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Our senior year 1955 Byron Bradfute and his long time neighbor sat in the locker room before first football practice. The coach had a special talk for the team that year. Beeville, Texas had closed black Lott Canada H.S. and folded the students into A.C. Jones H.S. The guys all listened and probably heard the waa waa waa of Charlie Brown’s teacher until Coach said players were to make the new classmates feel welcome and that there was to be no fighting. Byron looked at his black childhood friend and said, “Coach, we’ve been fighting all our lives. You mean we can’t fight anymore?”  For the racially deaf among you; it was playful fighting.

I can’t help but think of this story when I look around and see what is happening to race relations since Obama was elected. I don’t vote Democrat, so he wasn’t my choice, but I was soothed by the thought that race relations would get even better, that we had crossed the bar. How very, very naive I was. Only eight months have passed since inauguration, and I cannot remember this much acrimony in a long time.

Our family is at a place where dear friends are black or bi-racial, we have nieces who are bi-racial, my son finally found a church he feels at home in, and it is an African American church. We saw him baptized there last year and can see how the pastors and congregation have embraced him. When my husband passed and there was a delay in the memorial, it was my son’s deacons who piled out of a van and conducted a small prayer service for us one evening in our living room when we needed it most, complete with jubilee music.

Was this all for nothing? There seem to be factions, both black and white, which would tear apart all that has begun to be repaired – and I don’t like it. Not one bit. I pray cooler heads will prevail.

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