Category Archives: racism

Two Weird Experiences and the Lessons That Came with Them


Hiya peeps!

I’ve had an interesting (last) week. Things have happened that have made me really think about what I want to do with my life and my career. I’ve done a lot of soul searching and I think I’m formulating a great plan that will allow me to accomplish my goals while contributing to the greater good. I can’t wait to tell y’all about it.

Next week. Later this week.

Sorry guys, but I have other things to discuss today. Don’t worry, they’re just as important and interesting.

And if not, you’ll definitely be back next week later this week to hear all about my plans.

<insert evil genius laugh here>

Anyway…

I want to talk about two things I experienced in the last couple of weeks that have made me wonder about the state of the world. I’ll explain and then offer commentary at the end.

On Mother’s Day, I was coming back from a trip to the store to pick up aluminum foil. We were having a cookout and you can never never have too much aluminum foil. As I drove, I noticed a man who was surrounded by scattered grocery items and a bicycle that was sitting on its side. I surmised that he had fallen off his bike and his purchases had been tossed during the fall.

There wasn’t any place for me to pull over and he was standing in front of a driveway so I had to drive to the end of the block, turn around in the gas station parking lot, double back and park in the lot next to the one where the man was standing. As I pulled into the lot, another car pulled in in front of me. We both got out and approached the man, both of us armed with an empty plastic bag. By the time we got to him, another  person was helping him retrieve his groceries. We joined in and helped pick up his items. The whole time the man just kept saying, “I can’t believe I fell over like that.” While we were rebagging his items, a car slowed down and lowered its window. A woman offered the man a canvass shopping bag. He tried to turn it down, but she said, “so you have something sturdier for the next time.” As we all walked away in our different directions, I felt like humanity wasn’t all lost and that humans still had a fighting chance.

And then I went to Sheetz.

Now, I’m not bashing the entire company. I’m not even bashing everyone at this particular location. But I am bashing one employee from now until the next 6th Saturday in June. I ordered food online from Sheetz. As I was leaving to pick it up, the daughter’s boyfriend asked if I would grab him a beer. I said “sure,” he handed me the money, I left and headed for the store.

I get there, and it’s business as usual. Lots of teens and 20-somethings. Gas and oil workers grabbing their greasy food and cases of beer. Exhausted looking parents getting gas and snacks and doing a last potty break before getting on the road.

I get in line so I can pay for my food. There’s three or four black guys in line in front of me. Probably Diva’s age, or a little younger. Well one of them apparently didn’t have an id, so the cashier refused to serve any of them. They were annoyed and disappointed, but they weren’t making a scene.  While I was waiting in line, I remembered I actually wanted a raspberry ale, so I jumped out of line, got my ale and got back in line. At this point, the guys had left.

I get to the counter and I pay for my food and alcoholic beverage. The cashier was pleasant enough to me, but I could tell he was agitated about the previous customers. At this point the guys had left the store and were outside, standing by what I am guessing was their car. The cashier gave me my receipt and I ventured to the food side to wait for my order.

Once I had my food and was leaving, I realized that I forgot to buy J’s beer. Not only that, but I had left his money for his beer in the car. So I went to my car (which was parked directly in front of the doors), dropped off my stuff, grabbed J’s money and went back into the store. I walked directly back to the beer cooler, grabbed the beer and walked straight to the checkout. I said, “Okay, this is the last time you’re gonna see me in this line.”

And then then wheels fell off the bus.

Cashier: Sorry but I can’t sell this to you.

Me: Why not?

Cashier: Because if one person in the group doesn’t have ID, then I serve anyone in the group.

Me: What group? I came here by myself.

Cashier: I saw you talking to someone outside. I can’t sell this to you.

Me: No, you didn’t see me talking to anyone outside because I didn’t talk to anyone. I went to my car which is (pointing out the door) right there, dropped off what I had already purchased and came directly back in to buy what I forgot.

At this point, the realization of what he was implying set in.

Me: Oh, I get it. Since there’s a group of black guys and I’m black, we must all be together, right? So, I’m buying this one, lone 40 ouncer so they can pass it around among tbemselves?

Cashier: I can’t sell this to you. You can get as violent as you want, but it’s not going to happen.

Admittedly, I was mad. But violent? Seriously?

Me: There is nothing violent about me. I’ve said nothing violent, I’ve just called you out on your racist profiling. Funny…you didn’t have an issue with selling me the ale, but the beer is a problem? Why? I can’t drink a 40? You said you saw me talking to someone outside? Point them out. Where are they? You’ve got cameras? Let’s look at the footage. Show me who I was talking to. Please, I’m dying to know!

At this point, the manager comes over and asks what’s going on. The cashier tells him that he saw me talking to someone outside and because of that, he doesn’t want to sell me the beer.

Manager: Sorry ma’am, but if someone in the group doesn’t have id, no one in the group can be served.

This again. So, once again, I explain that I came in alone, made a purchase alone, realized I forgot to buy the beer came back in (say it with me) alone and was trying to make this last purchase…alone.

Me: And like I told the cashier, if you’ve got footage of me talking to someone during the 15 seconds it took for me to walk to my car, grab money and reenter the store, then I’d love to see it.

Manager: (looks at cashier) go ahead and sell it to her.

Cashier: (shakes head and backs away from the register): If you want to sell it to her, then you ring her out. I’m not a racist.

Me: Maybe you aren’t. And if that’s the case, then stop acting like one.

So now I’m boycotting this particular Sheetz location. I have no problem with a store adhering to an underage drinking and tobacco purchase policy. But I do have a problem with someone who uses that policy to be a douche at best, racist at worst.

So, my takeaways from these two encounters:

  1. there are still good people in this world who see the good in others and are willing to come together for a common goal.
  2. There are still jerks in this world who will look for any reason to promote a stereotype or make negative assumptions…and then lie about it to cover their own butts.
  3. The gas station down the street from Sheetz has the same beer.

Later this week I’ll be back with some announcements and to fill you in on some other things going on with me. Until then, have a good week! 🙂

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,

Why I Detest “All Lives Matter”


When the #BlackLivesMatter movement first gained momentum, it was quickly followed by the response, “All Lives Matter.” For the longest time, that response bugged me, but I couldn’t figure out why.

Then it dawned on me.

It was like telling someone who had just lost their home to a fire, “Yeah, well so-and-so lost their house last month and such-and-such lost their house two days ago. Why are you special?”

Well you’re special because right there…at that very moment, it was happening to YOU. You wanted someone to reach out and help YOU in your moment of pain. You wanted someone to put an arm around you and say, “It will be okay. We’ll figure it out.”

THAT is why “All lives matter” is the LAST thing you should say in response to “____ Lives Matter.” Doesn’t matter which lives we’re talking about. It’s dismissive to any and all of them. So quit saying it.

So, what can you say instead? Let me help you out:

#Black Lives Matter

Response: You’re right, they should but to some they don’t. We’re going to figure out a way to make it so they do.

#Women’s Lives Matter

Response: You’re right, they should but to some they don’t. We’re going to figure out a way to make it so they do.

#LGBT Lives Matter

Response: You’re right, they should but to some they don’t. We’re going to figure out a way to make it so they do.

Get it? From now on, every time someone trots out All Lives Matter, I’m linking them to this post. Because I’m like my father, I don’t like to repeat myself, and I’ve been beating this drum for far too long.

Tagged , , , ,

A Modest (21st Century) Proposal…


This confederate flag controversy doesn’t seem to be going away, so I’m going to offer one more explanation as well as a proposal that might help everyone get along.

The Explanation

First off, let’s see the flag in question:

confed navy jack

This actually is NOT the Flag of the Confederacy. This is actually the Confederate Navy Jack.

THIS is the actual confederate flag (or one of the versions, there were several):

Flag_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America_(1861-1863)

So, we are actually arguing about the Navy Jack, not the confederate flag. So, I will refer to it as the Navy Jack from now on. Because that’s what it is.

Personally, I think the Navy Jack is a symbol of racism and oppression. And the creator of the flag, a man named William T. Thompson thinks so as well. In his own words, in 1863:

“As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause,”

Maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race. Call me crazy, but he didn’t seem to want to offer my ancestor’s a seat at the table.

Interestingly enough, these words can also be found, almost verbatim in the Cornerstone Address. The Address was delivered by Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens at the Athenaeum in Savannah, Georgia, on March 21, 1861. It’s interesting reading, but the portion pertinent to this conversation is here (bold added by me for emphasis):

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

Not only did the founders of the Confederate party believe that blacks were inferior and, therefore, should remain slaves, they were proud of being the first to admit it and to set up a government based on this fact.

These are the words of the creator of the flag and the government it represents. Both state blacks are inferior and should not be allowed to be free. I don’t think you can get much more racist than that.

But….

I’m going to go out on a limb and give some of you the benefit of the doubt. Even though I’ve had some less than kind things said and done to me by proud wearers and displayers of the Navy Jack, I’ll let you use the line that has been trotted out more times than mustard at a hot dog stand,

“It’s Heritage, not hate.”

You’re right, the Navy Jack is part of the South’s heritage. But what exactly are your proud of? This isn’t meant to be a condemnation, I’m sincerely curious…where is the pride in:

  • Declaring war against your own country (and losing)?
  • Wanting to enslave an entire race of people indefinitely?
  • Pitting families against each other?
  • Dividing a nation? (Though if it weren’t for the Civil War West Virginia might not exist, so do with that what you will.)

What exactly are you proud of? That is an awful lot of hate. You’re going to need a helluva lot of heritage to counteract that. Sadly, there are plenty of people who want to continue to use the Navy Jack as a symbol of racism and intolerance. The Klan is one, but check this out, courtesy of Bipartisan Report:

bipartisan report

From Business Insider: In Germany, the Confederate flag is not void of political context. European skinheads and neo-Nazi groups have adopted the Confederate flag and variations of it because of its historical context as a symbol of racism and white supremacy.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-is-the-confederate-flag-flown-outside-the-us-2015-6#ixzz3fLrbSjCa

So, again…where is this heritage of which you should be proud?

But once more…I’ll make a concession. If you really REALLY want to insist that this flag is about your heritage and pride in where you came from, I have a modest proposal.

Take your flag back. Well, actually you’d be stealing it from its creators and wrestling it away from the groups mentioned above, but I digress.

Seriously. Officially claim the flag.

Yeah, daunting task. Okay, how about this:

You let everyone who thinks that flag is racist know which of you flying and displaying it are good decent human beings and which ones are the skinheads, klansmen, crazies, neo-nazis and we’ll call it square.

How could you do that? Well that’s up to you.

Or, you could just do the easy thing and put Navy Jack where it belongs…in the history books.

Go ahead, work it out and get back to me.

Tagged , ,