The first time I was racist

I was on the playground, standing on the wooden platform near my favorite slide. It was red, with an orange tint. It was spiraled and had a cover on it. It always seemed to collect puddles at the bottom, and kids who forgot to check for them first would walk around for the rest of day, their shame soaking through the butt of their pants.

I had been waiting in line for a couple minutes, dreaming about something fantastic that only the mind of a ten-year-old could concoct. I was taken abruptly out of my dream world when a little boy of the opposite race loudly shoved past me and dove into the slide. I remember his face was sweaty, and he smelled awful. He was loud, and I was shy and reserved. I had never seen anyone with different colored skin than mine.

From then on, maybe for a couple weeks, maybe for a month, I was determined that people who did not share my color skin were all loud, and that they all shoved in line to get to the slide first.

Of course, this is not true. I recall my parents speaking to me about equality, etc., in whatever layman's terms I might understand.

But I still remember the first time I was racist.


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