“and the dealers got ya thinking, that it’s either black or white. Thank god, it’s not that simple in my secret life.” (Leonard Cohen)
So what is the poster boy for segregation, Strom Thurmond, doing here?
I will explain. As the Senate’s longest serving member, Strom Thurmond made every effort to prevent “the mongrelization of the Nation,” including crafting legislation making marriage and even co-habitation of mixed races a punishable crime.
And yet, he fathered a child with black teenager when they were both quite young. Rather than disavow his daughter, he supported her financially and saw that she was well educated and raised to be a competent, independent adult. Is it not reasonable to think that he felt affection for his child, and for her mother? He was punished by his own ideology, which prevented both those relationships from reaching their full potential. He became his own victim, inflicting the same punishment upon himself that he inflicted upon the nation.
We now have an entry that implies a similarity: are we still not free to chose who to befriend, or even, who to love?
While many of us struggle to limit ourselves to 500 words, the parameter of our contest, Jeff Switt has managed his entire response with a beginning, middle and an end in just 100 words. Bravo!
Either. Or. Neither. Noir
by Jeff Switt
The other side of the tracks. That’s where the Negroes lived. “I catch you over there and I’ll whip your ass,” my mother would warn me. Every day I would stand as close as I could to those tracks. One Thursday a black girl my age walked toward me, her head braided with a tightness of rope, pig tails tied off with red ribbon.
“My name is Louise,” she said to me. “What’s yours?”
“Billy,” I replied.
“Better not come over here, Billy.”
I walked across those tracks toward her, reached out my hand, and touched her face. She smiled.
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