A brutal conversation about race and prejudice, with myself.

Talk about self examination, I am going to collect, dissect, and correct all my known prejudices, and air them out for public inspection. This will trigger a lot of folks, some of whom will want to reward my honesty with violence. But I am courageous: you don’t know who I am, where I live, or how well armed and trigger happy I am. Just so you know, I live in a security building, so even if you knew where I live, you couldn’t get in. What if I lie in wait for you, smart guy? Well, you should also know I am hyper aware of my surroundings, my head is on a swivel, my nose got a blood transfusion from a beagle, so don’t sweat and don’t use deodorant, I have a pistol in the backpack I sling over one shoulder and I’m a mite trigger happy. Still want to do me harm? Didn’t think so.

Am I racist? Are you? Here is a quiz: 1. Would you let your daughter marry a man of a different race? 2. Would you date someone of a different race? 3. Would you wash the feet of someone of a different race? 3a. Would you wash anyone’s feet? 4. Do you find the opposite sex of a different race attractive? I could extend similar questions to sexual proclivities, religions or nationalities, and I might if this post doesn’t get too long. Now to my answers. Since I am Caucasian, male, heterosexual and have three beautiful, unmarried adult daughters, I will tailor my answers to me, but you’ll get the point.

1. I actually discussed this with my oldest, when she was dating a reprobate, irresponsible white guy. I told her that the kind of man I really object to is the kind she was dating, his race being irrelevant. About that time, David Robinson AKA the Admiral, had retired from an illustrious NBA career, and was founding and funding a Christian private school, the Carver Academy (named for George Washington Carver). I told her, I wish you would marry a man like David Robinson, a mature, responsible Christian, regardless of race. His character renders race irrelevant.

2. I am 72, and I certainly would date a woman of a different race, depending on appearance. See my answer for Q. #4.

3. Yes, I actually did, and he washed mine. Even before that we were close friends. 3a. Yes, foot washing may seem weird, but it’s humbling and can bind people. In Jesus’ time, washing the feet of travelers was a form of hospitality.

One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”

A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven-for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:36-47.

Feet were really gross back then. Everyone walked around in sandals, on dusty and muddy paths. She did not cease from kissing his feet.

4. You see those three women above? Basketball players Skylar Diggins and Candace Parker, actress Gabrielle Union. Of course, Halle Berry would be in there too, but everyone thinks she’s sexy. I find those black women very attractive. Now some nitpickers who need me to be racist could say, “they don’t count, their features are too white, their skin too light.” Are they black, white or mocha? They consider themselves black, so tough luck. What do you want? You want me to find a Ubangi with the huge plate in the lower lip attractive? How about tribal scars? You know what, if you’re black you probably don’t get turned on by saucer lips and tribal scars either. Call me racist then, like I care. Come and get me.

Would I hire someone of a different race? If they were as qualified as a white person, sure. What about an equally qualified white vs. black man, or woman? Assuming truly equal qualifications, I would hire on attitude, friendliness and other social traits.

I just got back from Seattle, a city which is superficially woke with a population mostly superficially nice. Is signaling your virtue nice? I had lunch near Amazon’s HQ, and the restaurant had a prominent sign on the front door: “Do not bring a gun In here. We proudly observe Seattle’s gun-free zone.” So nice, so woke, so stupid. If I were intent on shooting people, the sign would have said, Welcome killer, we have on the menu today completely defenseless diners and staff. No one will be shooting back. You’ve seen the traffic–the police won’t even be able to get here most times of the day. Not everyone signals their virtue. Some act as if the vibe gives them cover to be their worst selves. I pulled into a gas station, and the driver in front of me parked beside a pump but too far back for the short environmentally friendly hose to reach. Then she just sat there texting, while her passenger went into the minimart. I got out and went up to her window. “Excuse me, could you pull up a few feet so I can fill up? The hose won’t reach my car, I’m too far back.” If looks could kill. The look could have meant, “if I wasn’t so fat and lazy, I’d get out of the car and punch you in the face.” She then just continued what she was doing. After a suitably long, defiant pause, she pulled up slightly. I filled and drove around her. I may be wrong, but it’s possible that the same person would apologize and pull forward, embarrassed at not noticing my car behind her, if we were in Spokane.

You may wonder, what does this have to do with prejudice? Hang on. Near Spokane, Athol, Idaho has a wonderful amusement park called Silverwood, with three huge, fast roller coasters. The lines are long, but I have never seen a single case of line jumping. When my kids were younger, we stopped at Legoland amusement park near San Diego. The lines for the coasters were long, but what made them worse was the constant line jumping. Not just one person here and there, but entire large families, sometimes 2 or 3 families of six or eight, would just casually stroll up to the very front, and get in line, completely ignoring the people who had been in line for 30 minutes. We also went to Disneyland in Anaheim. Long lines but no jumping. The lines were patrolled, line jumpers would get evicted from the park. One last example: I was in a Walmart right by the Pima Indian reservation in Arizona. The woman in front of me got up to the register, and proceeded to balance her checkbook before paying. The cashier patiently waited as if this were nothing new. I would have gone to a different line, but I was curious how long this inconsiderate charade would continue. After about 10 minutes, she handed over some cash to pay for her single item.

The woman at the pump in Seattle was black. The line jumping families were all Hispanic. The woman in the Walmart was probably Pima tribe. Am I showing my prejudices? Those incidents were behavior I have never experienced in either Wenatchee or Spokane, Washington. Nor Coeur D’Alene or Moscow, Idaho, all places I have lived or spent considerable time in. It isn’t that blacks, Hispanics or native Americans don’t live in those places. My prejudice here is this: Just as alcohol is said to weaken inhibitions, allowing the true personality to emerge, I believe the vibe of an environment, or the nearness to a place where they feel more powerful or represented (like San Diego being close to Mexico or the Walmart being close to the reservation), allows people to express their personalities, or perhaps their resentments. In Silverwood, there were plenty of Hispanics and blacks, but everyone observed the rules, so it isn’t a matter of race or nationality. What is it a matter of? Am I just betraying my own prejudices here? Have you had similar experiences? If I were a POC (person of color), would their behavior have been different? My theory is that the more examples of unsociable behavior a place tolerates, the more conducive it is to people acting out their resentments.  The opposite also holds. Eastern Washington and most of Idaho are conservative and consideration is the norm. Seattle and San Diego are very liberal. I don’t know, what do you think?

Author: iamcurmudgeon

When I began this blog, I was a 70 year old man, with a young mind and a body trying to recover from a stroke, and my purpose for this whole blog thing is to provoke thinking, to ridicule reflex reaction, and provide a legacy to my children.

One thought on “A brutal conversation about race and prejudice, with myself.”

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