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Bring back public shame about racism and prejudice. It should unite all of us: Val Demings

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Many years ago, during my 27-year career with the Orlando Police Department, I had a conversation with the department’s then-chief about racism. He was a white man; I am a Black woman. I had a tremendous amount of respect for him. He, like me, was not perfect, but he genuinely tried hard to get things right.

He shared with me that when he was growing up, he heard the N-word every day from his father in his home. Having grown up in the South, I was not surprised. I was first called the N-word when I was 4 years old. I tried hard not to judge the man I was talking to by his father’s standards.

But then he shared that though his father said the N-word frequently in private, he did not act in the same manner in public, and that he would have never wanted anyone to know.



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