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By Tami Jackson

NPR, as a part of MSM, is not a conservative’s favorite radio listening, nor editorial reading.

But every now and again NPR highlights an article or program worth note. And Wednesday was just such a day, as the resurgence of a 40-year-old photo inspired an editorial.

Karen Grigsby Bates writes:

In late July 1973, Joseph Crachiola was wandering the streets of Mount Clemens, Mich., a suburb of Detroit, with his camera. As a staff photographer for the Macomb Daily, he was expected to keep an eye out for good feature images — “those little slices of life that can stand on their own.”

macomb-kids
This 1973 photo of five children playing in a Detroit suburb has gone viral on the Internet. The children were Rhonda Shelly, 3 (from left), Kathy Macool, 7, Lisa Shelly, 5, Chris Macool, 9, and Robert Shelly, 6.
Joe Crachiola/Courtesy of The Macomb Daily

Bates continues, painting a Norman Rockwell setting with her words:

The slice of life he caught that day was a picture of five young friends in a rain-washed alley in downtown Mount Clemens. And what distinguishes it are its subjects: three black children, two white ones, giggling in each others’ arms.

“It was just one of those evenings,” Crachiola remembers. “I saw these kids — they were just playing around. And I started shooting some pictures of them. At some point, they saw me and they all turned and looked at me and struck that pose that you see in the picture. It was totally spontaneous. I had nothing to do with the way they arranged themselves.”

This week, Crachiola, who now lives in New Orleans, posted the vintage photo on his Facebook page.

“For me, it still stands as one of my most meaningful pictures,” he wrote in his post. “It makes me wonder… At what point do we begin to mistrust one another? When do we begin to judge one another based on gender or race? I have always wondered what happened to these children. I wonder if they are still friends.”

After several days when the world seemed to be reduced to one big argument about race, the elegantly simple photo hit a nerve — in a good way.

The picture does elicit a smile: Joseph Crachiola captured a simpler time when Civil Rights had won, and yet the militant progressive, race-baiting hadn’t quite taken over. All these kids knew was that they were friends and happy to pal around.

How great would it be to get back to that? To stop reading so much into every word and just let kids be kids?

Why does this photo make us smile?

The joy of these kids, unencumbered by bitter agendas, touches the heart. And this is the way it should be.

 

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  • tefitz

    Awesome picture, we truly all need to live that way!!

  • Guest

    I agree, we need to live that way, but how can we live that way with the anger and resentment that is being fostered and stoked in black communities? In second grade, my best friend was a black girl…but by fifth grade, a different black girl threw rocks at me and spit in my hair every day at the bus stop. Why did she hate me, I wonder? It was my first negative interaction with a race different from mine, but definitely not the last. I’m not gonna lie, cause we need to start telling the truth if we are going to fix this. I went to a high school that had about 1/3 black population, and honestly I was afraid of most of them. The girls Most confrontational, angry, and always seemed to have a chip on their shoulder, and the boys were controlling and predatory…and the ones that didn’t posses these qualities were labeled as nerds or outcasts. Something has to change from within the black community. It’s clear that what we’ve been trying to do to “fix” the problem is not working. For the most part, blacks despise whites and whites are afraid of blacks. It doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way.

  • Guest

    I agree, we need to live that way, but how can we live that way with the anger and resentment that is being fostered and stoked in black communities? In second grade, my best friend was a black girl…but by fifth grade, a different black girl threw rocks at me and spit in my hair every day at the bus stop. Why did she hate me, I wonder? It was my first negative interaction with a race different from mine, but definitely not the last. I’m not gonna lie, cause we need to start telling the truth if we are going to fix this. I went to a high school that had about 1/3 black population, and honestly I was afraid of most of them. The girls were confrontational, angry, and always seemed to have a chip on their shoulder, and the boys were controlling and predatory…and the ones that didn’t posses these qualities were labeled as nerds or outcasts. Somewhere along the way, contentment and docile behavior became taboo in the black community. Rage and revenge prevail. Tell me why, if a black man is successful, he’s a sellout? If he moves into a white neighborhood, he’s an uncle Tom? If he turns his nose up at rap music or sexualizing women, he’s a wimp? Something has to change from within the black community. It’s clear that what this country been trying to do to “fix” the problem is not working. Things are getting worse. After a civil war, Martin Luther King, decades sensitivity training and affirmative action and every other program under the sun, it still boils down to this…most blacks despise whites and most whites are afraid of blacks. It doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way.

  • kathy j

    sorry for the double post, I deleted the first and then realized I wanted to make additional points. for some reason it still showed up after I deleted it.

  • Bob Hardy

    “When do we begin to judge one another based on gender or race?”

    For most of us, we never did start judging based on race or gender. We treated (and still treat) people as we would want to be treated. We judge(d) people by how they treat us.

    Even when there was slavery in America, less than 5% of the people in the south owned a slave (less in the north). Some slavery had no race basis at all, as some of the slave owners were also black.

    • markie71

      A little known fact is that some slaves were white as well.

      • shoemama

        Yes, slaves came in several varieties.
        Slaves of “color” were categorized as to the amount of blackness they had. Quatraines were 1/4th black. They could look almost white. If it was known they were born of a slave, they were still slaves. Some were able to “pass out” of slavery by looking white.
        The caucasian slaves were actually indentured servants. Their passage to America was paid for by a Benefactor. They became slaves to this “Benefactor” for a certain number of years. Children often became their slaves, too, but it was easier to escape into “white” society.

    • DontTreadOnMe11

      The first American slave holder was a black man, back in the mid 1600’s.

  • Tosheba

    Children have always shown us that racism is taught and learned behavior. One is not born a racist. It’s not a one-way affliction like politicians and the media try to preach, it is a human failing; always has been, always will be. Racism resides in the hearts and minds of human beings, regardless of the relative pigmentation of their skin. Period.

    • DontTreadOnMe11

      They should find these people now and see what they’re doing.

  • Leonard Guere

    It reminds me of my son Chuck and his friend Ricky back in the 60’s in Philly. They were best friends. Those were great days. i still chat with Ricky from time to time.

  • talkradio200

    What a great reminder of colorless friendship. Too many adults have forgotten or never knew it in the first place.

  • bannie2

    Their smiles are so infectious. :D

  • Karl Sparn

    This was “My America,” until 2008.

  • DailyKenn

    Should be, but isn’t and never has been.

    Will it ever be?

    Racial violence is epidemic

    • Joeblk

      hang in there my friend..

  • Joeblk

    Beautiful photo of children with smiles on their faces.
    it was about friendship and not about the races.

    oh American,,you were so much simpler and so was i.
    now I’m middle age with a tear in my eye.

    Where have we gone wrong and who takes the blame.
    Put that on all of our shoulders and attach to every name.

    -jon joeseph blake

  • jsgb1977

    Beautiful!!!!!

  • Angie Marie

    It’s only the race baiters who cause the distrust and hatred

  • John Porter

    Most black & white people are probably too busy & would love to move along. It’s the “Filthy Few” that perpetuate the hate.

  • Susan Stevenson

    This reminds me of the Little Rascals and all the kids on there. I still buy them when I can find them. Always great friends, all pretty poor, but their imagination was priceless.

  • markie71

    That photo reminds me of myself and my brother with our next door neighbors. Those were the best times ever!

    • Whackajig

      I had no black buddies when growing up. My parents taught me not to steal.

  • John Cox

    Unless we become as little children we shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

  • Papa G Cortellino

    as a ‘child of the 60’s’, I must say, there seems to have been less race division back then than today.
    Perhaps, we all need to step back and re-live the days of Peace and Love.

    • Larry Pucci

      that’s what ended it all, people don’t understand what peace and love are.

    • shoemama

      Some of the Hippies of the 60s are the marxists of today. (like Saul Arlinsky) They sit in their sheltered towers of Academia and pretend they know all the answers. They never have to test their theories, so they can just assume they are correct. (Until now, when Obama is trying to shove those theories down our throats!)
      “Peace and Love” is utopian. Because Humans are HUMAN, we have to work with all the motivations and greed and strong wills of people.
      I, too, came of age in the 60s. If the media had just ignored the college kids like all adults before them had, we all would have been better off!!! Kids eventually grow up, and realize that the world isn’t perfect, and we’re never going to make it so. We learned to deal with situations as they are, not as they “should be”
      Capitalism works because it uses motivation to “get ahead” by hard work and sacrifices. For most, there is satisfaction. For some there are great riches!
      Marxism takes away motivation. Why work hard when you can get the same thing by doing nothing at all? That is why the USSR died. That will kill us, too, if allowed to take hold.
      So let’s NOT re-live the 60s!

  • Kevin Carroll

    It shows just how successful the race profiteers have been .

    • Sunshine43

      Especially the fraudulent preachers who just want to line their pockets with $$$. It is, sadly, very profitable for these contemptible types!

  • jerry

    i grew up in new bedford mass. born in 1962 and this was what life was for me ,,race had no bearing on frienships,,it was all about character……good memories,,and wonderful parents….

    • OSW

      I am your age and had the same experience.

  • NYCnative

    it all turned when the militants took over the civil rights movement.. the thing that brought us together was the music. Motown broke down the divide, brought down the ropes that separated segregated rooms, they had songs songs that everyone could relate to, lots of love songs. The black power, Black Panthers ruined it and started to set it all back.

    • topmah

      NYCnative, you’re so right about wonderful Motown. As I mentioned above, I lived in Detroit prior to 1960–one of my fondest memories is having the windows open at night in the summer (no a/c then!) & lying in bed listening to guys down on the corner harmonizing–one I remember the most was ‘Silhouettes on the Shade’…couldn’t tell ‘em from the professionals…miss that great music & rappers, no matter how popular, will never hold a candle to the Motown greats….

  • treehugger85

    “There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

    ― Booker T. Washington

  • topmah

    We lived in Detroit in the late 50’s, before Dr. King began the civil rights campaign, & this photo would’ve been indicative of the relationship shared between us as white & our black neighbors, teachers & classmates. There was no animosity–skin color was of no consequence–we just got along like most folks did in those days. I will point out, however, that we all dressed the same, spoke the same language, enjoyed the same kinds of music & had little or nothing in the way of division. It’s interesting that a few years ago, I was lamenting the unbelievable differences in our cultures, & telling my husband that I was loathe to put it this way, but in those days & in that city, blacks ‘acted white’–he quickly corrected me & said, ‘No, they acted AMERICAN’–couldn’t have said it better. Today, the race-baiters do everything in their power to divide & separate the races, criticizing & demeaning anyone who does act American–it’s done more to harm blacks than all the years prior. May they wakeup before it’s too late, as it already is in that once great & thriving city, Detroit.

    • Whackajig

      I agree with you that blacks have ceased to act American. I take that to mean they have no love for America.

    • ROCKJUSTICE

      Poverty Pimps and Race Baiters do well keeping their income intact with the help of a complicit and Sorros backed media Our president was aidd in his election because of it and still he beats the war drum under the guise of equality…

  • Mongocutwood

    Once you get beyond flesh tone, it is all grey matter.

    • Whackajig

      Definately not true, there are inate differences between blacks and whites. I know the “N” lovers won’t like it, but scientific studies have shown that blacks are born mentally inferior to whites. God did give them atheletic and dancing ability since He felt bad about what he did to their hair.

      • ROCKJUSTICE

        Idiots like you are the reason for the derisiveness ..

  • Sunshine43

    Beautiful! We have fallen so very far from that wonderful time! So terribly sad!

  • Sam

    I agree. When I was 11 years old, I had a best friend who happened to be black. I moved away after a year because my dad was in the service. Her family lived in the same neighborhood as my family. Obama keeps the race thing stirred up because he is not an American. He really is not. The bible says we can “tell a tree by its’ fruit” and this is how I know that obama is a Muslim and a Marxist and an illegal.

  • Dr. Why.

    In the early morning hours of July 23, 1967, one of the worst riots
    in U.S. history breaks out on 12th Street in the heart of Detroit’s
    predominantly African-American inner city. By the time it was quelled
    four days later by 7,000 National Guard and U.S. Army troops, 43 people
    were dead, 342 injured, and nearly 1,400 buildings had been burned.

    By the summer of 1967, the predominantly African-American neighborhood of Virginia
    Park was ready to explode. Some 60,000 poor people were crammed into
    the neighborhood’s 460 acres, living in squalor in divided and
    sub-divided apartments. The Detroit Police Department, which had only
    about 50 African Americans at the time, was viewed as a white occupying
    army. The only other whites seen in the neighborhood commuted from the
    suburbs to run their stores on 12th Street.

    At night, 12th Street
    was a center of Detroit inner-city nightlife, both legal and illegal. At
    the corner of 12th and Clairmount, William Scott operated an illegal
    after-hours club on weekends out of the office of the United Community
    League for Civic Action, a civil rights group. The police vice squad
    often raided establishments like this on 12th Street, and at 3:35 a.m.
    on Sunday morning, July 23, they moved against Scott’s club.

    What was truth 5 years after the Detroit Riots?

    • ashmac

      Just STOP IT. This is a beautiful photo. Can’t you just let it be?

    • shoemama

      Dr. Why: A nugget of truth 5 years after the Detroit Riots? That 5 young children of two races could be happily playing together, near the place that had seen those riots!
      Until ALL of us DO NOT see RACE as the first thing we think about in any human interaction, racism will stay alive. Everyone of us has a part in changing it.

  • Taskmasterendgame

    The PIcture 5 friends enjoying each others company
    The way society should be !
    Damn the race baiters may they end up in hell !

  • ruth berry

    And how much do you want to bet that they did not all attend the same school!

    • bobfrommosinee

      Are you really that much of a liberal racist???

      • noweareman

        You repeat yourself!

        • bobfrommosinee

          Well when you see racism it should be pointed out continually.

    • F. De Moraes

      And if they did not attend the same school, the fact that they can still play together makes the photo even more telling, it tells us that innocence knows no racial boundaries!
      You can thank the NAACP (Negroes Against the Advancement of Colored People) and Socialist Democrats for keeping racism alive!

      • Whackajig

        These children are innocent only because they have not yet been exposed to the realities of black life vs white life. Blacks are looked down on because of the way they live their lives. Whites usually have a father in the family. Whites usually have someone in the family who has a real job (selling your body, or selling drugs does not count). Blacks have AIDS at a rate ten times that in whites. Blacks commit crimes at a far higher rate than whites. Over and over we see vast differences in how the white lifestyle differes from the black lifestyle.

    • shoemama

      ruth berry: Rhonda Shelly was only three years old!
      I have no idea which school(s) the other 4 attended. They wouldn’t be in the same classes anyway, because the Macool’s were older than the Shellys.
      What I would bet, is that the parents were friends, too!

    • OSW

      I’m their age and my schools were integrated- no one called them that, though. We were just kids whose parents shared a value system: work a lot and have a nice neighborhood. My first grade teacher was a black woman, and no one thought anything about color when I was a child in the northeast and northwest (moved). I am fifty now.

  • interestedobserver2

    Maybe if the grievance mongers would stop spending so much time trying to create hate and tension where there isn’t any, we wouldn’t be in the situation we are in now.

  • ashmac

    Beautiful and pure. What an honest image.

  • Sam

    And by the teen years the black kids were all hollering how racist the white kids were and how they were being kept back and had to join anti-white gangs to feel safe.

  • gfsomsel

    I grew up in the 50s. Civil rights and integration were just beginning. My mother used to work in a factory where she and a number of other women sat around a machine which moved the assembly from station to station with each adding a part. While doing this they would talk. I remember my mother telling me that one of the women asked her if I went to school with any black kids. It so happened that there was one, and only one. Until she asked I hadn’t thought to say anything about it. It is largely the adults which set the tone–or don’t.

  • OldNorthState

    “And a little child shall lead them…” This delightful photograph tells a story of just how far – backwards – we’ve come.
    In a confirmation of their heresy and hypocrisy, a very large percentage of liberals – despite their fraudulent rhetoric of “equality and human rights” – intentionally keep the fires of racism stoked more than ever, now, to further their other goals of socialism, communism, Marxism – or whatever other aberrant brand of extreme collectivism they espouse. My fervent hope is that more and more of us, regardless of ethnicity or race, can come to this realization, and begin to turn the tide against these America-hating usurpers… and perhaps recapture and internalize the very essence of what these children were experiencing.

  • Phillipe Violette

    That must have been before those kids received their racist indoctrination.

    • ROCKJUSTICE

      Ditto.

  • Brad Bryant

    When we served at the Church of All Nations in Boston in the seventies this is what we witnessed daily in our parish as our children went to magnet schools during desegredation.

  • IslandJohn

    One of those kids could have been me, 30 years ago. We didn’t care about color we were friends. Now I had to tell my children something I never thought I would, To avoid groups of black people. Obama, Al and Jesse have erased any gains in the fight for racial equality. Martin Luther King is turning in his grave right now.

  • PSNewton

    Love it!

  • kalamawashington

    Where I was raised, there just weren’t any blacks. I went to a high school of 2000 with no blacks in the school in the four years I was there 1960-1964. I had not exposure to blacks in my growing up years after we left LA in 1955, and then not much as I can remember. While I was in college in 1969, we had an opening in our apartment of six. I had met a guy who was living in a “sleeping room”, and asked him if he would like to move into our apartment. He said sure. He was from Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. If you are not familiar with that place and what it was like in the ’60’s, look it up in Wikipedia. He was Black. He was one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. My first “exposure” to a Black could not have been better. We were in our early 20’s, but the six of us could have posed for that same kind of photo. (none of the other 4 in our apartment had grown up around Blacks either). That year was great.

  • johnnywood

    It warms the heart to see this picture. Too bad we seem unable to be like these kids were in a today`s world of animosity, hatred and mistrust.

    • Bob Atwood

      Maybe you are, I’m not….

  • sly311

    Thanks for sharing! This one is a keeper. Gave me a pain in my heart–so sad to see what we’ve become. This little slice of life truly “stands on its own”.

  • Ajean72

    Our country was like this when Reagan was president.

  • Rodney Campbell

    What you are witnessing today is all contrived. Conceived in the hearts of narcissistic megalomaniacs who need us divided and at each others throat in order to retain power over us all. This is the truth everyone needs to know and once known, they can begin to work together to bring down those powers who exist on hatred.

  • Will S

    In 1960, when I was 11, my family moved form an all white, Protestant small town in Illinois to a diverse small town in California. In some respects it was like moving to the moon. I met people of other races and religions and found that they were individuals, just like white people were. We went to the same school and played sports side by side. I served with an even wider diversity in the Marines. Things were not ideal, or genuinely equal and just, but it was a better education for me about people, and race, than anything I ever got from school. Kids (and a nation’s civilian population) really do get taught who to hate. If someone is telling you to hate some broad category of people, you really should be more than a little skeptical. God Bless us all, and Semper Fi.

  • Bob Atwood

    Just that last sentence claiming a worldly opinion shows how small minded this writer and the majority of the media is…this race problem is so conspicuously contrived

  • kcranford

    I’ve seen this pic before and love it. It is “the way it should be.” We are not born prejudiced, we learn it. How good it would be if we could “be like little children” in this regard.

    • fred tackett

      we could be if itr wasnt for jesse al barry eric and a few more, i lived thru this peroid of time, had many black friends, and as far as i know we are still friends, havent seen them in years,but that doesnt change friendship as far as i’m concerned

  • Keri Green

    We should teach our children from birth to death to Love one another. To look at peoples heart and souls, that is what makes the person who they are, not the color of there skin.

  • tc4012

    Sadly – we have regressed in many ways since then.

  • Ragman69

    Before……

    • mreichard7

      …Obama and thugs.