This made a huge impression on me but also raised new questions for me " different skin color?" why would people hate other people because of their skin color? this made no sense for me
The only thing I knew about someone with a black color was in another cartoon/comic strip for children. I read about two Dutch boys named "Sjors en Sjimmie" (english: George and Jimmy) , you can find it in google..
One was a straight haired blond, blue eyed boy and the other was black with red lips and curly hair,
Remember this was for children, but for me it was the only clue I had for people of different skin color, and they were friends !
Later I understood that the blackness and red lips of Sjimmie were merely a stereo type of that time, most people here had not seen a black person in their entire life and I think the Dutch author/writer Frans Piët who made the strip from 1938 till 1968 used that stereo type just because he did not know any better at that time . the bottom line was that Sjors and Sjimmie stood for the absolute friendship between a white and black boy ..
I was 8 years old when the march on Washington took place, outside I have never seen black people before when the TV news showed a huge crowd in an American city and a man speaking to them and they were all black..
(it was an old B&W television and the contrast really made them look more black than this picture)
This took more explaining but I understood the difference now, the only thing I could not understand why could these people not be friends ? Like in the strip?
Still beside on TV I had never seen black people they just weren't around anywhere I looked and my mom explained to me that what was on TV was in a country called America and that in our country, The Netherlands, there were only a few black people but no one lived in our town..
This satisfied my curiosity and I now much better understood the things in the news..
Around the same time the television shown this first TV language course and it was called "Walter and Conny, English for beginners"
I was glued to the screen, I loved it and I learned my first English this way, and the first thing I could Understand was "I have a dream" from the speech by Martin Luther King" as this was broadcasted in an "after the news" show ..
The rest I had to get from the subtitles though...
It was until we moved to another neighborhood a few years later when I saw the first dark people, they just have moved from Indonesia, New guinea to be precise and they had kids of my age and we immediately became friends.
And though we later moved to different places we still have contact today..
When I was 19 years old I was in this guitar band with people if all kinds if heritage and colors and I was the only "white" member. We made Santana style music , I played rhythm guitar There were two brothers from African descent who's family immigrated from Suriname were also in that band and they had a sister named Astrid, we fell in love and we went steady for about 2 years, hehe It was approved by her brothers who were also my friends..
Up till then I had never experienced something like racism, I had great friends a dark brown girlfriend who's family loved me, life was great..
Then I heard people talking about me and my blackie girlfriend, it annoyed me but I ignored it.
On a night in a bar something funny happened my girlfriend had to go to the toilet and I kept her barstool occupied until she would come back when a Moroccan guy wanted this barstool and when I told him he could not have it he started to rave at me: "YOU ARE RACIST you don't want me to have it because I am from Morocco!" I was baffled, no one ever had called me a racist, what could I say to this guy? I already knew that he would not believe me anyway..
But then I got the best "lawyer" I could wish for when my very dark girlfriend stepped between us and put her finger on his chest: "Hey little boy, I want you to stop calling my boyfriend a racist, are you out of your mind?" The Moroccan guy was stomped and out of words when she continued: " does your mama know you are talking this trash?"
Exit Moroccan guy...
Astrid's family moved back to Suriname because her mother got ill of the cold Dutch climate.
We completely lost contact, back then we had only the mail and when I got my letter returned as unknown name and address it was over..
What I want to say with this story, I grew up in a country without experiencing racism until someone imported it there ..
This Moroccan guy turned out to be one of the biggest racists I have ever seen..
And this taught me one thing when people accuse me of using the "racist card" most of the times it is because they feel personally addressed, or exposed as the real racists..
Using the racist card does not make you a racist..
It is exposing racism for what it is: indoctrinated hatred ..
This needs to be exposed every time over and over again until people start to be ashamed about it ..
Only THEN Martin Luther King's "I HAVE A DREAM" will become reality, and children can be raised without racism .......... just because it isn't there ....