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The Colors of Our World
White sees black as criminally minded
Black sees Asian as racially blinded
Asian sees Jew as money-motivated
Jew sees white hoods, white-robed hatred
Around and around but it stops when I found
That I start with my own heart I gotta break down
My own racist mind, mind be free
Take me one step closer to equality
Most of my life has been spent in an almost completely white community. Until last summer, I had only known one person of color, a kid on my middle school cross-country team. We got along pretty well except for the time he hip-tossed me before a meet and cracked a bone in my arm.
I notice that at times I find myself prejudging others on the color of skin. I was forced to confront all that I believed on the issue of race and equality when I was accepted as a counselor for our church camp. Along with the 28 other summer counselors, I arrived on the grounds to discover those who would become my lifelong friends. One of them was a black teenager, Justin. Being accustomed to spending time with only whites, at first I had problems adjusting to being with that which was different. Now I look back and wonder how Justin dealt with being the loner among an all-white team.
All thoughts of race and any other differences among any of us soon faded as we became a close family. Of course, remarks were made now and then to the color of Justin's skin, but always in loving fun. For example, we often got together as a group to hang out at the beach or pool in the evenings to play beach football or swim. One time Adam, another summer counselor, acted scared wondering where Justin was because he could not see him in the dark. So he yelled out, "Hey, Justin! Where are you? I can't see you. Smile." Everyone laughed at the joke including Justin, giving his location away by the white of his teeth.
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Justin was one of us. We were a family. We did not care about the color of someone's skin, but instead focused on the personality, character, and morals of each other. We looked deeper than the skin to the person on the inside. We were able to reach what so many civil rights leaders had worked so hard for-equality. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been proud.