There are people who get Martin Luther King Jr. Day off work. I am not one of those people. But I did go in an hour late to do my part. I also stopped by the mini-mart so I could pick up a bag of cheese-popcorn and a bottle of Coke.
As I was heading up to the cash register to pay for my breakfast, some guy came in and announced "HAPPY BROWN BROTHER DAY!" To which somebody else said "Maybe one day we'll get a white guy day." After nearly tripping on my own feet in disbelief as I approached the counter, I was compelled to say "EVERY DAY IS WHITE GUY DAY! Especially in this redneck town."
I guess I should stop being surprised when I hear stuff like this, but it never fails.
Probably because I'm too hopeful.
Though I wasn't jumped in the parking lot afterwards, and I didn't get the crap beat out of me for being a smart-ass, so I guess that's something.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness... only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate... only love can do that."
— Martin Luther King Jr.
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What a bunch of tossers.
And yet… it’s hard to know where it’s coming from, and that’s what’s really bothering me. Was it learned? Was it acquired? Or was it something far worse? In the end result, it doesn’t really matter… but it edges my frustration level to see this kind of thing still in play in the year 2010. When will it die out? WILL it ever die out? Or at least diminish to the point where you don’t have to be subjected to racist remarks when shopping at the mini-mart.
As a brown brother, I endorse us having another white guy holiday, provided it is a drinking holiday.
When I run across things like this, I can honestly say we need a LOT more drinking holidays.
This is bothering me more and more lately. There’s no one on your reader list who is more opposed to the general idea of “political correctness” than me. And I’ll engage in a symbolic participation against it in a conversation right readily. However, I’ve noticed even in my own family during the holidays that just passed, a willingness to not only go beyond a cursory “rebellion” against all things PC, but an expansion of that more playful activity into more mean-spirited and outright repugnant stuff.
We just got done enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, for example, and so the “boys” retired to the basement where the whole thing degenerated into the worst form of bigoted stereotyping, sick jokes, and “nudge-nudge, we know all about them” conversation I’d ever heard. I had to go to a different room before I lost it.
But the more I thought about it the more I realized that, yes, this IS the family I come from. And over these holidays I’m more alienated from them than ever. I am also convinced that people who engage in this kind of thing – including the guys you were talking about – are the lowest form of reptile you could think of.
If we could, just for a moment, take a step out of ourselves and see ourselves from above sometimes, I wonder if we’d like what we saw.
It’s the nonchalant kind of racism that is the worst. And anyone who could possibly defend it as justified is seriously sick and selfish. Probably too enamored with their ideology (however poorly formed) than reality.
You’ve pretty much hit where I land on the situation… it’s mean spiritedness. It’s not even a clever attempt at being funny, just a clumsy attempt to make a statement against an entire race of people in a way they perceive as humorous… but is only really humorous to people who share their thinly-veiled racism. It’s the year 2010, and we still actively look for ways of excluding and separating us as a people. There’s not much sadder than that.
The rednecks are everywhere, that’s for sure.
Always. I’ve been a lot of place over the years, and this is one thing that doesn’t change… sure they may be more rare, but they never disappear.
Ahhhh ignorance. How totally NOT bliss.
Especially at the start of your day. Aren’t things bad enough?
I mean, really. People are such morons, sometimes.
That’s the best I can come up with.
It’s about the best anybody can come up with. I’m not going to condemn people for their feelings … but it’s easy to condemn their manners in situations like this.
The real question is.. what were these people buying at the mini-mart? What kind of products are they ingesting? Or are they simply just lame ass fuckers who don’t have a fairness bone in their bodies?
I don’t really know. Hopefully it’s not bags of popcorn and bottles of Coke that have that effect or else I am in real trouble.
As ignorant as their comments were, the blatant, nonchalant racism is in some ways more preferable. This is based on discusssions I have had with friends. At least you know where the person stands and how to deal with them – as opposed to thinking they feel one way only to have them figuratively stab you in the back and not see it coming.
I dunno. On one hand, you end up with a prettier world when blatant racism is relegated to the seedier underbelly of society. Kind of the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” approach… but, on the other hand, that’s about the most dangerous kind of racism to have in your society. When the major shit goes down, you will never see it coming. Scary.
I totally commend you for having the balls to say something back. Huge points in my book for that.
Well, my balls are massively huge… which could lead to big trouble if I’m not careful.
Were you traveling or in your current home town?
In my home town. That’s what makes encounters like this so special!
Sadly, things like this are less an less surprising to me.