Last night I thought a lot about yesterday's post and decided that since nobody else is commenting on my postings I'll do that myself, too! Anyhow, years ago a friend and I had a long discussion about pre-civil rights America and what it must have or might have been like. He was African-American and Gay like myself so we talked about it from those perspectives. First, I want to say that I was born in 1968, one month before Martin Luther King's assassination and my friend was born in 1970. So, we both are of the first generation of Americans to live in a desegregated society. I was born one year before the Stonewall riots and he one year after. Both the civil rights movement and the Stonewall riots would have profound effects on both of our lives. We don't know whats it's like to be denied a hotel room because of our skin color or to have to worry about a Gay bar being raided by the police.
With all the injustices that were going on in America before my life began I still wonder how people coped and adjusted to it all. First, we concluded that Black and Gay people didn't know any thing else but oppression. Oppression was the norm to many of them. There's an old saying that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, and I think there's truth to that. I've talked to African-Americans who remember segregation and some of them have said that desegregation brought a whole new set of problems, like covert racism instead of overt racism. They've said that back then you at least knew who your enemy was! As far as LGBT's are concerned I'm sure that there were, and still are, people who liked or like living and lurking in the shadows and the underground of society. The ''forbidden fruit'' is always the sweetest for some people.
My friend and I basically concluded that if we had lived in that America we probably would have made it work somehow. A lot of people did and lived to tell about it! We also concluded that there had to have been a lot of White people and straights who knew that segregation was wrong and that the government had no business in the bedrooms of consenting adults. When one studies history one has to read between the lines and consider human nature and common sense.