I wrote last week about a very private relationship I had when I was a teenager. It was with a black girl who I met at a party and dated briefly. It was about a relationship that ended due to our fears as a couple of what other people thought of us.
Some readers have asked for an end to that story. Maybe they wanted a happy ending, but there wasn’t one.
She was afraid to bring me into her world, and I shared the same fear. We would meet at places where nobody knew us.
We went back to our different worlds.
I can’t speak for her world, but in mine, there were certain rules. Some guy codes or rules are good, like two guys should never share an umbrella.
But some of those rules protect each other whenever we do something wrong. We learn many rules when we’re growing up. Of course, we learn them from adults and the kids we grow up with. Kids can’t wait to tell their friends what they heard an adult say.
There’s a code of silence too. When you see a guy do something wrong, you keep your mouth shut, unless it’s really bad.
Many have probably heard rumors that law enforcement has a similar code within the ranks. I don’t know. If it’s practiced, law enforcement leadership needs to end it. We need to support and reform our law enforcement organizations during this crisis.
When I was growing up, if you dated a black person, there’s a chance that nobody white would date you when it’s over.
Because you were with a black man or woman, some wouldn’t date you. It was another rule among some.
This did happen in the mostly white communities that I lived in when I was a child and young adult. I can’t speak for today, but I was there, and I heard it.
Some guys had a rule that the girls who dated the few black guys were hands off.
Think about what they did.
They made it so girls would always think twice before dating black guys.
But worse, they made it impossible for young black kids to date or have meaningful relationships in their own community.
Why would a black family want to live in that community? That’s probably why they moved away so often.
Sadly, they were also the so-called friends of those black students. They grew up with us. Hung out with us. Played sports with us. We were friends.
But the rule secretly made it impossible for them to have a meaningful relationship.
We made them feel unwanted and alone.
I don’t like telling this story. It’s a shameful memory of racism.
It’s breaking the rules.
There should be no rules or codes among people that hides violence, discrimination, hatred or anything else that’s wrong.
It’s time to change that.