Your casual racism

You sit next to me at the bar at Applebee's, where I'm enjoying a Cowboy burger and a beer after a hard day at the office. You say, "Hi," and make small talk. You ask me what I do, where I'm from, how I feel about the baseball team that's getting its ass handed to it on the screen over the wine rack. I answer politely, but don't really pursue much in the way of my end of the conversation. Truth is, I never expect to see you again. I'm just looking to finish my meal and head home.

Then you glance at the other TV, where the local news is running a story about a young black kid who broke into an apartment downtown.

You shake your head, lean toward me, and mutter, "Niggers, huh?"


What on earth would give you the idea that I'd be even remotely okay with you saying that to me? Is it because I'm white? Are we in the secret racist club because we happen to have similar skin tones? It couldn't be my Klan robe; I never wear that out on weeknights.

And you are so casual about it, too. Like the comment is just an extension of our earlier "conversation": "Nice weather, huh? How about the Padres? Don't spics just irk the hell out of you?"

I don't begrudge you your narrow opinions. If you want to be a bigot in this post-racial America I keep hearing about, be my guest. But kindly keep that crap to yourself. You and I are not friends, you don't know anything about the people I might or might not know, and I certainly am not wearing my "I <3 Adolf" pin.

You seem to think that everyone who looks like you shares your asinine opinions about life, and that is why I don't want to hang out with you.

Uploaded 08/09/2010
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