Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Colored Fella

For one of my classes we have to volunteer with an organization called "Angelworx" this organization pairs community members with homebound seniors to provide them with company. They also have volunteers to shovel snow, or rake leaves but the bulk just do home visits to sit and chat with older people.
I had my first visit with my match today, and needless to say it was interesting. When I pulled up to the house they were working on bricking it, so there were stacks of bricks in the front yard, and plastic covering the space on the side of the house to be bricked. I didn't have to talk much, because she had a lot to say, and honestly she's a great storyteller.
My match is an 84 year old Caucasian woman, who is from Kentucky and lived in Muncie most of her adult life. She lives with her son, daughter in law, and grand-daughter. This confused me at first, because I thought we were visiting people who didn't have any company, or relatives, but from talking with her it seems like, even though it's her house. Her son and the rest of her family go about their daily lives without paying much attention to her, and I know how that can get sometimes. Well, not really because my grandparents are integral parts of my life, but I digress. She tells me about all the shows she watches (judges in the morning, then I Love Lucy), her son, her grand-son, who was recently kicked out of pre-school (I was too, but for different reasons, he's just as bad-ass), and her friend Juanita (same name as my Grammy). She told me about her church, and made sure that I knew that they had coloreds (yes, she said coloreds) who attended her church.
Now, normally one would get upset about hearing the word colored. But, I seriously had to fight back the urge to laugh. Not only was in funny to hear a throw-back word from Civil Rights era, but she was honestly just trying to make me feel comfortable coming to her church. I thought later about the so called "post-racial" era that we live in. I'm not at all the one to not attend, join, or go somewhere just because there are not people of color ( don't you love how we flip a few words and it's the new PC, but shudder at a old word or phrase, I mean, how different is people of color from colored? Really?), but there is still a need to mention or prove our diversity to be legit. Same thing happened at "Westminster". The truth of the matter is we don't and probably will never live in a "post-racial" world, but we can except and embrace differences and diversity, and value them. I never thought that there was a problem or issue being black or any other skin color, race, or ethnicity. The problem is that one skin color, race, or ethnicity is often valued above another. Anyway I think my match had the best intentions. I'm really not upset, it was just really funny.
Interesting day.

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