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I heard somebody call my friend an "Oreo."

I was born in 1974. I am a white female. I lived a few different places when I was young -- Maryland, New York, Germany, Virginia, and Florida. The racism question is very difficult to answer. I've never heard either of my parents say anything racist. I grew up having friends of all different races and nationalities. I don't remember thinking anything about race. They were just people. They were my friends. I believe part of that was also my religious upbringing. The people in my congregation were my brothers and sisters, my family.

The first introduction to racism was probably watching movies and learning history lessons. I learned about the concentration camps when I lived in Germany. I love musicals and have seen quite a few, starting from a young age. I think West Side Story and South Pacific were the first movies that showed me what racism looked like. I specifically remember the song "You've Got To Be Carefully Taught." It gave an explanation of why people would think or act like that toward other people. It's something that still baffles me. I try to imagine making assumptions or disliking a person based on their race or nationality, but my mind rejects it. It just doesn't make sense.

As an adult I've seen and experienced it firsthand. Sometimes by people of the same race. I heard somebody call my friend an "Oreo" and say he was trying to be white. It was based on the fact that he's educated, articulate, and a responsible father. I was so confused by the comment. I know a lot of people of many races that have those qualities. I know quite a few white people that don't have those qualities.