An incident from the past.
|I recently read and rated a poem by |
Somehow, or magically, this poem brought back memories of a tiny, inconsequential incident that occurred on a sidewalk of Brooklyn.
It was a long time ago and I was just a small child. My mother was busily sweeping the walkway in front of our house. I was only a couple of feet away from her.
In the distance, I watched a man walking toward us. As he came nearer, I noticed that his color was not the same as me. Now, I had never seen a black man before. In my inquisitive innocence, I ran in front of the man. I lifted my head as high as I could in order to stare him in his face, and I asked him simply, "Why are you black?" I expected an answer, but he just mumbled some expletives and I definitely heard, "You white trash, get out of my way."
My mother dropped her broom and instantly placed herself between the man and little me. I don’t remember all that she said to him, but I distinctly heard her say, "She is only a child, and meant no harm to you. There was nothing wrong with her question.”
Mother was shaking her finger at the man. I somehow knew that she told him he should be ashamed of himself. She used that phrase many times in admonishing others who set a bad example such as spitting on the ground or littering an area.
Isn’t it funny that we can remember certain situations from when we were children? How easily our innocence is taken away from us by the examples set by grownups. I thank my mother for teaching us to show respect and love to others no matter what their race, creed, or nationality. Of course, at that time, it meant respect to any and all elders. From the very beginning, we were told that we are all equal in the eyes of God.