“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.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Jenice,
    How about this….in a recent poll, 9% of the surveyed group SAID they wouldn’t vote for Obama because he’s black. Sheesh, 9% said it, I’m sure a lot more think it but didn’t have the balls to say it. Our optimism about things improving in this country may have been premature.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Bekki Bedow on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 8:00 am

    For every person who is racist there are 10 who are not, guess who is going to die out first as time passes?

    If that doesn’t make you feel better imagine this, in 10 years there will be so many cultures mixed into each person anyone who is racist would be wise to keep it to themselves because they will never know who they are talking to…(grin)

    I myself am Indian, Irish, Dutch, German and English…and I like myself that way!

    Reply

  3. I don’t even know what to say.

    Reply

  4. My heart sunk and if it were possible for me to lose color in my face I would have. That’s incredibly sad and I am sorry that you even had to bear witness to it. But you truly did take the high road and maybe that moment was like a seed you planted into that person’s life that will grow and change their perspective because they remember the black woman who wasn’t scared of them.

    Reply

  5. […] to Date a Black Chick? And in today’s times, I’m still taken back by how incessant racism still is. But I am a person about observations and I couldn’t help noticing this commercial thing, […]

    Reply

  6. I’m with you, Mike. The world isn’t changing. I’m tired of feeling like only some of us are moving forward while others would rather stay stuck in a time that doesn’t even exist anymore.

    Reply

  7. And I will say, taking the higher road was almost hard. But it was the first reaction I had because I didn’t want to help continue the ignorance.

    Reply

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