A couple of weeks ago I was watching a movie. In the movie, they were talking about baking a cake. The husband was supposedly pitting dates for the cake.
Now, I love me some dates. Specifically medjool dates. They come around in large quantities once a year at my favorite Middle Eastern grocery and restaurant. But because one of the managers said some really racist stuff on Instagram a few years ago, and was not ashamed enough for the mob, their business got kicked out of a building where they anchored the place. Their other store is probably doing fine, but now I have to buy a lot of stuff from racists because they are the only ones carrying certain brands.
Dang. Mind you, they’ve always treated me well, but since I speak Arabic I know that they’re not tremendously tolerant of others on occasion – including members of my tribe and ancestry. (But that includes pretty much everyone. Mind you, I’ve only met a few people who were declared racists, but they were such butt-heads that nobody wanted to deal wit them anyway.) They also talked a massive amount of crap about fellow Middle Eastern types. But they kept it civil with me, had good stuff, and treated me as an individual. Now I’ve got to choose between never giving them a chance to change and dates.
Once the date thing cropped up, I had to think about some other serious racists I have relationships with in my life. People who have explicitly said in social media that people who look like me (blatantly white as can be) are devils. And that white people deserve to be beaten and abused. Based on color alone. They also want to kill the President. He’s evidently a racist like I am, and because I’ve not found racist statements he’s made I’m more guilty than before.
The problem is, all of those people used to be my friends. And until recently they didn’t have a problem with me. But now I read their tweets, posts, blogs, and realize that I’m scum and not to be trusted. Bummer. I guess I won’t be welcome in the pew with some of them any more based on my ethnicity. I get it if my personal viewpoint was vile, but skin color?
Same goes for my police experience. Was I an angel? Hardly. But did I ever beat someone to maim them? Did I ever shoot someone for fun? Did I ever base the likelihood of their leaving in handcuffs on their skin color? Nope.
Well, certainly I must have inner racism that I just don’t understand and acknowledge. I support cops, and thus brutality, and don’t wear a Chinese virus mask in public. I want to kill grandma! (She’s been gone a long time, and I still miss her – she was a hoot.) I also wear that mask when I enter a business that demands it. Sometimes those businesses are owned by other races. So, am I racist for not wearing the mask when I walk Chewy, or am I woke because I obey the wishes of other races?
What you may not know is that I belong on the board of a non-profit that is working to train police in deescalation tactics, achieve better mental health on the job, and promoting higher standards and duties for all first responders. Strangely, I wrote a scholarly essay before all this happened on the future of policing, and called for quite a few of the changes being proposed. It wasn’t yet published in a journal when all of this hit, but it will be some day and then I’ll look like I’m following the herd. Not so much.
You see, I’m very confused about who I’m supposed to hate. I try really hard to get along with others, but others seem not to tolerate me so much.
I just want some medjool dates, a place to worship God that doesn’t have political and racial hangups about congregants, and good cops.
If you’re interested in those things as well, let’s talk. I’m good at that. Not scream and pound tables, but talk about solutions.
Because there are reasonable solutions to these problems. And I will continue to work on them.
After I get my dates.
(Update – I wrote this a little while ago. I got the dates. I had a frank discussion of the situation with a senior staff member. I think they’re really trying to change things. That’s what it’s all about – after all, there’s only one final judge of character we have to answer to, and He isn’t on Facebook.)