“You have the privilege of hiding behind your whiteness…… my Child does NOT”

May 31, 2015

In the current New York Mag is a Wonderful article: “Can Racism Be Stopped In The Third Grade”

I was at Beauvoir….in the third grade….the first Private School I had ever attended…Dad felt all of us should go to public school before private school…but I think that policy ended with my older sister and me…as the rest of my 3 siblings went to private schools……

but I never met a black co-student until the 8th Grade at St Albans…when they admitted the first Black…the Brilliant Frank Snowden….who I think teaches at Yale now……

this article says:

“At 7 or 8 children become very concerned with fairness and responsive to lessons about prejudice…inequality….are just beginning to form a sense of racial identity….

White people are raised to believe they have no race, that they are ‘normal.

To lump Jewish children together with other white children is to ignore centuries of history

The black group…said that people assume if you are Black, you must live in a bad neighborhood.

Black parents almost universally say they talk to their kids about discrimination….black boys are given the “talk” by the time they’re in middle school…’keep your hands out of your pockets, don’t wear a hooded sweatshirt….’ ”

This article is based on a program started by Fieldston Lower School….

the head of the school is Damian Fernandez…who identifies himself as a “white Latino, born in Cuba, raised in Puerto Rico, and educated at Princeton…(who happens to be Gay)”

the idea is totally different than the integration policies that began while I was in High School…it is where they take a class..of 8 year olds….. and spend part of the day…dividing by “racial affinity groups”….chosen by the kids themselves…where they discuss their raace………..they would then get together with the rest of their class and express what they had learned…what they felt…..

of course some of the “liberal” parents were furious as this is not the way they were “integrated”…..(this came basically from the white parents)

This all came rushing home to be…the racist attitude of primarily white people when I met with my new banker…..

let me preface………..I am moving……retiring before the end of this year…selling my townhouse…going to Palm Springs…..so I thought I better take out a home equity loan to fix up my house to get top dollar…..

I applied to Wells Fargo….and to US Bank…….

well let me tell you Wells has been my bank for like 40 years…but their online application was so difficult…whereas US Bank was a breeze….it guided you through everything….

I NEVER heard from any individual at Wells…..whereas the headquarters of US Bank in Minneapolis ….two people contacted me with more question requesting more proof of income etc..

then they told me that “Heros at my local US Bank” would contact me…

well I thought were calling their bank agents “Heros”…….as a gimic…that we could all have our heroes…………..

But there IS Heros Bijan…..one of the nicest men I have ever met,,,,,he is the way bankers were back in the old day…

Really interested in you……

he spent over 2 hours last week – on 2 different days….just talking like I was a member of his family…..he told me that my loan had been approved for more than twice I had requested…..

he is Armenian….raised here in Southern California…..to move at a young age to Iran, Germany, well all over….before settling back here with his family…..as his father is quite Brilliant……….

he bought a house for his family…as is the wonderful familial tradition in so many parts of the world that seems sort of lost with Caucasians….

he lives in the pool house and his parents and younger brother live in the main house….his mother will decide What woman is right for him….though he will pick her…..to present for his mother’s approval

in talking to him …there is such a gentleness….a warmth exuding from his eyes….that one truly feels at peace…..

he definitely is one chosen by the powers that be…Allah..God……

the first time I met him we were talking about prejudice….(he is bearded like all men from the Mid East)…

He is one of the managers of the Bank…dresses in the usual suit and tie…he said That day…someone called him “Isis”

then several days later when I saw him…as we were discussing cooking…he does a mean Armenian barbecue….but that is about it….but his mother is this FABULOUS cook…and I told him about my friend Michelle…how her boys have never found a woman….to measure up to her…nor to be able to cook like her…..

I asked him…(assuming it was impossible)…if he had received any more racist slurs…..

he sighed…and said yes…today someone called me a Terrorist…..

he just saw Red…had to leave the bank to walk up and down La Brea….until he calmed down……

I said How do you do calm down ….he said …by thinking of the most Beautiful place in the world…and that I AM there………….

he said it is amazing Robert what your mind can create…..

(sigh…needless to say…I am moving all of my pittances to US Bank)

2 Responses to ““You have the privilege of hiding behind your whiteness…… my Child does NOT””

  1. susi said

    Hi Rob – When I was a child, my family was friends with another family in Seattle who happened to be Armenian. I wouldn’t have thought they were anything other than whatever I was, except that the dad made the most wonderful food when we came over, and then I was told that this was “Armenian food.” Very delicious. I think most Armenians are Christian, not Muslim, just FYI. Their branch of Christian church was founded in the first century A.D. And in fact there is the sad history of that terrible massacre of Armenians by the Turks, way back when. Your banker sounds like a gem! xoxo

  2. Diana Skrah-Devers said

    I am a quarter Armenian (paternal side), Caucasian, with Christian beliefs. Loved hearing this story first hand Robby over dinner last Friday. Had fun with our Selfies! Love you much! Hoping to see you soon! xoxoxo

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