After 2 nine-hour days on the road, I had arrived in Pierce, Idaho. I passed many small towns along the way, and one in particular was so cute, I had to call my boyfriend and tell him all about it. I went on and on about how cute all the little houses were with their pumpkins on the front porches, and with the children playing in the parks and walking down the sidewalks strewn with fall leaves. He responded, yeah, right, it looks nice now…and I knew he was referring to the racism and white supremacy he had heard about in and around Idaho (this town was in eastern Washington). I joked, “No way, this town is too cute,” but I couldn’t convince him. As I hung up the call with him, I was astonished by a single billboard on the way out of town:
I was saddened by this naive and ignorant display of identity. Maybe it’s true, as George Carlin put it, that there’s a biggot and a racist on every street corner and every living room in this country.
Racism is a way of closing off your heart to a part of the universe; an exaggerated way of saying that I am different, separate, and will not co-exist with certain others, for whatever reason I choose. What racists don’t realize is that as long as there is fear or hatred toward others, there can be no inner peace, and certainly, no world peace.