Archive for May 18th, 2008

“I am a racist…”

How would you react to someone saying that to you? Let alone saying it so a matter of fact that it was equivalent to ordering a cheeseburger. That is what happened to me last night. I’m not going to drag this out or go on about my “hurt” feelings. But you should know this was said to me while handing out fliers for a benefit concert I am helping organize right now.

I went to a local biker hangout to pass out fliers. Before you give way to assumptions, I have known and hung out with some very open-minded and very cool biker folks. I went there thinking I was among friends. Especially because the bar right next to the hangout was one I frequented very often and always felt welcome. Boy, was I naive.

So I handed one particular biker one of the fliers. I guess I should not have disregarded he and his friends’ Confederate flag badges. As much as I hate that symbol, it is also a Southern piece of life here in Texas. And I’ve hung out with many cowboys in my day who didn’t necessarily represent the hatred behind that flag. In fact I guess they tried instead tried to change its image. But in this case, however, I was handed back the flier in an eerily polite fashion and told, “I’m a racist. I won’t be going there.” To that I quipped, “Well, it isn’t a benefit for black people.” Yes. That was me taking the higher road for the cause. But it didn’t matter. He sneered. His friends shook their heads as if to just say “nicely” to “just walk away.” As I did, I made sure to tell him that I don’t buy into the biker stereotype. And how unfortunate to find someone who fit it.