(Continued from Part I)

(Feature photo courtesy of the author (L) and Thomas Story (R))

(Dedicated to: Mr. Thomas Story)

My parents did a swimming job of keeping racism out of our house. They had friends of all kinds, they listened to possibly every genre of music in existence. They made no comments, used no words, tolerated no discourse even remotely compliant with contentious racist thoughts.

Again, I asked myself: how did I end up in this utterly non-sequitur position of racism? I declined to answer that calling, yet it seemed like a whole world was begging to differ.

My big sister came home from school one day, her contribution to the dinner table being a new word she heard in school, one of whose meaning she had no idea whatsoever, but it just sounded to her like a funny name you could call any nondescript putz: ‘jungle bunny’. There she was, forking fish sticks in her pie hole, and rambling on about jungle bunny this, and jungle bunny that.

My parents were blatantly horrified, as they held their faces closer and closer to their dinner plates, and shoveled food in faster and faster… until my mother could endure no more:

“Shut up, Alycia Gale… SHUT UP! Don’t you ever use that word in this house again; don’t you realize what that word means???”