Posted on April 2, 2022

When Did I First See the Light?

Betty Johnson, American Renaissance, April 2, 2022

This is part of our continuing series of accounts by readers of how they shed the illusions of liberalism and became race realists.

When did I first see the light? I wouldn’t say it was just one thing. It has been a series of events, big and small, since early childhood that made me racially conscious.

My first negative experience with a black person happened when I was very young, probably 4-years-old. I was in a clothing store with my mom. I saw a little black girl who was about the same age as me. I wandered away from my mother and approached the girl. We immediately started talking to each other. This little girl seemed friendly enough, but we were soon joined by her older sister who pushed me down to the ground as soon as she saw me. It was like she wanted to hurt someone white, and she saw the perfect opportunity to do so when she laid eyes on me. She must have been about seven or eight, and she knew that I was small and defenseless. I also remember the look she gave me — both hateful and predatory. Fortunately, her mother saw what she did and told her “don’t do that.” They then left the store. Even at the age of four, I somehow knew that the incident in the clothing store had something to do with race.

I grew up watching television shows that depicted black characters. These included Good Times, Sanford and Son, Different Strokes, and the Cosby Show. I also sometimes got to watch Soul Train — much to my mother’s dismay (she didn’t think it was appropriate for children). I was somewhat fascinated by black people and their culture. Most of the time, their characters were funny and witty, and they always seemed to have more common sense than even the most educated whites.

Growing up in an Army town, I was used to seeing mixed-race couples and mixed-race children. I had a mixed-race classmate when I was in the 7th grade who would openly talk about how much she hated her white mother and how she only saw herself as being black — despite the fact that her parents were divorced and her white mother was the only person taking care of her. She rarely saw her black father. She was very light-skinned but all of her friends were darker-skinned blacks. She was the loudest and most hateful out of her small circle of friends, and dare I say — the smartest. They regularly made fun of white people but had zero self-awareness. They weren’t the only blacks who did this. Whites were all “stupid” and “racist” in their collective opinion. Everything that whites liked was stupid. This included our music, television shows, etc.

I remember on one occasion when our white chorus teacher wanted the class to sing the song “Ebony and Ivory” (that was a duet by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder). I remember how this mixed-race student and her friends rolled their eyes and groaned in disgust at the teacher’s suggestion. One of them asked the teacher, “Why can’t we sing any good soul songs by black artists?” Apparently, “Ebony and Ivory” wasn’t black enough for them, and I knew in my heart then, just as I know now, that they didn’t want to live in harmony with whites. They wanted to be separate from us and do their own thing.

I started riding the school bus when I was in the third grade. Everything went smoothly for a couple of years, but then things suddenly changed. It became a nightmare. My home was one of the last stops before we reached the school. By the time I boarded the bus, there weren’t many seats left. The seats were designed to hold either three small children or two older children. But by the time I got on the bus, most of the seats were occupied by at least two people. A few would be occupied by only one person — usually black teenagers. They rarely ever let us white kids sit down. We had to stand the entire time and hold on for dear life as the bus moved and stopped. I didn’t fully realize at the time that this was a potentially dangerous situation. We could have been hurt or even killed. And the black bus driver did nothing to help us. He would only yell at us to sit down but he would never insist that the black children scoot over and make room for us. Blacks would almost always help other blacks before they would help whites, so there were never any black children left standing.

I dreaded riding the bus, but I felt that it was my only option because both my parents worked full-time. I would sometimes tell them that I was rarely allowed to sit down, and they expressed disbelief. They were concerned but I don’t think they fully grasped what was happening. They would tell me to just ask nicely if I could sit down or tell the bus driver to insist that the other students move over and make room. Neither of these supposed solutions were realistic.

When I started high school, I decided I could no longer take it and I begged my parents to drive me to school every day. They gave in and did just that. My mother was the only one who could take me during the morning because my father had to leave for work early. At work, she rotated between day and night shifts, and she would often sacrifice some sleep just so she could take me to school.

There were other things that increased my awareness of the differences and tensions between whites and blacks. One was the Rodney King riots and the horrific beating of Reginald Denny. The other was the O.J. Simpson trial. I saw the reaction that most blacks had in response to the not guilty verdict. They were rejoicing. I did not understand how they could not see that he was completely narcissistic and guilty as sin. I think some of them secretly didn’t care if he was guilty. In their minds, this was “payback.”

Fast-forward to 2021. I have been married for over 20 years and have one child. A lot has happened in the meantime, but many things have stayed the same. Today, blacks have more advantages than ever before, but they still moan about racism and white privilege in an attempt to guilt whites into giving them even more handouts and being even more lenient about their misbehavior. Me? I don’t feel guilty at all.

If you have a story about how you became racially aware, we’d like to hear it. If it is well written and compelling, we will publish it. Use a pen name, stay under 1,200 words, and send it to us here.