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Sunday, July 26, 2009

This Week In Racism

In addition to what makes the national racist news every six months or so, there are daily racist incidents. These just happened.

My son and I were riding our bikes in the direction of two boys over forty-ish. Before we got there one of them spat on the sidewalk. As we passed, the other one, in typical hee-haw fashion, said to me, “now don't run over him” as though I was his child who needed guidance from a collective history of superior childrearing. It's not so easy avoiding these folks all the time.

My son and I were at an arcade in Crestwood. At midnight, closing time, they turned off the electricity in the midst of everyone's game without even a two minute warning. When I inquired they said they made three announcements. No one on the second level seemed to have heard. For the record, we were playing an extremely quiet game of pool at the time. None of the employees on the second level said a thing either. There were no attempts at courtesy to their customers. Do you think this would happen where 98% of the clientèle were of another color. Hell no. No need to get too upset though. It's easy enough not to give them anymore of my resources.

Perhaps these are just examples of stupidity and idiocrity. Even so, I teach my son what these incidents teach us. He may not fully understand, but I prepare him for the not always avoidable and continuing inevitables. He then related a story of an incident his mother experienced recently while spending her resources at a place designed to provide less than what you pay.

My sister told me about mess going on at her job. All of us should be able to relate to this. If not, you're a big ashy fool hoping your ashenness is helpful. It's a little harder dealing with folks at your job but it's possible to overcome if you put the right things into your mind and spirit while not at the job.

Systemic and systematic racism along with racist behavior are storms. I am no longer concerned about the effects of these storms on my person, mind or spirit. I am concerned for the children. We can all try to get along, but I will continue to teach my son to try only with those who try with him. He reads words well, now he must learn to read racism even better. It's already in his public and private education, in textbook fashion. Ain't nothing new or old this week in racism.


  1. I received this comment:

    I've had some experiences myself. It's not always easy being on the other side of the fence.

    Not long after I became manager,
    I was interviewing and called this girl in. I didn't know if she was black or white when I called but it didn't matter to me as long as she could work. I hired her and she
    was really nice but she had a whole lot of trouble with the cash register.

    She was short or over everyday not cents but dollars. I talked to her and tried to retrain her
    but nothing helped. My boss was at the store and she noticed her register performance
    and she told me that if she was off again to let her go before her 30 days was up.
    I never fired anybody before and I didn't want to do it. Well sure enough when she counted her drawer that day, she was off again. I felt really bad and chickened out
    of telling her. I thought I would give her one more try. Next day, guess what? She was
    off again. So I had no choice but to let her go.

    A couple of weeks later, the next thing I know she had filed a discrimination suit against me. I 'bout DIED! because God in
    heaven knows that the color of her skin never even entered my mind. For that matter I would not have hired her in the first place. I still get mad when I think about it.

    But the good news for me was that she lost her case because there was several white people in the district that were fired for the same reason.

  2. This is a tiny glimpse of what it's like to always be "on the other side of the fence."

    I'm 46 and have not had one year of freedom from this, even when I didn't understand it.


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