The next conversation over

I took the day off today so I could catch up on some things, go to the allergist, and go to a concert tonight. This gave me the opportunity to sit in rooms with large numbers of people I don’t know. Meaning, I worked at Panera and then the public library because Panera’s wifi stopped working for me. I took lunch and went to a new-to-me restaurant called “Tuk Tuk Thai“. Their green curry is AWESOME by the way.

If you have been to Tuk Tuk, you know that the seating there can be a little tightly spaced. This led me to sitting in between a couple and two guys who seemed to work together. Right about the time I got my food the two guys on my left started talking about their families. Normally I do not eaves drop this bad, but I was eating alone, was right next to these guys, and they were not exactly quiet. The one guy gets around to talking about his high school daughter and saying how she is dating some guy.

He is joking around about his daughter’s boyfriend saying

He is either really really smooth, or he is the real deal. He is church-going and one of the varsity football players at his high school.

Immediately, this guy’s friend asks

Is he black?

The first guy responds

No, it was the first thing I found out about this kid. Everybody asks me that.

I was absolutely floored. First, I could not believe that two people were so openly racist that they would say something like this out loud in a crowded restaurant. Second, are you kidding me? What the hell is wrong with people that they think that is ok. Third, why are so many people worried about whether this guy is black?

I don’t really care what the hell you think privately to yourself about me or about anyone. If you choose to share it though, you need to realize that everyone within earshot (or with an internet connection, depending on your medium) is going to hear it. Sometimes, that means that you hold your tongue and don’t talk stupidly. Sometimes, it means that you just say whatever the hell you want.

These guys were so casual about their conversation, like it was an everyday thing to ask this question. I did not talk to these guys at all, I ate my food about as fast as I could and left, because I really wanted to tip their table over and tell them what assholes they were.

My question to you is, Does it really matter if your daughter (or son) dates someone of another color? And if it does, why does the color of someone’s skin change a damn thing about whether or not they will love your kid and treat them the way they deserve?

I have had friends who made racist jokes or comments and really meant what they were saying. This bugged the hell out of me and I asked them not to do that around me ever again. Then I distanced myself from them. I do not want to be around this attitude of hate, which is exactly what these kinds of comments and jokes are.

You can feel free to tell me your thoughts in the comments, but understand that I am 100% against you if you bring racists comments or ideals to this table.

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  • David Aigner

    I experienced the same situation a few times myself. It sickens me to no end.

    I come from a multi-racial, multi-cultural family with parents promoting diversity, thank goodness. But I don’t think many people are as lucky to understand diversity similarly and how positive its effect can be in this world.

    To answer your question, the color of someone’s skin should never matter, no matter the circumstances. Sorry you had to encounter that, btw!

    • Matt Bernier

      My family is multi-racial and has always taught me to accept people for who they are and not for the color of their skin. It is such an arbitrary thing to judge people on.

      It would be akin to saying that based on someone’s height you could tell whether they were good or evil.

  • Brandon

    Here’s some food for thought…

    Assume that “and one of the varsity football players at his high school.” was never mentioned. Would the question of race have even come up? And isn’t that racist too (because someone is assuming race)?

    • Matt Bernier

      I agree with you 100%. I think that would not have even been a consideration if the sports had not been mentioned. Either way it is a ridiculous thing to think about, let alone worry about.

      I was absolutely floored and it took quite a bit for me just to keep my mouth shut.