I just watched “Hidden Figures” again, which is a movie about the many Black women who were instrumental in getting our space program off the ground, and I was again struck and saddened to witness the bigotry and racism that was predominant at the time.
I’m eighty years old. I lived in that time, although, thankfully, I was oblivious to it. Having grown up in Iowa and graduated from high school in 1960, a high school where the young women in our school elected a Black young man as king of “The Spinster’s Spree”, or Sadie Hawkins Day as some other schools call it.
To me that was a testament to the non-racist atmosphere in our school, which I had never really given any thought of, since I had never witnessed any racial strife in my three years in high school. Having lived on the outskirts of town and having lived in an all white community, I had very little contact with Black people up until I attended high school.
There was, of course, a Black community in our city, as in most cities in the country at the time, but there were no separate facilities for Black people. I didn’t experience that until I went into the Army in 1964 when I was stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana. It was a bit of a shock when I walked into the small airport and saw separate bathrooms and separate drinking fountains.
Thankfully, once I got to my regular assignment in Germany there was very little racial conflict and most of the men I associated with were accepting of everyone, in spite of color.
What we have witnessed in the years since Trump became president has been a resurgence of racism and bigotry in our country and it is deeply saddening to me that the Republican Party has become a party that would drag us backwards, back to that terrible time in our history where people with lighter skin declared themselves superior because of that distinction.
We need to make it clear to the world, for All time, that there is but one race: “The Human Race.”
It is a sad commentary on ones life that they could only raise up their self worth by declaring people with darker skin to be lesser than themselves. Just sayin’.