Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bernice (Days Down in the South)

To be plainspoken. That is a lost art.

The pressure is high these days to be politically correct. I'm all for being nice but it's just hard to keep up with all the padded words. Instead of black, it's PC to say African-American. Instead of black-and-white... ooo... that's a big no no, you have to list every single category on the census form, where there are 20 multiple choice answers (at my last count...) including "Other". Of course this month even the Census Bureau has announced that it is confused - it is working on figuring out whether "Negro" sounds right or wrong. People are getting fired up all over TV about this. Getting in fights in order to achieve politcal correctness - that's just so bizarre.

And then I listen to how the seniors talk. And wow, it's refreshing. Bernice tells it like it is. You don't see people brave enough to talk like that anymore. So maybe (don't hate me for saying this!) it's ok to speak in black-and-white terms. As long as it's spoken out of kindness.
The year 1950, my husband was at Fort Bennie. He was there 3 years. I could not get used to the signs saying Black or White. Some people were nice, some were mean. There were some places you could not go because of your color. They had people who were called the KKK. They made sure that if you were black you could not go in places that were white. But I met a lot of white people who were nice. Going to church was a must thing. I was glad to get back home. Here I could go to places without any trouble. I am so glad to be back home, which is Phila. I hope people would get along with one another not by color but getting to know one another and understanding how far to go.