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America far from post-racial

Updated: July 19, 2013 3:26PM

With the election of Barack Obama, we were supposed to be post-racial. We have a long way to go ...

KAREN: Drake and I had been dating for three months and thought it was time our kids met. He had a daughter about 10. I had 7-year-old twin boys. We picked a family-friendly restaurant. An African-American male waiter approached our table to take our orders. My date’s daughter immediately slid out of her seat and went under the table to “hide from the vampire” as she put it.

I tried to explain that there were no such things as vampires but was corrected by her father who insisted that there were vampires and that our waiter was one of them. He then proceeded to explain to me that he never wanted his daughter to date a black man because if she did, he would have to disown her.

I rounded up my boys, canceled our order and never looked back. My boys didn’t really understand what was going on while we were leaving, but I explained later that Drake was telling his daughter lies and hurtful things about African-American people and I didn’t want us to be around him.

DEIDRE: In my sophomore year of college, I dated a very sweet, very handsome young man. George was black, I’m white. I was a little hesitant to tell my parents. They weren’t racists, but I didn’t know how they’d feel about it.

I was pleasantly surprised when they asked me to bring George home for Thanksgiving. They welcomed him into our home. Before we left, they told me what a great guy he was. When we got back to school, George and I started talking about Christmas vacation. He said he’d like me to visit him, but he’d have to check with his parents. Then, about a week before school was out, he told me his parents said I wasn’t welcome and if he insisted on dating me, they wouldn’t pay for college. We broke up that night.

JASON: I was in a Walgreens in a predominately black neighborhood of Chicago with my friend Roger, an African-American. Three black youths surrounded me on my way out and started taunting me. They called me “white boy” and asked why I was at their Walgreens. They said other things to try to intimidate us.

When people talk about racism, they usually mean whites against blacks. But what about blacks calling whites crackers and elitists?

DAKOTA: I’m black, and my white friends have asked me why it’s OK for black people to call each other the n-word, but if a white person says it, he’s demonized. I tell them for the same reason that Jews can tell each other jokes that portray Jews in a negative light but they’d be offended if a non-Jew told them the same joke. And the same is true for Poles, Italians, gays and other minorities. It’s the same with families. I can criticize mine, but I won’t allow others to. It has to do with loyalty to your clan.

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