Kids’ Races Bring Races Together
Last week I attended a middle- school track meet held at the College of Alameda and had a great time. I was there with my son and his family to watch my 12-year-old granddaughter run in the 100-meter, the 200-meter and the 200-meter relay races. She did well, all the kids did well and the crowd did best of all.
Despite the aluminum bleachers facing due west so that the spectators were baked to a fare-thee-well the crowd, entranced by the kids on the track, seemed not to mind much at all. It was the usual “parents of the schoolchildren in Alameda” crowd. Diverse to the max, intelligent, engaged and supportive of all. The stragglers in every race received as much applause as the lead groups and the applause was heartfelt and meant to encourage the effort and disregard the result. So excellent.
The kids outnumbered the spectators but we made up for it by cheering loudly, congratulating warmly and generally producing an atmosphere of “and a good time was had by all.” It was a long afternoon for some of the littlest kids, the siblings of the participants, but even among the toddlers there were no meltdowns and no tantrums. I did catch a few napping serenely.
Alameda is home to people from every race of human and, I think, every combination of races. It is encouraging to be among people whose friendships cross racial lines and whose tolerance is on open display. Hugs and greetings put every skin shade in close proximity to every other one and the conversations revealed real relationships between real people without regard to color.
For personal as well as philosophical reasons that give me hope for the future despite the dark time of the soul our country is currently experiencing. Races on the track and mixing of races in the stands. Alameda rocks!