to work with her where she was director of nurses in a nursing home, it was the nurse aides who treated me with warmth (they were all black) while the head nurse (white) obviously did not want me underfoot.
    This made me question every thing my older siblings and father had told me about the evil, dangerous black people.
    When I found out that my own kid’s rural school refused to call Martin Luther King Day, Martin Luther King day, I moved to the city. I just didn’t think it was very smart to raise children with that kind of attitude in 2010.
    I still harbor some racists feelings, they come out as over-compensation- There was a day I was ready to leave a park at dusk but decided to stay because a black family had just entered the park and I did not want them to think I was leaving on account of them. I find myself doing things like this often, and I wish I could just not take color into consideration at all, but sometimes I still do.

  33. William K. Wolfrum on October 22nd, 2010 2:30 am

    Peg, Thank you so much for sharing that. We all have sides of ourselves we don’t like, but what makes us strong people is seeing that and working to understand why.

    Truly, thanks.

  34. Svensker on December 31st, 2010 9:27 am

    Had a very similar experience in 6th grade, 40 years ago. Called my black girlfriend a nigger when I was mad at her and she never spoke to me again. I’ve thought about it ever since, especially that look of betrayal on her face. I still wish I could apologize to her for my thoughtless racism. Karen, if you’re out there, I’m so sorry that your 12 year old self had to be my “learning experience”.

  35. beejeez on January 2nd, 2011 7:18 pm

    I remember a time around the late 60s or early 70s when i was sure the kind of casual racism you used to hear would fade away now that its ignorance had finally been proved scientifically and mocked in movies, TV, music and books. Around the 80s, I used to be surprised that it managed to stay hanging around. By the 90s, I was no longer surprised and I came to understand it would be a slow, long slog that was likely to outlive me. Self-examinations like Mr. Wolfrum’s are a worthy step forward.

  36. kimmie on March 25th, 2011 8:46 am

    Thank you for sharing your personal story and from being willing to learn from it. I applaud you for admitting this and from wanting to be a better man. I hope Al gets a chance to read this & I hope you get a chance to speak to him, in person, from the heart

  37. Kasai on June 21st, 2011 8:53 pm

    Thank you kindly for sharing your story……….It touched me deeply and perhaps so many others. If Al never reads this, rest assured that you made many more Al’s that read this letter, has reached their souls, for them I thank you.
    Because of people like you Sir, this world will be a better place.

  38. ced on September 24th, 2011 5:15 pm

    i am a 62 year old African American. You give me hope. Thank you.

  39. Ericka Simone on September 24th, 2011 5:25 pm

    Yeah. God bless you for this piece; I wish more people would have this moment of clarity in their lives. Continue spreading your message.

  40. William K. Wolfrum on September 24th, 2011 5:35 pm

    Thank you both for the kind words. They are truly appreciated.

  41. Triston Bennett on December 8th, 2011 2:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. You were young and were only going by what you learned at home. You have now grown up and passed it all.

  42. William K. Wolfrum on December 9th, 2011 7:18 am

    Thanks, brother, I really appreciate that.

  43. Melanie Dione on July 11th, 2012 12:58 pm

    Race, racism and racial inequality really can’t be treated like dirty little secrets. They’re ugly and painful, but acting like they don’t exist have really made society regress. As much as I would love to say, “Hey, race is a bullshit concept,” I don’t have that luxury. Being black and female makes race extremely tangible.

    This will take us not only looking at ourselves long and hard, but also looking at the social constructs that have been decades, even centuries, in the making. I don’t know if enough people are willing to do that. I feel as though too many people are waiting either for racism to just go away, or for someone else to do something.

    It can be discouraging, but I will always advocate, educate when possible and remain hopeful. Thanks so much for this honest peace. You already know I think that you’re the dopeness.

  44. jerzygirl45 on September 16th, 2015 9:40 am

    Thank you for opening up about this. Hopefully Al will get to read this some day

  45. William K. Wolfrum on October 7th, 2015 7:12 am

    Thanks, Jerz :)

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Enter 300x250 Banner Code Here
  • Details: Love never dies. Ok, everything dies. But this is still sweet.

WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera