Published by admin on Fri, 2011-10-14 01:15

Carolyn Davies* is fifty-three and a widow and lives in Massachusetts after spending most of her life in Texas. She works for the government in the area of social services.

My first awareness that there were different races came when I was a little girl, about five or six. This was in the mid-1950s. We were living in California. We hadn’t moved to the South yet. We visited my mother’s relatives in Texas. I went downtown with my mother and my two aunts. We went to a department store and they were talking and shopping and I was just sort of looking around like children do, and I noticed that they had two water fountains on the wall. One of them had a sign that said “colored.” I had never seen anything like that before, so I ran up to my mother and said, “Oh mommy, they have colored water over there! Can I have some?”

My mother was a very sweet, precious, loving Christian person who didn’t have a mean bone in her body. She tried to explain to me what colored people were and why here in Texas colored people had to drink out of different fountains and go to different bathrooms. She was very calm and gentle, but it was just sort of like I had never heard of such a thing. It was just so foreign to me. That moment has stuck with me. It is one of a few memories I have from when I was very young.

My family traveled a lot with my dad’s work—all over the country and in Canada—and eventually we moved to Texas when I was in high school. It was a white school, but they had hand-picked about ten exceptional black students from black schools to go there. One of them had good speech and debate talent and those were areas I was interested in, so I got to know him quite well from our various activities. He was a really nice kid. I remember one time when we were coming back from a speech tournament. We dropped him off at his house and it was in a really run-down area of town, and he seemed sort of embarrassed. I thought how difficult it must be for him. It was like he was on display. He had to be perfect. He had to prove to the white people that he was acceptable and like us, and there was his really dilapidated house. I don’t know, it just really dug at me somehow, and it has stayed with me ever since.

In the fall of 1967, I went off to a private liberal arts college in Minnesota. When I got there, I was assigned a black roommate, a real sweet girl from Chicago. Looking back on it, I suppose they put me with her thinking something like, “Oh, this poor ignorant person from the South”—me—”we have to save her because she must be a horrible bigot,” which I wasn’t. I don’t think it was just an accident that the one person in the school from the South is the only white person who ended up with a black roommate. She was on a full scholarship and she studied really hard. She was very cliquish with the other dozen or so black students on campus. Sometimes they would come to our room and that was fine with me, it was her room, too. I realized how difficult it was for the black students. They were on trial. They had to succeed. They couldn’t miss a class. They had to make good grades.

The college I went to had very high academic standards. Probably most students who went there were in the top ten percent of their high school class. The black students may have been the top students in their high schools, but I don’t think they were on the same level as the white students. So they had to work really hard to prove that they could keep up with the rest of us. My roommate was under so much pressure, even from the other black students. I remember them calling her an “oreo” a couple of times and that really hurt her. I just think it was very hard for her.

When I got out into the world, I became a social worker. I had grown up in a family with a lot of advantages. Not so much financially—we did okay, we were comfortable, but we weren’t wealthy or anything —but we had background and breeding. We had a great deal of pride in our family history, our British heritage. I was taught that as a Christian I should have a Christ-like serving nature. I wanted to do for others who didn’t have the benefits I did. As a social worker, I worked for a number of years with all types of people— abused children, senior citizens in nursing homes, severely handicapped and developmentally disabled people, and mentally ill in a children’s psychiatric hospital. This was in Texas. I had moved back there.

My clients were from all different backgrounds: black and Hispanic and lower class white. Frankly, over time I started to become disillusioned with them. I saw that they had different desires and different ways than what I had expected and hoped. A lot of them, I came to realize, didn’t really want to solve their problems and really didn’t have much of any impulse to do anything to better themselves. More than anything, they just wanted someone to do things for them and take care of them so they didn’t have to have any responsibility for their lives. I saw that the basic caliber of people really differs, that it isn’t just that some have situations that hold them back and keep them down. Like everybody else, I had been brainwashed in college to think that everybody is basically equal. Your parents mortgage the farm to send you off to college to learn from these people, and so you assume the professors know what they are talking about and that they are telling you the truth, which I eventually found out they weren’t.

When I was growing up, there were people who were from abused homes. There were people whose parents were alcoholics. There were people whose fathers or mothers had abandoned them. But they had exposure in school and in church and with their friends to what a normal life is like. That gave them the opportunity to see, “I don’t have to stay in this kind of a life, I can do better.” Years ago, people wanted to try to do better, and parents—no matter how poor they were, no matter how bad their situation was—worked hard to give their children something a little bit better than what they had.

So many of the parents I worked with seemed perfectly happy for their children to stay in the horrible situations they were in. We have fourth and fifth generation welfare families now. We have parents who don’t care if their children do even worse in life than they did. That, to me, is the problem. And I think that there’s a lot of racial and ethnic influence in that. Whites are taking on the standards of minorities. I don’t think that is exclusively what is going on—the way the welfare system operates contributes to the problem —but I do believe it is a big factor. Although, for that matter, to a big extent the current welfare system is an accommodation to black and Hispanic approaches to life, so there is a racial dimension there too.

In Texas, where I lived until recently when I moved to Massachusetts, I had a lot of experience working with Hispanics and blacks. Particularly with black people, in their philosophy or value system, being a jerk is great. You know, being rude and crude and foul-mouthed and putting people down and being irresponsible, the way you see it in the black recording artists and the athletic stars now—that’s what I mean. Blacks take pride in being that way. There’s something admirable about it to them. It’s like they no longer have to meet our standards, white standards. They can do whatever they want and if we don’t like it, there’s something wrong with us.

I’m going to sound like I am a hundred I know, but when I was growing up, people had manners. Everyone was expected to behave in a certain way. People who didn’t were looked down upon or ostracized. It wasn’t acceptable to be crude or rude or obnoxious or foul-mouthed. I think it started with Muhammad Ali. At least that’s the first person I can ever remember behaving like that, like so many kids especially act today, and I’m talking about white kids. Ali was a very bright young black man who had a tremendous physical talent in his boxing, but he was also a smart-mouthed jackass. We accepted that and even loved him for it and thought it was fabulous that he did that. There were black celebrities at that time like [singers] Lena Horne and Leslie Uggams, and you had Arthur Ashe in tennis, for example. They were all very much ladies and gentlemen. But Muhammad Ali came around and made it cool to be smart-mouthed and smart-alecky.

So I do see the influence of race and different value systems helping to diminish our culture and our country. I’ll give you another example of the kind of thing I am talking about. The apartment complex where I was living had been all white, but then the composition started changing. Some new neighbors moved in next to me who were from Mexico. I’d say “Good morning” and “How are you?” and they would just smile and say “Thank you”—they didn’t speak much English. They had almost no furniture. It was a family of a husband and wife and three kids, but there were ten or twelve other Mexican people over there all the time. They would all go out and sit out on the stairs and drink Cokes and eat candy and throw trash and garbage all over the place. When I tried to get in and out, I could barely do it because they were sitting there. The kids would stare in my windows. Their daughter and her boyfriend would hang out in their apartment when she got off school and they would scream and have fights and curse at each other. Many times, they would do it right outside my window. One time, I thought the young lady might be being abused or something and I asked her if she was all right, did she want me to call the police or her parents. “No!” she shouted at me and started back screaming obscenities at her boyfriend.

Black people also started moving into the apartment complex and it started getting to where they would come through at two or three in the morning with their car stereos blasting and having wild parties and things like that. Yelling and screaming and swearing and carrying on was normal for them. And I guess they have a right to live that way, but I don’t want them underneath me or next door to me. I got tired of listening to it and picking up trash. I just don’t want to live like that. I started to think that if I wanted a decent life I would have to run away from these people. And why should I have to do that? Why can’t they live up to my standards instead of me having to leave in order to get away from their standards?

I remember saying to a friend one time, “I just can’t stand being around black people who are so crude and vulgar and foul-mouthed and overbearing and obnoxious.” Before she could get on her high horse and say, “How dare you say such a thing?” I said, “But I don’t like white people who are like that either.” So for me it is not so much the race or the ethnicity, it’s the behavior. I don’t like being around vulgar, low-class people, period. I like being around upper class people or nice, normal, decent middle class people.

I was making a fairly good living and was able to move from the apartment complex I was in, but there are a lot of Anglo people who aren’t as fortunate as I am and they are still back there living with all that. For example, there were some neighbors who were just lovely people, an elderly couple. She was in her seventies and he was in his eighties and he was very ill. They were really not physically able to move and, secondly, it is very expensive and where would they go? I tried to help them out, but I just wasn’t able to do enough. They were trapped there, so they have to put up with what is going on. It is just awful for them because they had no options.

Back in the early 1990s, I did some volunteer work at a bookstore. It had a lot of things about our founding fathers, what their goals and desires were, the kind of country they wanted to make, and so on, and I spent a lot of time reading those books. I began to be very proud of what they had done and in the fact that my ancestors were part of that. I began to get an even greater pride in my European heritage. Someone in my family did extensive genealogy and found out that one of my ancestors was the first civilian ever knighted in England back in the 1300s. He had saved the life of King Richard during the peasants’ revolt and he was Lord Mayor of London twice. That was so exciting for me to discover. I was just so proud of the people from whom I came and my heritage that, even though that was hundreds of years ago, I felt like it was still in my genes somehow. As my relative delved more deeply, I found out that my family on both sides had been very active in the colonial movement in this country. One of my ancestors had been governor of one of the colonies and things like that. So I began to have a tremendous pride in who I was and where I had come from. I was probably around forty at that point.

I am very patriotic and love America and have great respect for the Founding Fathers, who felt that they had a great gift from God. I think our country was founded on wonderful principles. But now our country’s founders are being portrayed as monsters instead of being revered for the abilities and knowledge and courage and strength they had. I believe America was intended to be a white European country. That doesn’t mean we don’t want anyone here from other races. I don’t want to go back to exclusion and segregation. But I do want people here who love this country and are proud of it, and who want to be Americans and who don’t constantly put this country down and tell us how horrible everybody was and how horrible everybody is now.

I read a lot of things I got from this bookstore about the Frankfurt School kind of theory that is trying to change this country. The Frankfurt School was a group of Jewish scholars in Germany during Hitler’s time and they fled to America. Their ideas are the root of what we call political correctness. The Frankfurt School intellectuals are the ones who started all this about racism and sexism and homophobia and, you know, it’s not acceptable to be proud of who you are if you’re white and it’s not acceptable to feel critical of any groups that do not behave like normal people. I became conscious that what is going on in society isn’t just an accident. Somebody is trying to change America. They are trying to bring about what they would call a utopian world, and that involves destroying the white race, or compromising it, weakening it, taking away its power, its place in things, you know?

I don’t believe the leaders of the politically correct movements have any real desire to help anyone—the civil rights movement, the various homosexual rights movements, and the women’s movement. By the way, what a crock feminism is. Where did all the men go? I think the people at the top of those movements are doing what they are doing for power and control and to destroy what we have so that they can have the kind of world they want. I don’t think they really care about the poor and the masses and the minorities. I think they are basically using them to get what they want. That’s what political correctness is all about. That’s what the Frankfurt School started.

From what I have read, there are people making a conscious effort to create the kind of world our ancestors didn’t want in America. They want the whole world run by an oligarchy of very wealthy, powerful people, and the rest of us will be slaves and serfs and peasants and peons. To do that, they have to destroy the white race and the middle class, and basically America and Europe. I think it’s very conscious, and I don’t think it has anything to do with helping anyone or wanting to right all of the wrongs of the past. It’s very deliberate, and they’re using a lot of good people who do want to right wrongs and correct things for their own purposes. I think that once they achieve what they want, a lot of people are going to be real surprised at what happens to them.

At the bookstore, I would pick up one book and that would lead to another. I read some things about the civil rights movement and I was so shocked. I couldn’t believe some of the things that happened. It wasn’t just a lot of wonderful people trying to solve terrible problems and injustices. When the civil rights marches were going on, I was a teenager and it all seemed so noble to me. And growing up in a very strong Christian household, it was “God loves us all equally”—which I still believe—but now as a mature woman, I’m starting to say, “Wait a minute, this was all a fraud!” I used to think that all the people who came rushing down from the North were wonderful Christian people or great Jewish liberals. That is what we were told by television and everything. But I have read that many of the people who went down there were paid to participate in this movement, and that many of them were disgusting people, foul-mouthed and totally immoral.

Even Martin Luther King, who was supposed to be the greatest saint that ever lived: what his life was really like and what he was really like and what the people around him were really like was disgusting. Some of the things I read were by black authors, so that made me feel like, well, at least it’s not just some members of the Ku Klux Klan or something that are saying that. These are people who were actually part of his movement. I wondered why I had never heard about any of this before. It obviously was being kept from us deliberately.

I remember when I was young somebody saying Dr. King was a communist and everybody jumping all over him: “How could you say that, you awful person?” But then I read that John Kennedy called him to the White House and said, “You’ve got to get rid of your communist advisors,” which King ignored. One of the books I read had a section by a black woman who saw what he was really like. Disgusting sexual practices, horrible! Not at all what you would expect from any Christian much less a minister. I think he may have started out as a sincere black Christian minister who really believed he could do some good, but he was used by people who realized what they could accomplish with him. From what I have read, a lot of it had to do with giving him all the women he wanted, particularly a lot of white women to go to bed with. The FBI file on Dr. King is being withheld from the public until the year 2028, I think it is. Why? What is in that file?

South Texas where I was living has many wonderful aspects to it. The cost of living is low and housing is reasonable, and while the summers are hot, the winters are mild, and there’s no state income tax. But it got so I just didn’t want to live there anymore. I wanted to go to New Hampshire or Montana or someplace, and that’s why I ended up moving and taking a different job, because I wanted to get away to where people are more like me. This was about two years ago when I made my decision. I’m in Massachusetts now, in the central part of the state. But to my dismay, I’m finding that even up here, thousands of Hispanics are flooding in. I guess they came up, or are being brought up, to work in factories or something. I really don’t know.

I love to travel. My goal is to see every state in the United States and to see every capital. I color them off on a map as I finish because I love America so much. Two years ago, I was going through Iowa. There was a big thing when I was there about how they are bringing in hordes of immigrants so that they can work in industries and agriculture. I went through the governor’s mansion on a tour and I had a chance to meet the governor’s wife. I said to her, “Thank you for taking me through your lovely home, and I appreciate the opportunity to meet you, and if I can say one thing to you it’s for heaven’s sake don’t bring all these Hispanic people in. Everybody else is trying to get away from them. Why do you want to bring them in when you have a state that’s ninety-eight percent white?” Her mouth dropped open and she stared at me and pushed me aside. I’m sure that she thought I had lost my mind. But I thought they had lost their minds to have a place where they didn’t have any of them and then to bring them in on purpose.

I have two nephews. One is getting ready to go to college and the other one will be going to college in a couple of years. They are both bright, talented boys. But of course they’re facing this “You can’t get into our college because we have to have this number of blacks and this number of Hispanics and this number of whatever.” There is a lot of discrimination against white people in favor of minorities at the present time, whether it is done formally or informally. I think that is bad, but I think also that much of what is being done is actually very cruel to minorities. If Jane Doe Minority or John Doe Minority could do well at a small teachers college and get a decent education and a good job, that’s wonderful. But if you take that person and stick them at Harvard or Yale or Princeton or Stanford or Columbia and they can’t do the work, it’s cruel because they may well not be able to keep up and they will drop out. From what I understand, the minority dropout rate is huge in those kinds of places. These kids go to Harvard or Yale and they’re built up like they’re gods, and then a year or two later they come crawling home with their tails between their legs. They were set up for failure, and nobody doing this to them seems to care how humiliating and degrading it is to the minority children. And of course they couldn’t care less about how unfair it is to deserving white children to be the victims of racial discrimination.

I had just had my fifty-third birthday. I’ve lived alone for years— my husband was killed in Vietnam. I’ve never been afraid of anything, but I’ve started to think, “What am I going to do when I am sixty and seventy and eighty and all by myself?” I don’t want to live behind burglar bars and be afraid to go to the store for fear that some monster is going to beat me up and rape me and rob me. I am feeling my mortality, and a lot of that is tied into the fear of what is going on with other racial and ethnic groups and how that’s changing our country and our communities. I’ve always felt safe because I was a nice person. If I met someone, I was always friendly with them. It didn’t make any difference if it was a black janitor or a Hispanic bus driver or whatever, I was always very friendly and nice, and people always appreciated the fact that I treated them just like everybody else. But what’s going on today, people don’t care who you are or how nice you are or how unprejudiced you are. If you are in their sights and you’re the wrong color, you’re dead. And their turf is expanding rapidly. I keeping thinking, where can I go to be safe when I get older? I am thinking of moving to Maine. I think it is safe there still.