I do not like spending too much time wallowing in things I have zero control over. Today I found myself knee deep in thoughts about a topic that sends chills up and down my spine. It is not my favorite topic, but after reading Carolyn Meyer’s book White Lilacs and an article about Darrel Brown, I felt compelled to write about my least favorite topic: Racism.
Reading Meyer’s book and the article about Darrel Brown forced me to think about my own experiences with racism. I tried my best to suppress the dormant feelings, but human nature prevailed and steered me in a direction I did not want to go.
Carolyn Meyer’s book chronicled a very dark part of American history. The novel is about true events of a black community in Denton, Texas. The white residents wanted all the blacks to relocate to a new location so they can build a park. The whites did not care that they were destroying the lives of the black people. The worst part is the blacks had no choice but to relocate to the worst section of Dillon Texas. How degrading.
The article about Darrell Brown is even more heart wrenching. A young African American male determined to be the first to integrate football in Arkansas met nothing but one defeat after another.
“Players and assistant coaches freely used racial slurs, a fact denied by none of Brown’s half-dozen teammates interviewed. Some even recalled chants and catcalls. And there was always the kickoff drill to knock him down.”
Racism is a very complex thing. It eats at you like a cancer. It demoralizes you. You have to be very strong to recover from what it does to you mentally.
I have so much respect for Darrell Brown for not giving up, but it gets to a point where one must re-examine ones motives. Darrell reached that point when he got hurt and no one came to his aid.
“Three weeks into practice, during one drill, Brown jammed his thumb and tore the cartilage. He howled in pain. No trainer came to him. They never did. Brown tried to block out the pain until his knee bent awkwardly during a hitting drill, causing a sprain and some torn cartilage. He hobbled to the side, again, he said, without a trainer paying him any mind.