~the positive and negative aspects of existence as a human being
A few years back I was driving up from Florida to see my sister who lived on an army base in Alabama when I noticed I was running low on gas. Travelling through a scarcely populated area of the panhandle I pulled in behind a car that had just finished pumping gas at a station. It was a prepay pump that did not accept credit cards at the pump so I went in to pay for the gas. I walked up to an older gentleman and asked if I could get “x” amount in gas.
“Nope,” he responded.
Not being sure of what I had just heard I said, “I’m sorry? Can I get some gas?”
My jaw dropped. “Why? I just saw the person in front of me pulling out and saw them place the pump handle back on the pump. Did you run out of gas?”
“Please, I’m on ‘E’ and I don’t know when I’ll reach the next gas station!”
Still in shock, I went back to my car and sat in the driver’s seat. I prayed that I would make it to the next gas station. As I pulled out, my empty light came on. I prayed again.
Flash forward to a few months later. I’m at the red light of a busy intersection, calmly waiting for the light to turn green. There is a semi behind me. I lean back in my seat when all of a sudden I feel a hard jolt from behind. The semi had tapped my bumper. I look behind me and assume he didn’t mean to. Perhaps he was distracted.
The driver of the semi accelerates into my rear bumper and starts to push me out into the intersection of cars travelling at high speed. I slam on my breaks hoping that will slow me down. He finally stops. I start praying for the light to turn green when off to my left I notice a police officer sitting in his vehicle off to the side. The light turns green and I quickly turn to pull up behind the officer so that I report this psychopath. The driver of the semi has the gall to pull off as well in front of the officer just as I’m telling the officer what just happened.
“There’s a station right over there. You can go report it if you want to, “the officer says.
The driver of the semi chuckles as he returns to his vehicle and drives off.
Another case could be construed as “reverse racism” although to me, racism is racism. I was ordering at a McDonalds and the cashier responded to everything I would say in Spanish. The more I asked questions in English the angrier and more adamant she would get in her responses.
What do these people have in common?
They’re all morons.
Are they racists? Probably. But I choose not to care about how they view me. They don’t get to define who I am in any way. At least, not how they possibly intended to. Does racism exist? Sure it does. I’m not saying by any means, ignore it. But I do have to question those who have made a career out of bringing it into the light without a pure motive. Those are some of the most dangerous people around because they tend to gather useful idiots around them who applaud them for their hate while pushing divisiveness and gaining notoriety for their exploitation of minorities because it’s so hip to do so right now. Please understand that I am, by no means, trying to trivialize what has happened to others. But to those who have I would encourage them to move forward and strive to become who they were meant to be. The people that I mentioned before had no serious impact on my life. I’d like to keep it that way.
Race pimping has its consequences. It leads to unethical behavior. Just this weekend the news reported that a Civil Rights activist, Rachel Dolezal who teaches Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University and is the head of a chapter of the NAACP in Spokane has been passing herself off as black. Her parents have come out saying she’s white. When she was asked by a news station if she was African-American she responded by saying that she didn’t understand the question. She is clearly using race for self-gain. There is nothing honest in that. Now if you want to simply tell people you’re younger that’s one thing. ;o)
Secondly, it’s lazy. It’s simply too easy to respond to a post in the negative when it appears or sounds as if you are on the side of good and especially when you’re hiding behind a keyboard. In the Freddie Gray case, District Attorney Marilyn Mosby is quoted as saying that the police had no business being where they were when arrested Gray. Yet, according to the Baltimore Sun, that’s exactly where she sent them. Read beyond the headline. Investigate the facts for yourself.
Closer to home, my (Caucasian) wife was driving home this weekend and as she came to the roundabout in our neighborhood, there was a group of kids (mixed races) that were taunting her and jumping into her path. She’s an elementary school librarian and recognizing all of the kids, she stopped and stepped out of her vehicle. One of the kids immediately pulls out his phone and starts recording. But as he does they all instantly recognize her and their former librarian. “Is there a problem?” she asked. “No, ma’am. No problem,” one of the kids asked. The kid with the phone put it away as another yells out, “Hi, Mrs. Ramirez!”
Race pimping offers nothing positive to the race that is being usurped. It’s sole purpose is to spread more hate, divisiveness and conflict. It destroys.
The kid with the phone was ready for the action and perhaps longing for his six minutes of fame. This is what we’re training them to do. Cause a confrontation and then be ready to record. Have there been abuses? Sure there have. I’m not denying that. Just don’t glamorize it in order to bring some sense of easing of guilt or for profit (personal or financial).
So before you comment or post on issues of race quickly ask yourself the following:
Are you really focusing on the specific issue at hand or are you just trying to be hip in your pimping?
Find out what the facts are. If they are not readily available, don’t start posting slanderous statements about the officer (s), victim (s) or anyone related until there is a trial or an investigation is concluded.
So are you a race pimp?
Here’s the main question you should be asking yourself. If you remember nothing else in this post remember this. In your comments, are you motivated by love for those involved? If there’s one question you should be asking yourself it’s that one. Pray for everyone involved and yes, that includes the cops.
Don’t be pimpin’.
Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Leonardo Ramirez is an author of Children’s Steampunk, YA Speculative Science Fiction and a graphic novel. His website, Science Fiction for the Human Condition can be found at Leonardoverse.com .