by Patrick Madden
Grandma Garcia hated the Negroes. For most bigots I know, racism is a matter of dissociation. They have black friends who, they say, aren’t like other black people, and they keep their attitudes under wraps whenever any real live blacks are present. But not Grandma Garcia; she declared her disdain outright and without provocation. The two years I had lived in Louisiana as a boy had taught me the routine: my neighbors hated the poor thieving blacks who lived in the Broadmoor Apartments in relative squalor, but with an impressive selection of stolen televisions and stereos. Every house within a two-block radius of ours had been robbed in the past couple of years and all my neighbors knew that it was the blacks. So it was understandable that they would harbor animosity, but Grandma Garcia seemed to have no reasons, or felt it unnecessary to explain her feelings.
“Grandma,” said her grandson Jovany loudly and slowly the first time we met her, “these are the missionaries, Madden and Kalu.”