A writer examines issues of racism he witnessed while growing up in Waterloo, Iowa, and running a grocery store with his father:

When I went back for an event for my college fraternity, I introduced myself to one of the new guys, my brother who is the first ‘black guy’ in my fraternity. When I asked him where he was from, he said, ‘From South America originally.’ I laughed and said, ‘No, I meant where from in the US—St. Louis, Kansas City?’ The suburban kid from St. Louis didn’t want to be considered ‘African American.’ For him, being South American was a safer play in a predominately white fraternity.

I’ve wondered whether an African American would have gotten a small business loan like my father did.

In 1989 when the movie came out, a reporter asked Spike Lee a question about what viewers ‘should learn’ from Do The Right Thing. Lee smiled and quipped that maybe black folks should be able to get financing to run their own pizzerias.

“I Don’t See You.” — Tim N. Taylor, The Rumpus

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