Among this challenges I’ve faced this year is Racism. It is the reason I woke up on November 9 in such a state of panic. Batman said it was going to be ok. I thought, YOU’RE going to be ok, with your blue eyes, white skin and Y chromosome.
I wish I didn’t have to think about things like that, but there is an almost constant reminder that things are not ok (I’m not going to drag Bradley Cooper into this one.)
Post-election I full expected to get some blow back from on of the blowhardiest of our parents. I thought for sure he would make some kind of remark like, “Now we can send that dumb beaner back where she came from.” My response would be, “North Fort Worth?” Strangely enough this didn’t happen.
It was a Hispanic Student I had to go toe to toe with first. He started with the “Do you want to build a wall”, which I’m assuming is supposed to be funny. I let him have it. In the midst of his protest, I explained to him that as a Hispanic he should be setting an example for everyone else.
Then there was the time a student in my class remarked, “I hate Mexicans.” I promptly escorted him away from me. (This is the same student who while watching The Wiz said, “Hashtag black lives matter.” Since I’m not getting any support on discipline, I just gave him a warning and a withering look.)
I encounter casual racism daily. It ranges from a student trying to be funny writing build a wall on my board to finding out that one of my distant cousins slapped his adult daughter in the face for getting pregnant. He has no problem with the pregnancy, per se, its the fact that the father of the baby is African American.
There is also racism disguised as humor. I was listening to a new to me podcast, the TX files. It’s true crime based in my home state so I thought, why not? About fifteen minutes in, I found a few answers to my question. Both hosts are named Mike. One of the Mike’s was kind of a jerk and began the podcast by criticizing one person’s interpretation of breakfast. The topic of the podcast was the tragic death of four young girls in a yogurt show in Austin. The site of the tragedy is now a nail salon and the owners burn incense to honor the spirits of the girls.
The host decided to use this as an opportunity to try out his stereotypical Asian voice. The co-host’s attempts to bring the topic back around were bulldozed by racists remarks. When the host started a tangent about a Mexican boy who beat him up in middle school, the co host asked, “Why did he do that?” The host responded with, “Because we didn’t have a wall.” That’s when I stopped listening.
And then there’s the overt racism of this past weekend when Jeffrey Joseph Christian stabbed three men who intervened when he ranted at two Muslim women on the Portland light rail. Two of of the men died.
My good friend Merritt Glover is quite proud of her brother Drew. Drew is a former guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. After he finished his duty, he spent some time relaxing with a friend at a golf course. There was a racial incident and Drew was run over while protecting a Mexican woman. Drew is doing better, but he still has difficulty walking.
This should not be considered normal. The student in the first story remarks, “That’s racist.” about many things. Some might actually be racist. One of his more hilarious retorts is calling something a racist corndog.
That makes as much sense as anything else.