A few nights ago I watched a video of black girls being harassed for riding their bikes into a white neighborhood (link). The fact that these white kids did not fear being video-recorded, while they verbally attacked these black girls says a lot. Real hate doesn’t fear being acknowledged. Seeing those little girls being called “Nigger”… it just made me sad. Afterwards I began to think about various random life experiences where I faced racism.

As a dark-skinned black male growing up in Louisiana, I’ve obviously seen and also personally experienced my fair share of racial injustices, prejudice, hate, and inequalities in my life. However, due to the loving environment of my upbringing I was taught to respond in love… and I never felt too much different or less than other people.

God allowed me to grow up around people who loved me… white and black. I never faced too much blatant hatred from school classmates or neighbors as a child. Honestly, as a teenager and young adult, my closest friends were white. They treated me better than friends of my own race. I was also raised during the Cosby Show era 😊 – I believe that sitcom allowed the nation to see the existence of intelligent successful black families outside of professional athletes, celebrities and preachers.

America loves to generalize someone’s life experiences by their race/gender. It’s just the way it is.

The question I used to ask myself is, “When did I first realize I was black?” I remember first understanding what it truly meant to be black when I moved to Iowa in my early twenties. Even I had to learn about my own identity. Knowing your history and who you are is so important.

I had to learn why people thought I was less than, and why my skin color mattered so much? What was it that really made someone like Michael Jackson, who was so loved by everyone, bleach his own skin, get plastic surgery, literally pay for white kids, just to feel better about himself and his legacy?? … and, don’t let anyone tell you he was crazy.

My life changed when I realized that people didn’t see me how I saw them.

I really echo the feelings of one of my close friends, when he stated,“Growing up I wasn’t black enough to fit in with blacks… and, I wasn’t white enough to fit in with whites.”

Finally… just one of my random memories of racism.
I’ll never forget a weekend I spent at my mom’s house (around 2005-2008). My mom lived in a nice suburban neighborhood that had very few black homeowners at the time. My brother drove in from Texas in his nice luxury car. He parked his car outside the garage one night. The next morning we walked outside, only to see the words, “get out of the neighborhood Niggers” hand-written in the dust residue on his rear window.

Acts of racism aren’t all the same. No one through a brick at my car. No one hit me with a bat. No one pointed a gun in my face. But, this type of racism was about creating fear.

Racism is not just a story of hate… it has many storylines, but it is also a story of betrayal.

I don’t have a problem with people who curse/hate me. I just have a problem with people who smile in my face, but scorn me behind my back. The most difficult wars to win are battles against unseen enemies.

svg4 min read

Jason Perry

I'm a black man with Christian values. A father to my son, a friend to those who desire my friendship, a lover of life and even more...


  • Judy Kim

    June 6, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story, I think the more we connect with each other’s humanity, we will end racism. Racism is hatred on the surface with fear underneath. I was one of the few Asians in mostly white neighborhoods. My family had prejudice against non-Koreans (they discriminated against even Asians). I was always embarrassed when my mom would clutch her purse around black men. I debated with her a lot about racism especially because she was Christian. Later in life she seemed to change. It’s the fear/seeing people as other that creates the division. I think we can all change this individually we make an impact on each other’s lives. We can chose to be kind.

    • Jason

      June 6, 2020 at 10:51 pm

      Thank you for reading!
      Don’t get on your mom for clutching her purse 😊. She was just protecting herself in her own way. Other people buy guns. Plus my mom definitely clutches her purse around some people.
      We all have our own special unique story. The story of the Asian-American has yet to be told. There are so many things in the Asian-American community that is kept secret or unknown to society. The more you know about someone, the more you can identify with them, and the more can relate, sympathize, love, and respect them.


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This is my journal, my journey, and my perspective in life – JP

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