Love and Racism


My grandmother Reidhead was born Ruby Florence Perkins in Minneapolis in 1891.  My grandfather, Paris William Reidhead, II died in November of 1957, leaving her an impoverished widow, living in Lake Worth, Florida.  I never understood her until after she died, many years after she died.  She was a wounded soul, her life basically destroyed during the Great Depression.  She loved the Lord, and practiced what she taught.

Years ago, before the move to SC, making it no earlier than 1961, my mother and Gram were shopping in Woolworths in WPB. This was still the Jim Crow era of separate and not equal. Gram was thirsty. There was a long line at the at the white’s only water fountain. She walked over to the water fountain reserved for Blacks, and helped herself.
A young Black woman looked at her. “You are drinking from our fountain. You don’t mind?”
My mother said what Gram did next changed the way she thought about things, and changed her life. “Dear, God made us all the same.” She said the young woman had tears in her eyes.
We came from a world where my mother and grandmother always had help. They lived in a world where one did not sit at the same table as the ‘help’. I don’t remember when I was a little kid, but I do remember neither my mother nor grandmother ever not sitting at the same table with someone of another race.
We were raised not to see race. After all, we loved Mae the same way we loved our grandparents. When you are raised that way, you don’t see race. When you are raised that way you don’t have the need to post quotes about MLK, Jr. or discuss racism or how bad the world is. Contrary to the current vogue in racist snowflake teachings, when you don’t see skin color, you don’t need pithy quotes to fake how tolerant you are.
If you know how to love, you don’t need to sport pithy quotes about racism, or discuss how important it is to honor someone because of their skin color. It doesn’t matter. Love is love and people are people. There are good people and bad people of all races. The secret in life is treating everyone the same and loving them equally. When you separate someone by race, in order to prove you are not a racist, you can’t possibly love. If you love, there is no need to look at the color of a person’s skin.  You look at the color of their soul and their relationship with Christ.