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This post has been deleted by Bellefourchelove (Denied)

Bellefourchelove 62M

10/14/2005 5:30 pm

Fred must have been acutely aware he was black, because he used to show me the palms of his hands and ask me to show him mine, and then he'd say, "See, there's not that much difference."

We were in kindergarten; I had no idea at the time what he was getting at, because when I looked at Fred, I didn’t see color; I saw my friend.

Most of my friend’s families had cars, but Fred’s dad would pick him up after school on a bicycle. Fred would jump up on the handlebars and they would ride away home. Fred’s dad was quiet and extremely polite.

As it turns out, the city where we lived had an ordinance that prohibited “riding double” on a bicycle. One day, while walking home from school, I came upon this scene: a policeman had pulled into a driveway, blocking Fred and his father. As I got closer, I could see that the officer was raising his voice and treating my friends in a most disrespectful way.

I was you and na├»ve; I was under the impression a mistake had been made. I tried to straighten it out by explaining to the cop that the man was not a bank robber or anything like that, but was my friend’s dad.

This incited the officer–he actually growled at Fred’s dad to get rid of me. So…I’ll never forget the look in Fred’s Dad’s eyes as he looked into mine and said, “You all just run along home Stevie, everything’s going to be okay.” He had his cap cocked on his head and a trace of tears in his eyes…and image that haunts me to this day. Truly it breaks my heart that people receive this treatment.

…several years ago, I found myself back in my hometown, standing on the sidewalk in exactly the place this episode had played out in 1958 or 1959. Sitting on the porch of the house sat an interracial couple. Sometimes people evolve--

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