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    • When I was a child (born in 1958) my parents taught us that racism was a sin against God because God created all humans and loved all humans equally. Naively, I thought only white people were racists until the first day of the second half of seventh grade. My family had moved to a different city between semesters.

      Prior to that I had lived in a neighborhood that had a lot of black families. I had collected used newspapers to take to the junk yard for cash. I also had had a best friend who was black until his family moved to a different city. My best friend and I were in the same home room at school and we attended the same church. We also lived only two blocks apart.

      All of my encounters with black people had been positive. This all changed abruptly at the beginning of 1971 when for the first time I encountered people who were prejudiced against me because I was white.

      But my experiences before moving to that city and my experiences after I left that city in 1976 are filled with relationships too numerous to mention that are multi-racial and are primarily positive in nature.

      Yet as an adult, I have seen how many white people are quick to make assumptions about people whom they see as different from themselves and to leap to conclusions without listening to the person that they are judging.

      I've also however seen a lot of "rush to judgment" events on the news. This one follows a pattern that has been duplicated over and over.

      I have to admit that I am inclined to suspect that the McMichaels are guilty but I don't want to make any conclusions until they have had an opportunity to present their defense.