Racism will always be with us it seems. But it doesn’t have to be. People can change.
Matthew and LaKiesha Moore changed. Matthew, a white Ames, Iowa, native was also a skinhead. His wife, LaKiesha, is a Black woman from Compton, California.
The Kansas City Star featured their story this past Sunday.
Talking with Black people about their struggles and fear helped Matthew change his mind on race.
“I had caused a lot of problems for a lot of people and never faced the consequences that some of them had for much less,” he said in an interview.
LaKiesha, who grew up in mostly Black and brown communities, said she also changed her thoughts.
“It wasn’t until I had to leave that community and I had to leave what I was saturated with to where I had to say hold on a second, you’re saying bigoted things,” she said.
The couple will tell their stories in a public forum on race from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Community Christian Church at 4601 Main St. in Kansas City.
Anyone who knows me also knows my wife, Deanna, is white. Through the years we had our share of troubles regarding our relationship.
We’d go to restaurants and come out to find hate notes attached to our windshield or all the tires flattened on our car. We were turned down from renting an apartment, discriminated against on jobs and much more.
We had our biracial children at a time when people said they’d have tragic lives because of it. No one would accept them.
But both my kids are doing fine and today you see more parents and grandparents with biracial children in tow. You have to live it to understand it. And it all takes understanding.
I know some people will read this column and call me a racist. Sometimes all I have to do is write the word “Black” and some people dismiss it as racist.
But it works both ways. I’ve had other Black people call me an Uncle Tom and a sellout if I don’t write something Black and accusatory.
I write about issues as they arise but I’d rather write about experiences we all share.
It helped that I grew up in a mixed neighborhood as a kid. Black, white, rich and poor lived next door to each other. All of us kids played together and the parents watched out for us all.
We can live like this again if we’re willing to drop our prejudices and outdated beliefs. We have to get close enough to know each other.