I may be a lot of things but I am not a racist. I do not include within my circle of friends people who are racists. I can find a lot of reasons to dislike people but the color of their skin is certainly not one of them. I spent many years in law enforcement and can attest to the fact that evil lurks in many people without regard to their particular pigmentation.
The question presented here is how do you respond when you have a chance encounter with a racist?
Real Life Scenario:
A few days ago I was with my son in a local business- a tattoo parlor to be exact. We are not bikers or outlaws so please don’t judge us. As a matter of fact my son is a combat medic in the United States Army. While at this business the owner- who I have never met before decides to randomly tell us a racist joke. A joke against blacks. A joke against President Elect Barack Obama to be exact. I have a lot of reasons not to like President Elect Obama- his skin color is not one of them. The joke was not funny or appropriate on any level.
The question I pose:
How do you react when presented with such humor? Is there any reason to believe that entering into gentlemanly discussion of the inappropriateness of the joke would be a viable option? Is there a glimmer of hope that I could in any way change the opinion of this man by challenging him on the matter? Or do you just engage in a moment of awkward silence before moving on?
I am not the sharpest tack in the box but even so I am not shocked by racism. Saddened would be a much better descriptor.