Ron’s Mom On: What’s That Smell?

“A Reeking Response”

By Geraldine “The Jet” Denson (Ron’s Mom)

I was born and reared in a small town in lower Alabama, way back when! So, “I’ve lived the life and wore the t-shirt”, as some people may say.  I was born into this world with the “smell” permeating the air.


As a very small child, I had no recognition of the odor that penetrated my nostrils. My life consisted only of love from my devoted parents and acceptance from my siblings, as we played and grew up together.


One facet of my life—of interest to some and well known others—played an important part in how the “smell” directly affected me and that was my father’s heritage! The “odor” of what we now know as “racial injustice” did not penetrate my nostrils because my father did not represent the stereotypical image of being “dirty and lazy”. Therefore, he was judged slightly differently.


However, as I began to get a bit older, the odor began, ever so slightly, to penetrate my nostrils, as my parents whispered their concerns and disgruntlement about several instances of prejudicial treatment my mom had been subjected to, for instance; I once heard my mom speak of the mean spirited treatment she would endure whenever she went to the grocery store with my father.


As I grew even older, and began my life as a little black school girl, my nostrils were overcome with this smell.  I became more aware of the inequalities in my life.


It was compulsory that I engage in an inadequate education by sitting at, and writing on; broken down and carved upon, desks and chairs; studying from “hand-me-down” books, and having none of the essential learning equipment normally associated with a proper education.


Segregated schools were the norm, unqualified teachers, and a hosts of other inadequacies haunted us. I was not allowed to drink from certain water fountains, and I had to sit in seats designated “for Colored”, at the movie theater.


Similar conditions plagued me throughout my childhood and continued into my adulthood.  So, to answer Ron’s question, “What’s that smell? It’s the reeking rancor of the racial injustices and inequalities that have plagued our race forever. I could go on and on about the unjust treatments that we have endured, but we all know the story. It’s all over every form of media, every day!


After reflecting on life and all of the racial unrest and injustices of today, I thought about it for a while. It’s been 75 years that I can speak of and things haven’t changed one iota. In fact, it has gotten worse, much worse.  Perhaps singer, Al Green, was wrong when he said “a change’s gonna come!”


After reading some of the comments in the Comments Section of “What’s That Smell”, I noted that many commenters spoke of how we are judged and how we judge others. Malcolm Forbes once said, “One can easily judge the character of others by how well they treat those who can do nothing to them or for them”.


When one group of people, or even one-person, judges another. It’s because they’re insecure or they’re afraid. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are judged and labeled because we are intimidating! We have the knowledge, the know-how. We are feared because we have the ability to be as great as the next group! We have proved it!


However, we do have weaknesses that we need to work on, weaknesses that are causing us to be judged and labeled. One of our weaknesses is judging each other. “Judge not least ye be judged.”   Another is “Black-on-Black” Crime! We have to stop!! Then maybe, just maybe that change will come!


  1. Sorry Ron, I’m ignoring you and talking your mom right now –
    Ron’s mom; I live in Florida, but that is not truly ‘the South’ especially when it comes to food. Restaurants cater to the northerners or Hispanic community – do you ever post good-old southern cooking recipes here on Ron’s website? If not – how about starting your own blog?
    Okay Ron, back to you – Great post, glad we finally found each other!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ron & Ron’s Mom – I enjoy how the both of you give your perspectives on issues from different points in time. It is always a valuable learning experience to read first hand accounts rather than carefully edited history books. Thank you very much for the lessons.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! It is very sad that little to no change has taken place in decades. In some respects it feels as if no increments have taken place since those pre-Civil Rights days. Thank you for responding, Ron’s Mom!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ron, unfortunately, these old stereotypes never went away in some people’s minds and they now feel empowered by a candidate who appeals to the worst we can offer. We must say enough and shine a spotlight on bigotry. As a 57 year old white man, there are far too many who look like me that do not understand white advantage. Some even claim reverse discrimination, which would be comical if it were not so sad and frustrating.

    I share this often. As I a white man, I pretty much can go anywhere I want without repercussions. Yet, a black man dressed in his Sunday best, thinks that when he is stopped by the police, that he better be careful or this is the last thing he might do on earth.

    The reaction to the recent shooting in Charlotte is not surprising. Our city had fallen to the worst out of 50 cities in socio-economic mobility. We must invest with economic and social capital in areas where poverty is prevalent. People feel they are not being heard.

    Sorry to wax on, but I appreciate greatly your mother’s words about that odor. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks so much Keith, and as always, your perspective adds volumes to whatever we say here.

    All I can say is, WAX ON MAN, WAX ON! Your wisdom and vision light a path that I only hope others will follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are so right , Ron. This problem goes far beyond color. That’s why I have “Gloria” in my classroom. She is amazing. I think I need to repost or write a new Gloria post. Many thanks for a great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Judgment is almost a knee jerk reaction
    You really have to be on your toes to watch how it all works on a daily bases
    I can’t tell you how much it has effected me
    But yes even I have a run in last week
    It scared the daylights out of me
    But you see being what has been going on
    Our society is being torn apart
    By those who can see
    All I can say
    Is when I put my feet
    On the floor each morning it’s going to be a good day
    As always Sheldon

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ron, I noticed that you’ve been busy on my blog (well one of them!) today and I really want to thank you for reading so many posts and the follow. That’s so kind of you and it is much appreciated. I of course, look forward to reading more of your work and thanks for the connection.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ron – what a gift that you visited my site so I could fine yours – absolutely love it! Wonderful to read history from non-white-man perspective – & then to have your mom comment from a whole other generation is genius! Wishing you tons & tons of readers as eeeevvverryyy one needs to see this 🙂


  9. Thanks for reading. You might like to go back and read my Blog:: Sophomore Slump 1967
    (Wednesday’s Child) FYI, when I was 8, my aunt in Texas slapped my ass when I drank out of the “Colored” water fountain at a grocery store. I thought it meant I was going to get Raspberry Kool Aid. What did a little white kid from NY know anyway?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. An African-American lawyer I used to know told me a story from her childhood. She grew up in the Northeast, but still had relatives down South. When she was about 6 or 7 years old, her father decided to take the family South on a visit.

    For my friend, the trip was an adventure. When her father stopped to get gas, she was allowed out of the car to look around. Just a few yards from the car, but blocked from view by some shrubbery, my friend was suddenly confronted by a large, white man. With a sneer, he called her the “N” word. She’d never heard it before.

    Thankfully, nothing more happened. But the moment was seared in her memory.

    How pathetic that a grown man should have felt compelled (and entitled) to torment a child this way. I wonder if the confrontation did not play some role in my friend’s choice of career. I hope so. I hope she derived some good from it, even if unintended.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Anna! I have heard people from “up north”, tell similar stories. For a young child especially, I can imagine how shocking it must have been.

      I would be willing to bet that your friend’s experience had something to do with her career choice.

      THanks for sharing that with us.

      Liked by 1 person

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