Several months after my best friend Danny died, after a car hit him, Keith moved onto Perth Avenue. Keith moved into a house up the street from me, and next door to the house where Danny lived. Soon, Keith was my new best friend.
Keith moving onto Perth Avenue and becoming my best friend happened just before they invented the wheel. And now, millions of years later, Keith is still my best friend.
Perth Avenue, like the rest of the neighborhood, had Canadian English, Irish, Scottish, Italian, Polish, Ukrainian, German, etc. families living on it. My family was the only Black family living on Perth and in the neighborhood. But skin color did not stop us from playing together. Yes, we occasionally got into fights, as kids often do. But for the most part, we all got along.
Keith told me several years ago, “When we became friends, I could not figure out what was different about you. I knew that there was something different, but I could not put my finger on it. It took me two years to finally figure out that your skin color was different than mine.”
I never knew this until he told me. That means that skin color made no difference to him once he realized that there was a difference.
Keith made me the Best Man at his wedding, and his marriage did not work out.
I made Keith the Best Man at my wedding, and my marriage did not work out.
Was skin color ever an issue between Keith and me? No. Never.
How troubling when Keith tells me how people accuse him of being racist. Why? Because he is White. These people have no idea what a kind and generous and loyal person Keith is. They prejudge Keith, yet complain when others prejudge them.
Keith also told me how he is tired of the media fanning the flames of racism. The media are exaggerating issues that create separation amongst groups of human beings. I agree with Keith.
Powerful people are using the media to make color an issue. Why? Somehow these people benefit by keeping us separate. But media propaganda will not destroy my years of friendship with Keith, or any of my other friends who happen to be White.
I have one complaint about Keith. As the Best Man at my wedding, he ruined my marriage. But Keith has the same complaint about me. So, we are even.