I just want to relate this; I think the point, speaks for itself.
I was at our local Quicky mart today, in line to pay for my gas. There was a fairly long line, and as I often do waiting in long lines, I grew bored. I checked out the candy on the isle next to me, noting the new ‘Pop Rocks Chocolate Bar’ while casually wondering how the hell they came up with that, when I noticed the woman in line in front of me had a pin on her bag that said “Obama/Biden ’08.”
I should preface this by stating that I live in a small southern Midwest town, there is a church on every other corner, and it is a rather Republican/conservative leaning area. We’re not quite the ‘South’ – but close.
Anyway, Biden was only announced as Obama’s VP pick yesterday, so I wondered how she got the button so fast – was she psychic, perhaps? I quickly decided that probably, she was not, so I went ahead and asked her.
“Hey, where’d you get your button? I want one!”
“I made it myself – they sell a kit at Walmart in the crafts section.”
“Cool!” I said. “I might have to pick one of those up myself.”
We started chatting about what a great pick Biden was, when the two of them walked into the store like a foul breeze, cutting right through the line without so much as an ‘excuse me,’ and made their way towards the soda coolers at the back of the store.
A nice looking couple, probably early 40’s, well dressed – I’ll just refer to them as ‘Ken’ and ‘Barbie.’ Right as they were barging through the line, I was saying to the woman with the button, “I am really excited about Obama – I can’t wait to see what he does once he takes office!”
Hearing this, Ken turned his eyes on me and snorted in disgust. Not one to back down from a challenge, I said, somewhat haughtily, “What – you have a problem with Obama?”
He stopped walking, turned on his heel, fixed me with a withering gaze, and said, rather loudly, “Like we’d ever elect a black guy as President.” He promptly turned on his heel, and stomped off towards Barbie.
I was only third in line at this point, and when the man said this, the line in front of me, and behind me, stirred a bit. No one said anything, and we could hear Ken and Barbie mumbling to each other over at the coolers.
It was then that I noticed the clerk. His eyes were smoldering, his mouth set tightly. He excused himself from the customer in front of him, and walked to the back of the store.
I don’t know what he said to Ken and Barbie, as he kept his voice low. But they left without buying anything, hackles up, and squealed their tires when they pulled out of the parking lot.
The clerk came back to the counter and resumed his duties. None of us in line said anything.
When I got in front of him, I commented about how rude Ken and barbie had been, and gently asked him what he said to them.
He said, “I told them to get out of my store.” He took my cash and rang in my purchase. “I own this place; I’m covering for an employee who couldn’t work today. And I don’t tolerate racism in my store.” He handed me my change, advised me to have a nice day, and turned his attention to the next customer, giving me the impression he did not want to talk politics.
I’ve thought about this all day, and I can’t decide if Ken and Barbie just didn’t notice that the man behind the counter was African-American, or if they felt so powerful and righteous that they didn’t care, and said what they said totally on purpose. Either way, it was quite nice to see them put in their place…just wish I’d have done it…
I expect to see more and more of this as the election nears. I’m being tailgated and swerved at and glared at for my bumper stickers far more than in past elections; I sense a deep fear within the ranks of racists. This election appears guaranteed to bring out the worst in the troglodytes among us.
Part of me is just astonished that they’re all still walking around.