Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Racism, racial profiling is real. As a white skin person I've seen it many, many times - Mary Cummins

I grew up in Los Angeles, California. I have white skin and am a female. While I'm Latino my skin is still white so I'm considered "white." There are people from many races, cultures in Los Angeles. I thankfully was raised with people of different colors, cultures, religions. In my mind we are all equal. That said I have still seen a lot of racism and hate toward others. I will relate a few incidents which I personally witnessed.

Incident One

I was at the Beverly Center in the sporting goods store. The summer sporting goods section is in one space while the winter section is across the hallway. I wanted to buy items from both stores. I asked the clerk if I could take the summer items I wanted to the winter space across the hallway. I had to ask as there are detectors at both doors which will go off once I pass through. The clerk said "yes." I walked across holding items in my hand which I clearly had not yet paid for. Unfortunately at the very same time a black man carrying nothing went through the door. The security sensors sounded an alarm. The man and I both stopped. The security guy went right up to the black guy who was holding nothing and started questioning him. I quickly said "no, it was me! I set off the alarm with these items. The clerk told me I could go to the other part of the store!" The white security guy gave the black man a dirty look and told him he could go. I apologized to the black man. I was so embarrassed though I don't really know why. I didn't do a bad thing but the white security guy did.

Incident Two

I was at Hollywood Park at the race track. This was years ago before I realized that horse racing is cruel. I was in the VIP club section which has an all you can eat buffet. A black man was standing ahead of me in line. He asked for a specific food item. The white guy behind the counter said "we're out." When it was my turn I said "well, I was going to ask for what he asked for but ..." The white guy said, "I have some for you!" The black guy was right there. He heard it and turned around. I told the white guy I didn't want it anymore. Then I apologized to the black guy. Maybe this had to do with me being a female? I don't know. I was so embarrassed. Again, I didn't do anything wrong but it was embarrassing because a white person did something wrong.

Incident Three

A week after the LA riots when the curfews were lifted I had a little get together at my place on the edge of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles on Doheny just south of Sunset. I invited people over to help me bake and package cookies for a charity event. I invited a black guy whom I met at the then Sports Club LA. He was on the Clippers basketball team but wasn't playing. He was born and raised in Washington D.C. He was the most conservative and polite person. He was nothing like some other basketball players here in LA. He was clean cut, dressed conservative. Sure enough he got stopped by the Beverly Hills Police Department just driving to my condo. At that time I didn't realize that BHPD pulls over black people for no reason. Had I known that I would have told him to drive around BH. They questioned him for 20 minutes for no reason. I learned a lot from that event. Later when a black person came to my house to buy some items I was selling on craigslist, I told him to stay off Sunset in BH or he could be arrested for merely driving while black in BH.

Incident Four. I actually could post a ton of incidents but I'll just post these few.

This next one is a personal incident. When I was about five or six I went to the Girls Club in LA during the summer. My first day I made a great new friend. We spent all our time together talking, trying to braid hair, rollerskating, swimming in the pool, doing arts and crafts. All that summer I told my Mexican Nana about my new friend and how great she was. My Nana told me to invite her over for a sleepover. I was so happy! My friend said yes and a few days later her mother drove her to our home in what was then Doheny Estates, Trousdale. I saw the car pull up and was so excited. My Nana went down to meet her. My Nana came back upstairs and said my little friend had left. She didn't want to stay. I was so upset I went to my favorite hideaway place in the hill behind our house and cried. After a while I came back in the house. Another family member explained to me what actually happened. That person told me that my Nana did not like black people. I asked why. She said she didn't know. Some people don't like black people but it's wrong. We should like all people no matter their skin color.

The next day I went back to the Girls Clubs. I was so worried that my friend would not want to be my friend anymore. When I arrived my friend was waiting for me. She said everything is fine. We can still be friends. She said her mom explained the situation to her. I told her a family member of mine explained the situation to me too. We continued being friends for the rest of the summer. Then we both went back to different schools.

Incident Five.

While still in high school I would take classes at Santa Monica City College for fun in the summer. One year I took a photography class. For our main project we had to partner off and do a project. My partner named Gene and I worked hard on our project. At the time I was staying with my same Nana. My photography partner and I were going to go to my place to pick up a camera lens and prepare for the next part of our project.

I unlock the door and my Nana is there. She sees Gene who is black. She tells him to wait outside while she motions me to come in. My Nana said this "I don't care if a black man is as rich as the Rockerfellas (?), you cannot be with a black man! You can't marry one!" I told my Nana that he was my photography partner in school. She still said "no!"

I was so embarrassed. I went outside and told Gene that my Nana wouldn't let him in the house. He said he understood and we could work on our project elsewhere which we did. The idea that these people all understand the "racist situation" and are willing to work around it... so sad for all of us.

That night I asked my Nana "why don't you like black people?" She told me this word for word, "All black men want to rape white women. There was a black man in Texas on our farm and he looked at me like he wanted to rape me." I told my Nana "but you're brown not white. Do you think black people want to rape brown people?" She didn't reply but I got the chancla eye of death. I didn't ask again. Another relative told me my Nana born 1899 in Mexico was just old school. She was a closet racist.

Incident Six.

I went to Paige Preschool which used to be on Robertson Blvd. I was three to four. My bio mom forged my birth certificate so I would appear older so I could go to preschool and then kindergarten early so she didn't have to stay home with me. I loved preschool. I loved all my friends. I would hug them. One day another kid dared me to kiss a certain boy. I said "okay!" as I liked this little boy who was nice to me. I went up to him and I happily kissed him on the cheek then I gave him a friendly hug. The kid who dared me then ran to the teacher and said "Mary kissed a black boy!" I didn't get the issue or understand what "black" meant at that time. The school told my Nana. My Nana then told me this "if you kiss a black person, you will get very sick and you could die." I thought I was going to get sick and die! I didn't. I remember after I didn't get sick I thought I was "lucky." I later realized this was not real but at the time little me thought I might die.

Incident Seven.

I was at Sports Club LA talking to a very nice friend. Another person I knew from the gym came over to me later and said "you really shouldn't talk to those people, to black people." Mind you, he just said I shouldn't "talk" to black people! With a smile I asked him why. He said "because they are dirty low class people." The SCLA back in 1990 cost $1,000 to join and $100-$200 a month. I never saw any "dirty" or "low class" people. The white guy who told me this was a thin, short, blonde hair, blue eyed super white person. Why did he tell me that? Perhaps he thought the other guy was competition? I didn't talk to that white guy ever again.

I could easily post many more incidents of racism that I have seen. There have been so many. Maybe I will post some more. Still, these few events are enough to show how rampant it is in our society. I really thought because Los Angeles is such a melting pot that we would have less racism. Sadly I am wrong. With Trump as President it's gotten so much worse.

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.

Mary Cummins, Mary K. Cummins, Mary Katherine Cummins, Mary Cummins-Cobb, Mary, Cummins, Cobb, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, instructor, teacher, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Brentwood, Bel Air, California, licensed, permitted, single family, condo, pud, hud, fannie mae, freddie mac, uspap, certified, residential, certified resident, apartment building, multi-family, commercial, industrial, expert witness, civil, criminal, orea, dre, insurance, bonded, experienced, bilingual, spanish, english, form, 1004, 2055, land, raw, acreage, vacant, insurance, cost, income approach, market analysis, comparative, theory, appraisal theory, cost approach, sales, matched pairs, plot, plat, map, diagram, photo, photographs, photography, rear, front, street, subject, comparable, sold, listed, active, pending, expired, cancelled, listing, mls, multiple listing service, claw, themls,

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