,A few years ago, I visited the family farm founded by ancestors from Germany in the Pokonos with a newly discovered cousin. The woman I met was delightful: warm and friendly and very much connected to family still living in the area. Her mother had vivid memories of the farm. In contrast, my great-grandmother left home to marry in Brooklyn. My father had fond memories of visiting the farm as a child, but lost touch with the relatives there when his family moved to California in the 1930s.
My cousin was working as a department manager at Walmart. She seemed smart as a button, so I asked her why she had not gone to college. She said that though she had the grades no one encouraged her to do so. Her response made me wonder if I would have gone to college if my part of the family had remained close to the family farm. I was stunned by the roles chance and the choices of others play in our lives. Though I had more education than my cousin, I was not sure that mine was a happier life. I envied the family ties that shaped and defined her days.
About two weeks ago my cousin wrote on facebook:
I have often wondered about why Whites are racists, and no other race is. Someone finally said it. How many are actually paying attention to this? Continue reading “Dear Cousin: Can We Talk about Structural Racism? by Carol P. Christ”