Having been a small child in the middle of Civil Rights and living up north where there was far less tension, I was sheltered from this insanity. Not that New Englanders aren’t ever prejudiced – I guess most everyone is to an extent – but I missed the drama that played out in the Southern states during that era. (I well remember the hippies though).
Having grown up above the Mason-Dixon line, I always thought of myself as unbiased, not stupid enough to lower myself to prejudice, but in truth I was plain ignorant. Out in the
suburbs I just hadn’t been exposed to many minorities other than Irish Catholics (and in city, there were plenty of them) or the occasional Jewish person. The general sentiment seemed to be liberal open-mindedness toward minorities and blacks…or maybe I just didn’t hear lots of demeaning talk reflecting superior, racist attitudes. That certainly didn’t pervade the culture in Boston New England the way it did in the deep South.
At my high school in the
suburbs, we Christians were actually in the minority in a large Jewish community. I found that a fabulous cultural eye-opener and I learned many new traditions. Today, I very much enjoy my Jewish friends and truly love going to synagogue, and Jewish music, worship and food. Still, this mixing of cultures didn’t have the nasty, "better-than", contentious tone that the white-black dynamic had. Philadelphia