Sunday, December 2, 2007

In-your-face racism is pretty rare

Major Cox, a black Alabamian, and his white wife, Cincinnati-born Margaret Meier, have lived on the Cox family homestead in Smut Eye, Ala., for more than 20 years, building a large circle of black and white friends while encountering relatively few hassles.

“I don’t feel it, I don’t see it,” said Cox, 66, when asked about racist hostility. “I live a wonderful life as a nonracial person.”

Meier says she occasionally detects some expressions of disapproval of their marriage, “but flagrant, in-your-face racism is pretty rare now.”

Cox — an Army veteran and former private detective who now joins his wife in raising quarter horses — longs for a day when racial lines in America break down.

“We are sitting on a powder keg of racism that’s institutionalized in our attitudes, our churches and our culture,” he said, “that’s going to destroy us if we don’t undo it.”

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