Saturday, February 22, 2014

I Don't Like to Lose

One of my colleagues is a racist--flat out. I get that already, but I thought a part of my mission as it relates to having been placed on this team of misfits, was to be the example of a worthy black man. One who you don't have to who is articulate and sharp. Though I embody the aforementioned, it has done little to change the racist's mind. Every time a situation comes up--in particular the Zimmerman and the Dunn trials, there has been nothing but strife between us as we try to talk out what I know and understand to be the inherent racism present in both cases.

My purpose is not so much to re-litigate the cases as it is to use the cases as a concrete example of what Black people in America can be subjected to. I was impressed with Mark Geragos who said very plainly on television that America is still a very racist place. Geragos remarked that he was not at all surprised by the stuff that Dunn was saying--animals, thugs, more people should kill them like so they'll get the hint, etc--because he says that he hears that type of stuff all the time when people think it's 'safe' to say it. I sent the guy a link to that video and another one so he could hear and see people who look like him affirm that America's racist ways are not yet gone. Contrary to the narrative that he believes. He's of the opinion that clearly racism is over exaggerated and inflated because we have a Black president. The thinking public is keenly aware that this view is unfounded.

We were discussing the issues via email and in person. He said something like, "I don't have to defend myself." What did he say that for? I laid his soul to rest. I'll shorten it...basically I told him that I have not asked him to defend his position simply because it is indefensible--full stop. I just wanted him to gain new data...because when we know better we do better.

A Black colleague of mine told me to let it go. The other coworker is never going to get it.

I am disappointed in that because he has a child who he will likely rear with this racist view. Funny thing is he doesn't think he's racist. I guess I don't have to tell you he a firm Tea Party supporter.

Here's a scenario he posed to me. Racist coworker and a friend were at Dave and Buster's playing a basketball game. A Black guy came up behind the friend and called next on the game. The friend bent down to tear off the tickets he had won. THe Black guy must've thought the guy was trying to play another game because he mentioned again that he had called next. The ticket tearer said that he was only retrieving his tickets. My racist coworker wanted to know what's the line between self defense and murder. He posed the question because he said the Black guy was close to them and they felt threatened. Racist coworker wanted to know if it would have been okay to kill the guy since they felt threatened. Enter my blank stare.


K. Rock said...

First a very broad statement: IMO, you should leave these types of issues out of the workplace. I dont know the dynamics of yours but for the most part, you can see people for who they are before you ever engage them in this deep of a conversation so you already knew to keep your distance from ole dude.

Second, yes he may be a racist and yes I agree there is probably nothing you can do about. No amount of new information is gonna change his mind. It'll just get you all heated and he'll walk away with the same opinions. So unless you are the type to invite these types of conversations or you enjoy arguing with a brick wall, I'd say change the subject.

JayBee said...

@k. rock: i have learned my lesson (i think). sometimes i have a hard time leaving stuff alone. i don't particularly enjoy arguing with a brick wall...i'm an eternal optimist so i always think there's hope.