(PS. If you want to see what’s on the truck, just put your cursor on the picture and scroll down a tad.)
I don’t rant often. Really. Most of the time, I’m pretty level. Hasn’t always been that way, but as I approach my 70’s I’ve been finding myself less likely to get tied up in knots over the small stuff. What I’m about to decribe to you may seem like small stuff, but I don’t think so. Obviously. There is too much behind what just happened to make me believe it’s a lot more than small stuff.
I was at the Walmart during a break between my morning clients and my afternoon batch. Needed a couple of things. All went well. I found what I needed, headed up to the checkout, and happily pulled into an aisle where there were no customers ahead of me. Chatted comfortably with the checkout guy, who was, if memory serves, either Hispanic or Black. I don’t remember for sure. I don’t really care. It makes no difference to me.
I am not a racist. I don’t see people as skin colors or facial features that are different from my own. There have been a few times when I’ve been entranced by the unique beauty of a woman of color, and it’s hard not to stare. I don’t stare, because I don’t want the gorgeous creature to think I’m racist.
From now on, I just don’t think I’m going to worry about that. I’m sick of the media tellling me I can’t be racist, have to be green, have to tolerant, can’t be conserative because conservatives are mean-spirited, and so on and on. Phooey on the media.
It seems to me that everyone else besides me and other white Americans-by-birth who claim Christianity and conservative values gets a pass to be intolerant of ME, prejudiced against all that I hold dear. Their definition of tolerance includes everyone who is NOT a conservative white Christian who works for a living and did not vote for Obama. I’m thoroughly tired of it.
All right, back to what happened that produced the above rant.
So, I finished at the checkout, loaded up my cart, and proceeded to the exit. It’s clearly marked both from the inside and the outside. You can’t miss it. EXIT in big white letters on a red background.
I was heading there, minding my own business, waiting for an elderly couple ahead of me who were obviously very arthritic and making slow progress. “Won’t be long before that’s me,” I think to myself. Patience is a cultivated virtue for me.
From the sidewalk outside the exit door, a large group of what could be a mix of Hispanic and/or Black girls came running in through the exit door. They were laughing, having fun. But the little old couple ahead of me just about got knocked off their pins, and the girls paid no attention whatsoever.
Oh dear. My sense of teacher, mom, and defender of all helpless things rose up in me so fast and so high that I never stopped to consider. I moved across their path with my cart, forcing them to either stop or go around me. Two of them stopped. They did not look pleased to say hello.
“Did you girls realize you came in through the exit?” I asked, quiety giving them my “don’t mess with me, I’m a teacher and you can’t scare me” look.
“Yeah, so? None of your business, old lady.” Uproarious laughter. They went to move around me. I pushed my cart in front of them again.
“Do you see those two really old people on the sidewalk? Do you see that the woman is in tears because you piled into her husband and just about knocked him down? Do you realize the damage you could have caused?”
“Hey, old white bag, you just sayin’ this ’cause we Black. Outta’ my way!”
Sometimes I lose the fairly adequate amount of intelligence with which God has gifted me. Again, I used the cart as my shield. “I don’t care if you’re purple with pink polka dots! You came in the wrong way, you scared that poor old couple out of a year of their lives, and now you’re giving me attitude because I got up in your faces about what YOU did!”
About that time, an Hispanic man of about 35 or so, with his little boy in hand, came up beside me. He stood quite close, and he said, “This lady is right. I saw what happened. She would have said the same thing if you were white, and you know it. You were wrong. You need to be more considerate.”
Then he put his hand on the handle of my cart and walked me out the door, and stood by my car while I put the bags inside. He didn’t leave until I was in the car. I rolled down my window to thank him, and he waved me off.
“Maybe you’ll return the favor sometime,” he said.