"I began to realize that many of these kids didn’t seem to have the same prejudice as adults. You have to be taught how to hate."
When I was attending Bremerton (Coontz) Junior High, there was a kid named Robin Fields who kept buggin’ me to run for boys’ club president. My first response was “forget it!” because I thought he was absolutely crazy. This was back in 1946 & blacks were still considered “Negroes/The Colored,” & the school was almost 98 percent white. But after I met kids like Robin Fields & Dennis Washington (who I used to shine shoes with), I began to realize that many of these kids didn’t seem to have the same prejudice as adults. You have to be taught how to hate. So, I ran for boys’ club president & man, I was shocked when I won. It meant a lot as a 13 year old kid & taught me a great deal about trust & kindness. By the time I graduated Coontz & entered James A. Garfield High School in Seattle in 1947, I had gained something I didn’t have before: confidence. So whether you’re heading back to school or work this week, remember that what you say/do does in fact affect others more than you realize … & if you’ve been taught to hate, there’s still time to teach yourself how to LOVE.