An Example of the Asshattery of Racism (a story from my childhood)

This tale from my childhood has been remembered several times over the past few weeks and the real moral of the story is just how completely senseless and illogical racism is now back up the clock several decades to a 5 year old Debra……..

My paternal grandparents whom I called Nanny and Pop-pop were pretty cool for old people. Every summer, they would give us a break from our parents by taking us to Ocean City, NJ for a week or two. They would find the cheapest flea-bag place to stay but we didn’t care, we were a couple blocks away from the ocean and boardwalk, we were in heaven.

Please don’t ask me for a logical reason but one thing we loved was to swim in the pool in front of the Ocean View motel right on the boardwalk. We would pay $0.50 for the privilege of swimming all day but once you left the pool area, you were out of luck.

So it happened one fine morning down at the shore many decades ago, my sister and I mustered up fifty cents and started what should have been several hours of fun time in the boardwalk-pool but about a halfl-hour into my swim, Nanny and Pop-pop called us out of the pool.


We just got here and there were no clouds in the sky, no turds floating in the pool, no logical reason to leave so I protested and was stearnly told to get out of the pool.

At that moment, my grandparents were the most stupid people on Planet Earth.

Later on, my sister offered a reason, not logical, not rational but a reason.

Brace yourselves……a black family had the audacity to take their kids swimming.

That was it.

Proof positive my Nanny and Pop-pop were absurdly stupid.


They wasted my money
They wasted my time.
What were they thinking?
We could catch the black?
They had black people cooties transmitted in an aqueous medium?

It doesn’t matter, from that day, they were not the sharpest crayons in the box and anyone with racist views were drooling (can’t come up with a term that won’t offend so use your imagination here) in my world because no excuse anyone has forwarded is any better than the “get out of the pool” reaction I endured as a five year old kid.

7 responses to “An Example of the Asshattery of Racism (a story from my childhood)

  1. Phillip

    Wow! I never would have disrespected my folks parents like you just did no matter how wrong they were.

    • Phillip, a question if you don’t mind. Would you have maintained respect because you would reject the racism or because they deserve respect in spite of their bad actions and choices?

      I was a kid at the time and they were perfect when I was young it was a great disquieting to see your grandparents behaving in a way that made no sense.

  2. Phillip

    If I had told the story, I would have finished it with “I didn’t have the same respect for them as I had before.” I would not have gone on to demean their character by making the remark about them not being the sharpest crayons in the box. People get the idea.

    • You make a valad point. I love my grandparents but had lost respect for them. They allowed racism to control their decision-making process thus defying logic thus making them not the smartest people in my life. Anyway, how did you find my humble blog? (don’t answer if you don’t want to but if you don’t mind, I’m still trying to figure out how this works.)

  3. Phillip

    I live in the South and my parents still use the n word and I cringe when I hear it from them but wouldn’t publicly proclaim they do it or say bad things about them. I love them also, my respect for them there is lost. But I can respect them in other areas. How did I find you? I am a blog troll. I saw you post elsewhere, clicked on your name and was magically transported here.

  4. Well, we might not agree about things, you’re welcome here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

john pavlovitz

Stuff That Needs To Be Said


Pharmacology - Biology - Neuroscience - Science - Research - Planaria - Writing - Education - Autism

Prone to wander...

Sporadic blogging about a myriad of topics


These words are mine, please opine!

Vienna Minx

Media & Technology. Education & Art. Community & Social Justice.


social neuroscience, decision-making, ecology, economics: thoughts from adam j calhoun

A limey's ramblings

Notes on life and maybe even something interesting, one day.


What it's like doing a PhD with disability or chronic illness

Homeschoolers Anonymous

An Archived Blog - Inactive

The Upside Down World

~Online home of Rebecca Trotter; a mom, author, thinker, talker, teacher, Christian and odd duck . . .

Homeschool Planet

Keeping It Real ~ Homeschool Adventures and Other Tall Tales

Becoming Worldly

Thoughts of a former Quiverfull daughter who left the fundamentalist homeschooling lifestyle, got an education, and learned a different definition of "worldly."

When The Abuser Goes To Work...

By Patricia G. Barnes, J.D.

Echoes and Stars

"We got the sky to talk about and the world to lie upon."


frightfully wondrous things happen here.

Revolutionary Faith

Taking back Christianity

%d bloggers like this: