Black Lives Matter as RVers too

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Last week we featured a reader letter sent in by Tracy Schulz. Tracy and her husband, an interracial couple, describe a terribly sad and scary incident they had while camping in Florida. You can read about it here, if you haven’t already.

Nanci Dixon, one of our readers and a frequent contributing writer, responded with the comment below. Nanci, thank you for writing, and thank you to you and Tracy for starting the conversation here.

As an interracial couple, I have been spit on in Mississippi for being with my black husband and one-year-old son at a gas station.

At the birth of our second son, the nurse came in to say we could not have a private room while on welfare. I was a corporate executive and my husband worked 20 years in a public school and owned a business. We had insurance. Good insurance.

When we go to Target, if I wander away looking at something, women clutch their purses when they see him. He is 67 years old!

In the south in particular, if staying in a hotel, I go in to register to make sure we get the room and our reservation hasn’t been “misplaced.“

In South Dakota, an RVer called management to try and get rid of the “N word” from HIS park.

A group of drunk white teenagers tried to attack our middle schooler and husband in our motorhome in the number one rated park in Wisconsin. Knowing that even defending his family, my husband being black would be at risk with the police. We packed up in the middle of the night and left. The park apologized and later put adults in security rather than high schoolers.

Prejudice exists. It is insidious and day to day, every day.

This is a post I put on Facebook after the killing of George Floyd:

I have always utilized Facebook as a rather folksy, chit-chatting media outlet and refrained from political or even controversial posts. In light of the murder of George Floyd, I can no longer remain silent. I posted this on my very dear friend’s Facebook post where he was asking people to not blame all officers for the actions of the 1%.

As the mother of two black men, it was so difficult to instruct our sons on how to respond when being questioned, pulled over or otherwise addressed by the police so as to protect them from being beaten up or killed.

Unfortunately, the 1% stopped, harassed and questioned our oldest for walking in a Minnetonka neighborhood. He was on his way home to his Minnetonka house from his Minnetonka High School. It could have been him.

Unfortunately, the 1% harassed my husband and son when their car stopped near our home while waiting for AAA. It could have been them.

Unfortunately, it was the 1% that pulled my 40-plus-year-old husband out of a south Minneapolis hardware store, threw him against the squad car mistaking him for a teenager. It could have been him crying “I can’t breath.”

It was unfortunately the 1% in Mississippi that threw my then-teenage husband to the ground and put a gun to his head accusing him of driving a white man’s tractor. Mistaken identity. It could have been him.

I grew up with the idea that the police would protect me, I could always go to them for help. I am white. My granddaughter hides and says, “I am scared, Grandma” when she sees a police officer. It is so messed up.

I have had to teach my sons to fear, not just respect. We have had to teach them how to respond when DWB, Driving While Black, because they will be stopped, and it will be, and has been, often.

I have had to teach my sons to fear, to stay alive.

As Dr. King said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” I do not condone the rioting and looting, it is so harmful and damaging to everyone, but I understand the anger and the frustration and the daily fear.

I understand being a mother, fearful her black children won’t make it home.

Again and again and again. It is enough.

Nanci Dixon

##RVT953

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Jennifer Knaebel
1 month ago

So sad, I can’t imagine the fear your family feels. I have had white privilege and lived a safe life. I am ashamed because I did not know how people of color had to live. I pray that our country changes for the better.

AWH
1 month ago

The real deal is there will always be prejudice no matter what, I grew up and went to school with blacks one of my best friends was black, and I thought nothing of it. Then I got a job and guess who made me prejudice? The blacks why because unlike me they refused to work hard was that my fault the playing field was level, they chose not to produce only what they to. One even went as far as calling us white workers fools why because we were union and all got paid the same but he said I don’t work half as hard as you do but i make the same money you do, now you want to ask me why i’m prejudiced because black workers made me that way, sorry but that’s just the way it is, but because I have the love of god in my heart I will treat everyone the same until they give me a reason not to

Ginger Jacobsen
1 month ago

“My granddaughter hides and says, “I am scared, Grandma” when she sees a police officer.” Who taught her that?

Peter Tienken
1 month ago

Thank you for an excellent article. These are issues that have to be addressed. We’re white campers, but we are gay. Even though we’re a gay couple, we’re as white as they come, so we can always pass, and understand that white privilege is real. Odd that just being white, you get a free pass even though you’re gay. I have seen and experienced the discrimination first hand with my black and latino friends, and find it sad that racism runs so deep that even though homophobia is pervasive, haters can look the other way and pretend it does not exist, when there are black and brown people to hate.

Brian Holmes
1 month ago

it would be nice if there was some thing I could participate in with out the common up front and center bull of watching tv or movies. If they want to go camping then go, don`t need that “special” invitation.

Robert Edwards
1 month ago

What can I do to make a difference for black campers? We always smile and speak, but I am aware that I am looked upon with suspicion, understandably so.

Christina Phillips
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Edwards

U just did. Thank you. I think, in your heart, you already respond w kindness as a gentleman. Thank you.

Maggie S
1 month ago

I am so glad that RVTravel published this important story on race. Thank you. And I am so sorry to read the many energetic, vociferous voices of white racism in the comments.

Christina Phillips
1 month ago
Reply to  Maggie S

Thank you for your honesty and truthfulness. I appreciate your article and, as a Black female, I totally agree w you.

Koolaid
1 month ago

Being black while shopping for an RV. Six salespeople have missed a sale. Was not taken seriously. Already pre-approved!!

Charles Mohr
1 month ago
Reply to  Koolaid

So show your pre-approval to the general manager and walk out. I consider myself white but I am half white half Japanese and look either Native American or Mexican depending on where I am. I asked a sales person once how much a TT was and he said “more than I could afford”. I’m full timing in a GD 2970RL now.

Christina Phillips
1 month ago
Reply to  Koolaid

I ve had the same thing happen to me but w buying a truck. Plus I am female also. Spent 45 minutes looking at trucks and the salespeople standing around chit chatting w each other.

Linda Smith
5 months ago

My white son was detained while walking in an all black neighborhood. He lived on the street! Had to show his license to prove it after he was bent over the hood of the police car. It all depends on whether you want to view yourself as a victim or a changer. He and his wife took the local kids to the zoo, handed out popsicles on hot days and generally tried to fit in despite being white.

Captn John
5 months ago

I ran a plant with over 1350 employees. 45% + were black. There was some racial tension, 99.999% of the time caused by blacks. There were EEO complaints, every one as a black did not get a promotion. I promoted on qualification only and blacks were promoted. Some had a sense of entitlement and felt the color of their skin as a qualification. Only about 7% of the employees were a problem, and 90% or more were black. The company nor I owed anyone anything but a paycheck for doing a job. Their were many required to pay child support of all colors. All did except 4 that a court required it deducted from their check ~ all were black. When a white person is murdered how many riots, how much looting, how many innocents die? I feel bad for OP as surely there are some that give her family problems. There is no justification for that. I cannot help but wonder if there is not some embellishment as well. The one interracial couple that worked at the plant once said they never had a problem at work or in their neighborhood, outside of those areas I have no idea. From what we know there is currently a very vocal minority of blacks making demands, rioting, burning, and causing the deaths of others. If anyone thinks they are doing anything positive they are wrong! A protest is not a riot. These people have MLK spinning in his grave. Racism is a bad thing but to think whites are worse than people of color is a joke.

Marvin L Bell
5 months ago
Reply to  Captn John

cap’n can i go pee? entitlement or God given right

Cindy
5 months ago

A couple of things you can teach your children which will help them most of all – Teach them to respect, and also to cooperate. This applies to both Black and White people. More whites are killed by black cops than blacks are killed by white cops. That is a fact and you can look it up. Yet I don’t teach my children fear. What is usually at issue for the 99% is when their position is disrespected (regardless of how you feel about them personally) or when they are spoken to disrespectfully, or when people are uncooperative. I realize that will never negate the 1%, but it will help everyone who deals with an officer. Most just want to do their job without problems. Don’t teach your children to fear. Teach them to be confident but differ. Teach them to speak respectfully but note WHO they are speaking with in case there is an issue they need to report later. Teach them to diffuse the situation rather than ramp it up. These rules apply equally to White and Black. Best wishes.

Alvin
5 months ago

I was sincerely hoping this non issue would not creep into the Recreational biz. In 50 years of travel with tens of thousands of miles under me, neither my wife , I or anyone we know has ever ONCE encountered race discrimination or judgment based on race – just never seen it

Sadly, Boondockers Welcome based in eastern Canada chose to get involved recently – FOR NO REASON whatsoever.

I wish we could have left this to the anarchists out there doing their thing, we don’t need this, we do not need to discuss this in RV circles – it is not a problem with any widespread traction whatsoever.

Cindy
5 months ago
Reply to  Alvin

I disagree. The percentage of Blacks who RV is small, but they deserve the same respect as anyone else. We in the RV community are just as responsible to see they are treated fairly as any other group/community. Just because YOU haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I assume you aren’t Black based on what you are saying. Decry the violence, but don’t assume that there are not people out there who want to be treated fairly.

Alvin
5 months ago
Reply to  Cindy

Cindy disagree all you want it doesn’t change a thing. I’m white and color blind. Always have been – and I repeat never seen the problem many have ( I do not deny what folks have seen), and have the wonderful pleasure of dozens of acquaintances made along this long life, of differing races and cultures some I love, some I disagree with some I laugh with, all of them I respect as humans on this earth.

Snayte
5 months ago
Reply to  Alvin

I have had it happen to my family. That is at least 3 different groups of people that have experienced racism while RVing. What number should you say is enough that we can start talking about it?

Michael
5 months ago
Reply to  Snayte

I agree. When I hear people say to white people that we need to take responsibility for having a conversation about raccism (because we just dont talk enough about racism in America) I begin talking about the mandatory racist discrimination imposed on whites, and only whites in education and employment. Whites enjoy no civil rights protections in America, even in jusrisdictions such as California that passed a referendum to extend those protections to ALL college students, even white college students, we find that California colleges and universities along with the courts have partially gutted those protections- but only for whites. Thus quotas are still enforced in California, though less blatantly than before. Similarly the US Government has never, not one time that I am aware of, brought a case to remedy workplace discrimination against whites. In other words, all of the various programs like affirmative action, quotas, inclusion etc that vioate the priciple of color blind treatment- the very heart of Civil Rights- have never been challenged by the US Government- rather the Us Government has frequently been the perpetrator of these discriminatory programs that sytemically exclude whites from hiring, promotions, government contracts and other benefits. If you are black and you want to get into Harvard you only need an SAT score a hundred or two lower than your white friends. And if you want to win a Federal contract the discrimination against whites is so ferocious that they frequently have regulations that mandate a certain percentage of a project will not be awarded to whites, but only whites are singled out in this way. But we also need to have a conversation about social and street discrimination. Did you know that whites are the victims of violent, felonius assaults by blacks over 500,000 times each year? In the midst of an epidemic of racist violence against white Americans is it really a great time to devalue their humanity by tearing down statues of their ancestors like Columbus, Teddy Roosevelt, and Francis Scott Key? There is much, much more to say that we NEED to cover in our conversation about racism. But, strangely enough, when I begin this conversation with people who insist that I, as a white man have a moral obligation to talk about racism, it turns out they dont want to talk about racism anymore. Darndest thing. Anyway, thanks Chuck for giving us permission to have this crucial conversation about race here at RVtravel.com.

Christina Phillips
1 month ago
Reply to  Alvin

Its reality.

Chan
1 month ago
Reply to  Alvin

You have blinders on. It needs to be addressed.

David Binkley
5 months ago

Do yourself a favor and do a few minutes of research on BLM. Not what the MSM and politicians would like you to think it is. The two co-founders embrace and are Marxists. They are proud of it and boast about it on video and audio all over.

And their website is very telling.

Like most things in the USA, many less informed people have jumped onto the BLM bandwagon without knowing anything about them.

DebD
5 months ago
Reply to  David Binkley

How does your statement have any relationship to this post? Are you saying that these experiences did not happen?

David Binkley
5 months ago
Reply to  DebD

It relates because everywhere and anywhere anyone goes these days it is all about BLM. Commercials, 24 hour news, even posts on an RV blog. It is getting a bit over the top.

And, No, completely wrong. I am saying that everybody thinks they are an expert on all of this when in reality they know very little, if anything, about which they speak. Most opinions are based on emotions rather than fact. Used to be the other way around.

Most all media has embraced BLM before doing any homework (emotions vs. facts).

Those who do just a few minutes of homework know what they are all about…and it is a lot more than mattering about black lives.

Darla Smith
2 months ago
Reply to  David Binkley

The two co-founders of BLM may be what you say, I don’t know. But BLM has become something immeasurably bigger than they could have possibly anticipated. It’s meaning and purpose no longer belong to them, but to the world – to everyone for whom black lives deeply and truly MATTER!!

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Binkley

David Binkley, you write “many less informed people have jumped onto the BLM bandwagon without knowing anything about them.” I’d say that’s true about virtually everything these days. Watch something on Cable TV news and you’re an expert! Yeah, right.

Tom Smithbrother
5 months ago

I use to work with a lot of Black men .
Most were just regular guys, but several absolutely hated all white people and let it show in every way possible. It works both ways. Believe me , I know via personal experience. Many people never have to opportunity to work closely with others who are of a different race. A lot of the problem was created by government laws. Laws that gathered all public housing into clusters instead of disbursements through out society. Another is a law that no man can be in the home while receiving some types of assistance. The unintended consequences of that law is many, many, fatherless families. It is far past time where everyone is treated equally, like the constitution states, No longer have any special consideration based on race or even sex. Those type of laws create division, not unification. All IMHO, of course.

Alvin
5 months ago

Tom, you are dead on.
So much of this dysfunction comes from government coddling of a non issue driven by money grubbing anarchists, exasperated by fatherless homes.
The outcome is predictable and does not have a color. I truly lament the day elected officials chose to micromanage people based on their color.
A truly hideous loathsome, condition of a time I’m not particularly proud to be part of.

Richard
5 months ago

Nancy, from your post I am surmising that you have had a terrible life, full of worry, fear and conflict.

I’m 69 years old and by comparison I’ve had an easy, great life. I’ve been stopped by the police while driving lots of times. I’ve have stood my ground and on some occasions I have just stood and said yes sir no sir. I was once arrested for literally being in the wrong place at the wrong time and refused to agree to take a deal so was locked up for the night and went to court and the case was thrown out after the first police officer gave his statement. I once had to stand 50 yards away while 6 police officers in Tampa, most with one hand on their gun, surrounded my 26 year old son and questioned him about an armed robbery which had just taken place. I could go on and on but I think I have given enough for people to form an opinion.

I think 99.9% of police officers are great. Would you do their job ? I think 90% of people are great. My parents taught me many things amongst them was that the law is on your side provided you are on the side of the law. I read and re read your post and found that in MY opinion, and yes we ALL have one, far too many times I could read it and think, there are two sides to every story.

In your original post you told us about the guy who put his hand up like a gun and pointed it at you, are you SURE he wasn’t just waving to say hi or have a safe journey ? I wave at other RV’ers all the time, I’ve never had one come back and say why did you do that? I have found in the last 69 years that you usually get back what you put out. For most people, when it all goes wrong who do they call, is it their lawyer, is it the guy who services their car, no not usually, it the Police, so they can’t all be bad.

It is your granddaughter I feel most sorry for. Someone has taught her that police officers are bad and she needs to be frightened of them. She didn’t come up with it all by herself.

Protesters, protest, rioters are not protesting. Looting a store for a 60 inch TV will not put an end to inequality. If stealing a 60inch TV is all they need to get over a man being murdered we are all heading to Hell in a handcart.

This is the longest post I have ever written and that is because unlike a face to face conversation the reader will put their “slant” on what they read and not necessarily and what has been written.

Now Nancy a last BIG question for you. Am I Black, White, Hispanic, European or Asian ?

I would ask the site moderators to either accept this as written or delete the post but not to edit it.

Thanks,

Richard.

Bill T
5 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Well said. Your last question to Nancy says it all. As far as I am concerned, it makes no difference. Cheers.

Richard
5 months ago
Reply to  Bill T

Bill, that was EXACTLY the right answer.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
5 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Thank you for your comments and insight, Richard. It includes nothing that would suggest we need to edit (e.g., block out derogatory words, name-calling or whatever) or delete it. Take care. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Karen Grace
5 months ago

Doe someone moderate this page…Michael’s rant seems out of order here.

Cindy
5 months ago
Reply to  Karen Grace

He is not eloquent, but his statistics are correct. If more Black mothers taught their sons to be afraid of gangs and of drugs rather than the police, the whole community would be better off. Let’s get the priorities right. That applies to people of every color.

Captn John
5 months ago
Reply to  Karen Grace

Karen ~~ you like censorship when facts get in the way of your agenda?

Renee
5 months ago
Reply to  Karen Grace

Don’t be a Karen, Karen. I may not like what was said, but you’re attitude for censorship is wrong………people have the right to voice their opinion. We are talking about what is left of the US of A for goodness sake! The attitude that “I don’t like what you are saying so I’m going to call for it to be censored; expose (Doxx) you; ruin your livelihood; destroy your business; violently assault you……” you choose, Karen, because that’s what is happening ALL ACROSS our country at this very moment . Why is all of this okay yet one person is not allowed to voice their opinion because YOU don’t like it?

Karen Grace
5 months ago

I find it REALLY offensive to have a gun ad placed in the middle of this powerful and violent story. What’s the point…and what’s the message it’s sending!?

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
5 months ago
Reply to  Karen Grace

Wow, Karen! Thank you for telling us! That would be an auto-inserted ad from Google, which we have no control over the content — and we don’t know what will show up for each reader. However, since you mentioned this, I just went in and turned off that function so that NO ads will be showing up in this very important and heartfelt message. Thanks again! Take care. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Steve Baker
5 months ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Please, enough with the hoplophobia! Guns protect people of all races. Just ask former US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. In the ’60s, her dad used his rifle to ward off a bunch of KKK terrorists who were getting ready to light their family’s house on fire.

https://youtu.be/56JSdttIv1k

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve Baker

Hey, Steve. I am the owner of a .357 Magnum S&W, so I’m obviously not “hoplophobic.” And both of my sons have safes full of various types of guns. So, no. I am not against guns by any stretch of the imagination. It was just that Google automatically, and very insensitively (because they’re not screened), put a gun ad in the middle of a very sensitive post from one of our readers about what her biracial family has been subjected to just for being biracial. I pulled that ad and the possibility of other insensitive ads being automatically placed in that post specifically because of the content of the post. I don’t care if gun ads pop up automatically in other posts. But thank you for bringing this up so I could clarify why I did what I did. (And thank you for teaching me a new word.) Take care. 🙂 —Diane (aka Mountain Mama) at RVtravel.com

Christina Phillips
1 month ago
Reply to  RV Staff

We must be related……..I’m also female, and own the exact firearm….blue steel! Thank for our comment.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 month ago

Hi, Christina. And one more thing we (almost) have in common: my middle name is Christine. 😯 Thanks for writing. Have a good night, and stay healthy. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Kipp
5 months ago

I am a white man, further I am in law enforcement. I have been pulled over too many times to count, usually for not wearing a seat belt. I have been mistaken for someone else when I was forced out of my car and instructed to “walk backwards to me with your hands in the air. Get on the ground!” Guess what I did? I walked backwards and got on the ground. As a young man, my father (a white man) explained to me how to get pulled over. He DEMANDED that I place my hands on the wheel, turn the radio off and do only what the Officer says. Guess what I have passed on to my four kids? My son (white) was stopped and questioned while walking through a park where other people were walking. As he was questioned, guess what he did? I get it, no one wants to be stopped by police, no one wants to answer questions. But in reach of these examples, officers were doing their jobs in protecting the area they served. Yes, it is just 1% of bad cops. But, it’s not just cops, there are bad employees in EVERY line of work. We hear about cops because they are easy to pick on. What happened in Minneapolis, was horrible, but happens daily in cities like Chicago is also horrific (black on black crime/murders). Where is that outrage? Again, I am not, and never will approve or support of what happened in Minneapolis, but to say that all police are bad, is the same as saying all people are bad. Not true.

Diane K.
4 months ago
Reply to  Kipp

I’m not bragging… but I’ve been pulled over by police (more than David Letterman) 84 times in my lifetime!… on my motorcycle, in my El Camino, in my Z28, in my GMC Sierra, in my company van, borrowing other peoples’ vehicles (not even including my snowmobile!). I actually received 17 moving violations, 6 of which I won in court.

Three turned violent in which I was either arrested or summoned to court. Twice, the officers apologized in court, and both cases were thrown out. I have 1 felony on my record where it is documented I was traveling 15 mph’s in a 30 zone on a Kawasaki Ninja.

I’ve had long Elvira-blonde hair almost all my life, and milky white skin.

Think I was profiled AND harassed?? U bet your ass! >>and I’m not black. White lives matter, too. Black folks will never get my sympathy. We’re all in this together. But, I still like cops. Gotta respect ‘em for the most part. I wouldn’t want that job…

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
4 months ago
Reply to  Diane K.

I don’t think I’ll ever be riding with you, Diane. Just sayin’. 😆 —Diane at RVtravel.com

DJ Napora
5 months ago

We have to begin to fix this, not by tearing down statues, spray painting and looting, but in our own homes. Start with our own families, teach the children the correct ways. Vote for change, and if you protest, do it the right way. I did over 45 years ago! Ms Nanci wrote us a sad letter, but believe me it is changing, although slowly.. Most folks are good, open, friendly, helpful and caring. I refuse to believe that most are bad seeds. I will not hang out with rotten apples, and do not condone it!
As far as the tough cops around towns, they have to clean up their own! Just like doctors or lawyers or any professional group would. I can not apologize for them, or my skin color, or some bigot. I can only lead by example, and pray to God that others are following.
Thank you and God bless ALL!

Terry Dube
5 months ago

Nanci. Thank you for sharing which truly should never be. So many choose to divide instead of finding a common thread. Humanity continues to fall short of what Jesus tells us to do. I am so sorry and may He continue to protect you, your family and so many who are persecuted for no rational reason.

Sue
5 months ago
Reply to  Terry Dube

biracial family here – large family, some adopted -we’re a real rainbow. I understand completely. And I teach all of my children the same – choose your friends wisely, stay out of trouble, obey the law, show respect, comply with leo’s requests/commands, de-escalate. One son is a law enforcement officer – he can tell some stories as well. Racial bias comes in all colors – one race we are, the human race – Someday, please God, that will be the universal understanding. Until then, we each can only work hard to be part of the solution.

Richard
5 months ago
Reply to  Sue

amen to that.