Recently, my family and I vacationed in the beautiful Golden Isles of Georgia. We enjoyed fantastic weather and beaches before the dog days of summer. Our stay was a lot of fun, with the exception of some trash of both the human and non-human variety that we encountered on the beach.
While my family was playing on the beach, we noticed a group of kids who appeared to be in their late teens sitting behind us. The beach was mostly empty so the few groups of people stood out. In this case, the group stood out more because they were racially mixed – which is unusual on an island which appeared to be at least 95% White. There were two rather lame looking White fellows, two White girls, and two non-White boys (one was a mulatto and the other was some sort of nondescript dark-skinned immigrant). They were drinking beer and listening to hip hop and “tractor rap” – thankfully, at a volume which we could not hear unless we walked toward them.
As the day drew to a close, we packed up our things and began walking back to our rental house. As we passed where the kids had been, we noticed that they had left several bottles and beer cans on the beach. We stopped to pick up their trash and carried on. As we went down the trail that cut through the sand dunes and woods that separated the beach from the houses, we encountered lots more trash that the interracial group of kids had thrown out. There was a cardboard box of beer, lots of cans, cigarette packages and other garbage; it took a while for us to pick it all up. I was furious that anyone could be so disrespectful and thoughtless. My wife tried to calm me down and we carried on.
As we came out of the trail by our house, we saw the mulatto boy get into the passenger’s seat of an expensive SUV; thumping, mindless bass sounds of rap came from the vehicle. While we were walking my wife saw him throw some trash out of the parked SUV’s window. This visibly annoyed my wife, who decided to say something to them. She walked over to the SUV, knocked on the windows and told the kids, “You know that trash y’all threw out? Someone has to pick it up. That is what we have been doing for the last 15 minutes. We’ve been cleaning up the mess you threw down.” My wife caught back up with me and our baby and told me that the kids had apologized and said that they would not litter anymore. I asked, “Let me guess: it was the two White girls from earlier in there with the Blacks?” I had seen only the one mulatto in the passenger’s seat but the sight of trashy White girls driving around Black boys is not uncommon in the New South, sadly. My wife confirmed my suspicion and then asked what that had to do with anything. “It just figures,” I told her. “They are human trash who don’t care about anything other than themselves.”
I have a dream. My dream is that we can once again have clean, family-friendly Southern beaches and towns, free of litter and race-mixing trash. Is that really so much to ask?