No Brown Girls

One of my first experiences with racism was in about  the 2nd grade.  While in class, I used to sit next to a white girl named Rachel and a Puerto Rican girl named Denise.  We talked and laughed a lot as little girls do. They both seemed nice enough. One day, Rachel invited Denise and myself to her sleepover and provided her telephone number in case we wanted to call her sometimes. I grew up with a very protective mother who didn’t really do sleepovers even when requested by close friends and family members. I would later find out, she had her reasons. I knew it would be a stretch, but I finally asked my mother if I could go to Rachel’s sleepover. She offered her usual, “I don’t think so” which really meant “Hell no.” I wasn’t happy but I wasn’t surprised.
The following Monday at school, Denise, the more talkative of us three,  informed me that when she phoned Rachel this past Saturday morning, just to chat, a woman, I’m presuming her mother, answered the phone and allegedly told Denise,”I don’t want any brown girls calling this house and hung up”.  Even then, I had no reason to believe a kid that age would make up such a thing. That pathetic woman actually said this. Denise confronted Rachel about this, but she had nothing to offer but awkward silence. With that I knew I wasn’t going to Rachel’s sleepover and I couldn’t wait to tell my mother what happened. Further, from that day forward, I had little or nothing to say to Rachel. I wasn’t an overly dramatic or emotional kid. My feelings weren’t hurt. I just knew she was being groomed to be racist by her own parent and no black kid could compete with that.  I believed in thought and action. I knew my place in this scenario and it was to keep my distance from kids like Rachel.
When I finally told my mother, she let me know the main reason she was uncomfortable with sleepovers. She started by making me aware that knowing people and knowing how they run their households are two different things. Her main concern was the potential for child molestation. Then, Mom asked,  “So what do you think would have happened had I let you go to the house of someone who would say such a thing to a child? She was brown, you’re black?” My silence provided her the confirmation she needed that at least some of what she taught me had soaked in.  I was a young child but I was a bright child. This incident made me aware that racism is a family heirloom passed from generation to generation for far too many. The fact that most people don’t have friends of different races makes me realize that this isn’t just some isolated societal issue. This is widespread, perpetual and done by design. There are those who will always feel racism is a necessary evil which serves to preserve their supremacy and privilege. This is the survival mechanism they’ve chosen.  For the rest of us who refuse to live by fear, if we wish to resolve the issue of race, we must start with our youth. They can change if they learn from the darkness of our past and hopefully, they will.


About TheQuirkyEccentric

The Quirky Eccentric is an author and licensed registered nurse in the state of Florida with over 15 years of experience in multiple areas of the healthcare industry. I received my Associate of Science in Nursing from Florida Community College at Jacksonville and my Bachelor's Degree from Jacksonville University-news/politics junkie, urban, Mama's girl, cat woman, socially lazy, loner, liberal. I firmly believe you can learn something from anybody, I respect people from all walks of life, equality for all. Check out my page on Amazon:
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5 Responses to No Brown Girls

  1. well done & the truth in it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. kelley says:

    I don’t think white people, as a whole, have it in them. That means relinquishing control and giving up all that privilege they worked so hard to create and maintain. That’s what’s precious to them. That’s all they have.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eartha says:

    Thanks for sharing. As a Mom, I can relate to not ever wanting my daughters to go to sleepovers especially if I do not get a good, honest, embracing vibe from the parents. Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

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