The recent death of actress Jean Stapleton brought back memories of my childhood, when she starred in the hit TV sitcom "All in the Family". Stapleton played Edith, the long-suffering wife of the bigoted Archie Bunker.
The Archie Bunker character was intended to satirize racism and other forms of bigotry. Sadly, in the rural redneck town where I grew up, and in the racist family environment that I was trapped in back then, Archie wasn't recognized as a satirical character. Rather, he was seen as the normal guy whom all of them could relate to.
I, on the other hand, had read enough that I was able to recognize the satire. And I was punished for it. In fact, after I escaped to college and word got out that I had dated a black guy, I was yanked out of school and grounded.
I haven't been back to my hometown in 25 years, and I don't ever plan to.