Lookie here, I am as white as ghost, but, I have grown up in shady neighborhoods all my young life...So...Most of my first friends, girlfriends etc were people of color...Back in the 70's, where I grew up, color didn't matter much, not at our ages anyway, it was later as we got older that I would start to see an inclination toward separation of the races, like toward high school.
The HS I went to was pretty mixed. Mixed races and socio economic backgrounds. I still had a lot of friends of color becuase that was my neighborhood. But I got ribbed by whites for hanging around 'black dudes" and my black friends got ribbed for hanging around 'whitey'....So during school, we kind of stayed separate but after school, it was all good again. We never spoke about this, really.
Back in HS, I was a small time weed dealer, nickles and dimes, that's about it. During class, I went to the restroom and on my way there a black dude I didn't know came to me and said he heard I had bags for sale. I broke my own cardinal rule which was to 'never sell to no one I didn't know' and told him yes. He wanted to check out a nickle. My bags were always good weight and good quality, so I had a good rep. Well he snatched it from me and took off running. I went running after him and this car pulls up next to me and this white dude asked me if that 'nigger' just ripped me off....I said he did...BIG mistake...He pulled out a gun from under his seat and said 'Let's go look for that nigger' I was tripping big time because I wasn't on the same cloud as this dude was on...I mean yeah, would be nice to get my bag back, but smoke someone over a 5 dollar bag? NO! So we went driving and I saw the black dude out of the corner of my eye but I didn't tell white dude. In fact, I told white dude I thought I saw him in a different direction ...He sped down the street....I told him I saw him go in between some houses and I would jump out and for him to drive on the other side and I would meet him...So I jumped out and ran....home...I didn't wan't no part of it.
The next day at school one of my black friends came up to me and handed me $10...I asked him what that was for..He said a cousin of his told him last night that he had ripped off this white kid at school a nickle bag...He asked his cousin what this white kid looked like and described me. When my friend found out, he told his cousin that he had just ripped off his friend, me, that he had known for years and always kicked him a free jay once in a while. The cousin was bummed to hear this so he gave him $10 to give to me as an apology. I gave my friend back $5 and told him to tell his cousin that it was all good, no harm, no foul. From then on out, the only people that harassed me in school were rednecks.
As I grew older, I drifted away from my friends of color. You know, you get a job, then a better job, then a girlfriend, then an apartment, then a better apartment and the next thing you know, I am in a predominantly white neighborhood and once in a while, you run into an ignorant racist fuck that makes 'nigger' jokes or 'wetback' jokes. So, even though I made good money, I stepped down in neighborhoods so I can be among mixed people. It was kind of rough at first, because I made good money so I drove a Cadillac and I also had a work truck since I was a trades person. My Caddy got broken into and my work truck did also and got tagged up. But I didn't give up. I felt this is where I wanted to be, this is where I belonged.
After the first year, people in the neighborhood got to know me. There were black gangs on one end of my neighborhood and hispanic gangs on the other end. But they didn't beef with each other, they didn't hang with each other either, but they only beefed with gangs from other neighborhoods that would walk through mine.
I got a medical card and started smoking again...The odor was pretty string coming through my window and long story short, I eventually turned on half the neighborhood. I was also talked into 'pimpin'' out my Caddy and I put some 20'a on my var and tints and a couple of 12's in the trunk and a nice ice cream green paint job.
One night while sleeping, I was woken up....I heard some commotion outside my window, but didn't see anything. The next morning I get ready for work and I see on my truck someone tried to tag it but looked like they didn't get to finish it. According to one of the dudes in my neighborhood, they caught someone from the other part of town trying to tag my truck up with their hood name and they caught him and well...yeah....For the next couple of nights, this other gang from this other part of town tried to come back to get my hood people back...Wrong thing to do, the hispanics on my street clicked up with the blacks on my street and sent these guys packing...and for good...No one messed with my car or truck ever again either. No matter where I went within a 5 mile radius every seemed to know me and say hi to me. They even gave me a nickname "Charlie Boss Man" mainly as a joke because I was white and had a Caddy.
But sometimes I would get invited to their birthday parties or picnics at the park and I would go. For the ones that didn't know me, they would mad dog me because I was white. But my friend would quickly straighten them our and let them know I was cool, but I never really felt fully accepted. One of my black friends from the hood bought me some red chucks for Christmas. The black gang in my hood were bloods. I told him I thought he as crazy if he thought I was gonna wear red chucks in that neighborhood that people thought I was gonna be frontin' or trying to be a poser or some shit. My friend told me all u gotta do is tell people you have Blood Love. I wasn't an angel or nothing, but I wasn't a square either...I never did any time, but it doesn't mean that I never committed crimes, it's just that I was approaching 50 and had started to mellow. I stopped going to the picnics and slowly stopped hanging outside with the brothers. I was working hard and it was taking a toll on me and when i got home, I was just really tired and wanted to eat, watch TV and go to bed. But I had a dog and so I would walk him often and the respect for me was still there. Whenever a new person came into the neighborhood and didn't know me sometimes they would say shit to me as I walked my dog, disrespectful shit, then the next time I would see that same person they would all of a sudden be nice to me and greet me. They knew me as a 'coo' white dude that kept other people's business in the hood to himself and that no one should bother me or my vehicles. It didn't matter why, these new people were told, it's just the way it is. Charlie Boss Man is 'coo'
As I am now getting pretty old, I still live in that neighbborhood. I could afford a nicer place. I've been there and don't like it. It's not my type of people. I'm just not wired to live in an all white neighborhood. As a tradesman, it's bad enough most of them are my customers. They look down on me while I repair what it is they called me to repair when in reality, I probably make more money than they do or ever will.
Today it's just me and my dog. I stay to myself. Don't smoke anymore. Don't know who feels older these days, me or my dog, we are quite a pair, both of us hinging and clinging to life as we walk down 'our' hood. I look at my Caddy know, still all pimped out. Ice cream paint job showing a little fade, but still, once in a while, while me and my dog are driving to the park, I will hear a shout out 'Hey Charlie Boss Man' and I realize life is good...The hood is still fucked up, has it's problems sometimes, but they respect my space and in turn, I keep quiet about shit that goes down on my street. I don't know how many times cops have come to my door because they hear I have been here a long time and I am white, they think that I will automatically talk and snitch. I always tell the cops to speak up because I have a hearing problem, it's my cue to them that I don't hear nothing that goes on and my shades are almost always shut so I don't see nothing also.
I often wonder where my childhood friends are now...I reckon I could look them up on Facebook. I think they would get a kick out of my Caddy.
Moral of this story is two-fold:
If you are a person of color, remember, not all white people are our enemies. No way. There are some blacks and some hispanics I met that automatically look down on me simply because I am white. It makes about as much sense as white people looking down on people of color because they are not white. So remember, not all white people suck
You asked for people to contribute, so I am....
Charlie Boss Man