What do white Americans think about black Americans?

Answer by Kris Rosvold:

This American doesn't really think of "black" Americans at all, at least not in those terms.

Let me back up a bit for context here.
I was born in 1962 in New Jersey and we almost immediately moved (age 5) to Knoxville, TN so that Dad could pursue his career as a power plant control systems engineer. I went to Head Start with several kids of all different colors.  Some were friends and some weren't. We were a mixed group of about 20 compatriots, some from the "right" side of the tracks, and others not. This mattered not one little bit to most of us kids. I witnessed some racism there, but those kids were outcasts from our main group simply because they were seen by us as being mean without cause.

I also, very briefly, attended one of my first all white classes at a church Sunday school. These folks were blatantly racist, and blatant liars in my mind because they asserted that their god loved EVERYONE, yet made no bones at all about putting down anyone who disagreed with them on any idea. I was not impressed, even at that young age.  The contrast between my friends at Head Start, and those folks at the Sunday School was dramatic.

Later on we moved to Abington PA, then briefly to San Mateo CA, thence to Bunkyoku Japan for two years.  In Japan I fell in love with Aikido and trained with a bunch of kids … I was the only white kid. I also scandalized our Japanese neighbors by befriending our garbage man…

Later I joined the Navy and spent many a weekend in some of the "worst" areas of Chicago, which to me are the best areas because that's where all the great Blues and Jazz clubs were in the late 70's.  I had 2 close calls which were both defused quickly because I looked the gent in the eyes and said "Sir, I'm here for some the best music in the country. Can I buy you a beer while we listen to these guys?"  That offer of respect got me known as the only white boy in Cabrini Greens with black balls… I still don't know what they meant, but that it was a high compliment.

I simply (because of my experiences) don't see skin color as anything other than a very minor footnote in the assessment of who a person is.

What I see long before that particular footnote, is how a person treats others, and whether their stated beliefs match their actions.

These were my formative experiences around the "issue" of race, and frankly I didn't see an issue.

As I've aged, I've become more aware that most folks see things much differently than this aspie kid does, and I'm not at all sure what to make of it. I do know that I disagree deeply with the belief that skin color matters in any meaningful way to Who and How a person is.  I've also been called out for saying as much, but being who I am Truth is Truth.

So, back to the question: What do I think of black Americans? 

I dont. The black bit doesn't even cross my mind.  What does cross my mind is that I find it really sad that such a question even needs to be asked.

What do white Americans think about black Americans?

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