Interracial RVing couple the target of white RVer’s anger

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Dear Chuck Woodbury,
I have been reading your newsletter(s) for probably a year now and even submitted our idea for our dream trip that was actually mentioned in one of the newsletters. I promised myself last week that I would finally try to help repair the injustice that exists.

I am not sure how to start this difficult conversation but your newsletter for me is a start.
My husband and I are an interracial couple and we have experienced discrimination in the RVing world. Racial discrimination has to end and as grandparents we need to see it end now. The RVing community needs to take a stand and help make this country and the world a better place.

Back in May of 2019, we were staying in Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park in Florida. On the day we left, my husband was driving and I was supposed to be co-piloting. My husband’s attention was on the road and listening to the engine as we pulled out. I was observing all of the camping sites. To my left ahead of us, I observed an older white male looking at us, and as we passed he took his thumb and index finger and formed a gun and ”shot” at us.

We did not file a complaint as I was the only one who saw it. I wish I could say that this was only the first time we had experienced racial discrimination while traveling but sadly, it is not.

“Black lives matter.” That statement takes on special meaning for me. My husband is African-American and I am white. We have been married for over 30 years now and have 4 adult children. We are both retired police officers and what has happened in over the last two weeks, I hope will finally start to turn the tide for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (thebipocproject.org).

As officers, we experienced racial injustice within our department as well as watching it happen on the other side.

We have a son that has just started a new career in the RV Tech world hoping to become a certified tech one day. As a parent, I need to know he will be safe. My hope is that if you receive other emails such as mine, maybe some of the RV industries and campgrounds will help take a stand so that all can feel safe.

Thank you,
Tracy Schulz

Dear Tracy,
There is simply no excuse for what that man did to you. It was the behavior of a bigoted, ignorant man, the scum of our society in my opinion. It makes me very sad to hear your story, knowing that it is repeated day after day across our land to good people like you.

Thank you and your husband for your service as police officers. I’d bet the scumbag who pointed his finger at you doesn’t have a fraction of the accomplishments as the two of you.

I hope to meet you and your husband one day. —Chuck Woodbury

##RVT952

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Donald Baugus
2 months ago

Really??????? Someone pointed their finger at you…. and you automatically think racist….. it sounds like you are the racist

Rory R
19 days ago
Reply to  Donald Baugus

I wonder how you would react if someone of color did the same to you….

Matt Johnson
2 months ago

I agree 100% it is disgusting. As a white male that was discriminated against because of my skin color in Southern California when I was applying for careers I find it despicable. It’s amazing Los Angeles city, county and the state of California give preferential treatment in the jobs I was applying for to people to people that came from 200 miles South as opposed to people that came from 6000 east, and from another continent.

Jim
3 months ago

I’m proud to say that my career Air Force father, who grew up in Oklahoma and Kansas during all the “Whites Only” hatred, taught us to measure a person by the content and character of their heart and not the color of their skin. If we see you or any other folks on the road you’ll be treated as my “brother from another mother”. I believe HUMAN LIVES MATTER and all of us should be color blind. Jim in Idaho

Lyn
3 months ago

I’m white, I’m female, and I travel alone. You and your husband are welcome in my camp any time, any place. The more colors, the merrier. Just remember to bring cookies!

Benny H Smith
3 months ago

My wife and I want to add our voice to those offering you and yours a welcome seat at our campfire. I believe there are more of us than the moron you described. And with our efforts someday we won’t see the haters at all. Benny and Sharon Smith

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
3 months ago

Sorry, dagny. His comment has been deleted. (I missed it when it was posted.) —Diane at RVtravel.com

Micheal Whelan
3 months ago

We are saddened and ashamed for the action of this low life you had the displeasure of encountering. This is proof that cave people do exist in our modern society. As former police officers you know better than most the numbers of these sub human beings still exist. I would hope the RV and the general population will work to reeducate (being polite) those that lack the mental capacity to realize their bigotry is not wanted and is detrimental to our society. We hope to meet you on the road someday. Keep safe and keep the faith.
Mike and Diane Whelan

Steve Davis
3 months ago

agree with your response Chuck!

Happy in the Woods
3 months ago

I’m more spiritual than religious, but I’ve thought often of a billboard-type display in the front of a church in my childhood neighborhood. Oh, it offered the usual notices for holidays and activity signups and such… but it was what was permanently carved into the stone frame, above these community notices, that stuck with me. Its simplicity – and complexity – is a tenet to which I believe we should all aspire to: THAT YE LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Wolfe
3 months ago

Personally, I agree with your last statement — I sometimes paraphrase it as “you have the right to be an *ssh*le, and I have the right to punch you for it.” The push for people being PC is one of the worst possible things one could do in the pursuit of diversity tolerance and reducing ignorance. When we “legislate respect” as you put it, we drive the racists underground so to speak. But, that’s not a cure — that’s a pressure cooker that intensifies their hatred. They form pockets of other bigots who share their views, and they intensify in an echo chamber. Eventually they go back into society, wound up and ready for REAL violence. Kaboom!

…Or, we could let Billy Bob say his stupid thing, and 20 people tell him what an ignorant jack*ss he is, and maybe he realizes he doesn’t have much support and considers why that is. No echos, but external peer input that he is NOT “ok” in his views. Learn or not, he has no incentive to get worse.

From a safety standpoint, I think of it like a snake in the grass — I’d rather hear the rattlesnake so I can avoid or protect from the threat. If the snake is cornered and forced silent until it strikes, it’s harder to defend.

Wolfe
3 months ago

First off, unfortunately, I have to point out that the author unfortunately most likely misunderstood a friendly gesture that is common in random pockets of the country. I’ve seen it in Texas and around the Great Lakes myself…

https://www.dictionary.com/e/pop-culture/finger-guns/

Now, as a safety consultant, I have to say the gesture has always given me the creeps as well. I’d agree with the author’s interpretation if I hadn’t seen it myself prior. It’s weird, and stupid in this VERY hoplophobic and unsettled culture.

Happy in the Woods
3 months ago
Reply to  Wolfe

I know exactly this gesture and encounter it while traveling in, as you say, random pockets of our country. It’s sometimes accompanied by a wink and a cluck-type sound. This, however, is not to take away from Tracy’s experience, but to provide an alternative possibility, even if remote.

DPSDebi7
3 months ago
Reply to  Wolfe

In Texas we wave and smile. The finger gun is rude and could get you killed in today’s crazy world!

TPalmer
3 months ago
Reply to  Wolfe

If you read the link above the finger gun would have to be done while you are conversing with someone.
To be done while you are driving down the road, I think the OP is correct to take it as a racist response.

Snayte
3 months ago
Reply to  TPalmer

The intent is what is important and the OP is the only on in the position to determine intent.

I have had the Amish do the finger gun to me as I passed them on the road. I do not think they were intending any malice.

Captn John
3 months ago

I give every one the benefit of the doubt until they prove it was a mistake. There are more racists people of color than whites. BLM was mentioned, they hold a good portion of blame for the riots, arson, and killing by the rioters. The cop was charged, will be tried and punished IF found guilty. He could never be found guilty of 1st degree. When was the last time whites acted uncivilized? LBJ was correct when he said his party owned the blacks. I still hear blacks complain they Haven’t had a grocery store in over 40 years near Cincinnati, no not since they burned them. No one of any color is dumb enough to put one in the vicinity to be burned. I had a work force of over 1300 consisting of all colors. Good and bad in all. Not one condone the uncivilized behavior we see today. Protest is one thing but no right to do what the few are doing today and anyone that agrees with this behavior is mentally challenged. Everyone agrees with peaceful protests, want sympathy for a cause and riots are only going to get the opposite.

John R Crawford
3 months ago
Reply to  Captn John

If the “peaceful protesters” were really wanting a “peaceful protest” they would be turning the looters and trouble makers in to the police.

Cindy
3 months ago
Reply to  Captn John

You have missed the point of her post. She is not condoning what BLM is doing now, she is sharing an experience of her own and her husband. If you look at the news reports you will see plenty of whites out there acting uncivilized right now, stealing, throwing things at police, etc. The rioting has nothing to do with race anymore. It’s Antifa, gangs, and just greedy people taking advantage of a situation. The Black people I know do not condone it. They are sickened that their voice is being overshadowed by these people.

All I can say is I’m sorry for your experience, dear, if it truly was racist (we don’t know his motive, do we?). I don’t know that man’s motives in that “signal” and perhaps I would have stopped to ask. It has to be confronted. You should have informed the campground owners at minimum. Racism runs all directions (I know Whites who have experienced it from Blacks), and it needs to come to an end. We are not various races, we are ONE race with different skin colors. I don’t care if you are purple if you are a good citizen and treat me with respect I will do the same for you.

Once I offered to take some under privileged Black children camping. An innocent offer. I came from a VERY poor family and I know how I would have liked to go camping as a child. But someone told me that was racist for me to make that offer! I still haven’t figured out why as they couldn’t really explain it. Why is it racist if I offer it to Black children, but not if I offer it to White children? I think there is a lot of misunderstanding about what constitutes racism and the definition is now so broad that it’s nonsensical and we have no idea what someone will think is racist. That just confuses the issue for everyone. Again, if we treat each other with respect and kindness, then I don’t care what color anyone is. Everything that happens is not precipitated on race. At least, it shouldn’t be.

Angelack
3 months ago
Reply to  Captn John

Clearly, you’ve showed where your priorities are. I think someone losing their life is the most important.

Jim Harvey
3 months ago

i’m a 68 year old white guy, lived through the 60s and 70s. I thought we’d solved most of the racism issues by now, but I obviously was wrong. Many white people today deny there’s any remaining racism – a denial based either on ignorance or bigotry. Until very recently I thought this issue was pretty much behind us – no such luck, it’s still here.

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”; Edmund Burke. I’ve promised myself that for the rest of my life I will, if I see or am exposed to racism, speak up, stand up for the right. My country has done a great deal for me – this tiny action is the least I can do in return.

Wendy Bell
3 months ago

Bigotry, and its offspring hate filled acts of violence, are absolutely inexcusable. They have always been. I hope to see the day when we are all enlightened. Until then, vote with your feet (join a march), your pens and emails (write your elected leaders), your dollars (boycott the haters), and with your ballot (vote out politicians who stand in the way of our evolution away from hatred. Oh, yes, and conduct civil and constructive conversations about getting rid of bigotry and hatred with everyone you meet. They need to know that you don’t agree. [Stepping down from my ole, white woman soapbox!]

cee
3 months ago
Reply to  Wendy Bell

Well said Wendy!! Get out and vote, wonderful way to voice our opinion.
And those conversations begin with our young children, as soon as birth. Or you can start in the womb. All of us have a moral community duty to respect our fellow humans. Attitudes develop at home.

Glenda Alexander
3 months ago

I agree that racism is a major evil in this world. Sadly, this has been the case since ancient times. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could get along well together? What a huge difference this would make in a multitude of ways! (Side note: I’m white and it may surprise many people to know that I’ve been ridiculed for being too white and told that I should get a tan so I wouldn’t look sick!)

Wayne Caldwell
3 months ago

My dad was very bigoted. He would tell me “treat a man like a man, but then say “look at that n** over there”. I left in ’72 and enlisted in the Air Force. That changed my life forever. Had I not left, I would have stayed in that kind of environment and would probably have had the same attitude. I am so thankful I left home and chose a
different path when I did.

betty danet
3 months ago

I hope to live long enough to see the day when skin color is no more significant than hair color or eye color. I thought we were almost there and judging from the comments we are, yet this story makes me both angry and sad. Please embrace the loving comments of all those here who would welcome you.

Steve Cloninger
3 months ago

Thank you Chuck for your reprinting of the article from Tracy Schulz. This is a topic that needs so much more attention and I would encourage you to keep that discussion going in this newsletter! Again, thank you!

Kevin & Vanessa
3 months ago

Reading Tracy’s story made us so sad. We as a human race – and especially those of us that share a love of RVing – need to stop the madness. No matter our race, color, ethnicity or religion we just need to respect one another and be kind. We all bleed red. Stop the craziness, the riots and the hatred. Tracy – for every awful comment or action, there are many more of us who support you. Be good everyone.

Mike Sherman
3 months ago

One would think we learned some lessons from the Watts riots, the Rodney King beating, the movie production of Alex Haley’s book “Roots”. I learned black men bleed red blood in Vietnam. I am a retired police officer sickened by cops choking black men to death. Is it any wonder black people get pissed off? I never stopped a driver simply because of his skin color. I was always respectful of everyone, equally. However, I believe most reasonable white people get a little tired of the trend to make us feel guilty for being born white. I didn’t have anything to do with that. I never owned a slave, and I don’t care who marries whom. I do care for any couple who experience idiots and would be the first to come to their aid. Eventually we will all be dead, but ugly attitudes will live on despite the truth about life.