The events of Halloween have sure changed my perspective on core values that I have held for as long as I can remember. My parents taught me right-from-wrong, and even in the absence of someone to tell me otherwise, you’d be surprised how easy I have always found it to know the difference.
Not only did I grow up in the south, I grew up in St Augustine. I’m a third-generation property owner. I attended St Johns County public schools, graduated from St Augustine High, and earned my undergraduate degree from Flagler College here in St Augustine.
Despite my advancing age, I am thankful that I can still have the worldly experience of 20-year-old Flagler College students who seem to have an amazing grasp of daunting social issues and how I should address them. Frankly, I never knew how many people were offended by so many other people. While I was learning that you hold the door for others behind you and offer your seat to someone else who might need it, it seems I should have been learning that I was actually being oppressed, exploited, and disadvantaged by white people just like me.
Now that my eyes are open, I am paying closer attention to everything for which I am due an apology and likely reparations. It’s everywhere you look for it, just like today. I was strolling down the aisles at Publix, and what should I see?
Blatant segregation of food from the West Indies from food from South America, and food from the Mediterranean nations kept separate, but equal, from food of the Orient. How racist does it get? Don’t sit idlily by while the privileged elite continue to keep their matzo ball soup across the store from their British tea and Mexican salsa. Haven’t Mexicans had enough abuse by the people who want to wall them in? It is just not fair. It’s gone on too long. We stand with our ruddy-complexioned brothers and sisters for equality and integration of our basic food needs. We’re here, we’re queer, and we aren’t going to take it anymore. We want our refried beans — and our Goya soft drinks … and we want them on the same aisle display.