Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Oscars, The Help, A Childhood Memory

Don't care about the about the clothes.....

Tomorrow with my likes and dislikes....

Honestly the only one of the movies I saw was The Help and that just reminded me of my childhood and all the ignorant people I had to deal with.

We moved to the deep south when I was 7 years old. Now it wasn't that the north was such a great place either, but I don't think my family was truly ready for what happened. My father ran a Jewish Community Center in a small town near an army base. This was during the Vietnam War. On Sunday the community would invite all the Jewish soldiers to the center for a day away to relax and have a bit of "home." One Sunday the group of soldiers consisted of some young men from Chicago who were Jewish and African-American. The only people that went into the pool that day were the soldiers and my family. No native resident went into the pool with the us that day. I learned later in life, that in fact some of the Jewish Center's "leaders" were even members of the White Citizens Council. I kid you not.

After the soldiers returned to their base the president of the Center told the custodian, who was an African-American, to drain and scrub the pool. When my father tried to stop the man, he told my father if he didn't do as he was told he would lose his job and he had a family to feed. Needlesstosay my father let the man proceed. But my father sent a note back to the main headquarters in New York, that it was his opinion to never send anyone to that center again with a detailed description of why. No my father did not just up and quit in protest. He too had a family to feed.

I do not know what happened and how long it took until things changed there. All I know is that the United States is an infinitely better place today than it ever was before. The United States of my childhood was a terribly mean place at times.  I don't understand the nostalgia some people give it.

My family left that particular southern town a few months after the pool incident when my father was able to finally find a new job. We moved to Memphis, Tennessee, one month after the murder of the  Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. And those are memories for another post.

This movie will not win the Oscar for best film. I hope the actresses nominated win their categories. Either way, it is a film worth watching.

The only thing I can say for today is that my children look back at this ignorance and hate and don't understand these people at all. I can honestly say neither did I at the time that it was happening. Thank God.

Qi en Pace,


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