Is it all in my head?
I’ve asked myself this question a couple of times. Only on the heels of some other person telling me it is, of course.
Is it all in my head? Is RACISM all in my head?
In response to some things I post and some things I say, there have been others that say… “racism doesn’t exist anymore”… “you’re creating the problem by talking about it”…
I don’t want to create a problem. I don’t want to cause more harm than good.
But here is what I know.
In the past two weeks I have witnessed racism in some of my nearest and dearest’s lives. In some of the people’s lives that I care deeply about. In every day life, doing the things we all do. Racism.
You see, the thing is… racism isn’t exclusive to the KKK. Racism isn’t exclusive to calling someone a derogatory word.
It is not renting someone a building, when you would have rented to others. It is not giving that certificate of occupancy that you’ve given to two other tenants… “but not this one”. It is not taking the time to say someone’s name correctly. It is stopping someone on the street to talk about why you don’t watch the NFL anymore… because, you know… “you’re black”.
It’s phrases like… “it wasn’t overly racist” that are, in fact, all the more racist.
We had an amazing event yesterday. And I mean amazing. Hundreds of people came out to our State Fair Social Distanced. The sun was shining, people were safe, they were happy, they were enjoying life…
And then this one young man raised his voice to tell me we were disgusting.
His words. Disgusting. Disgusting for promoting racism when it doesn’t exist. Disgusting for being the problem instead of realizing there is no problem. Disgusting for selling a T-shirt that says… “Mamas don’t let your cowboys grow up to be racists”.
You see, in his words… “things are much better than they used to be”.
But how much better are they?
Better because you used to be able to burn a man like Anderson Ellis to death while he was tied to a stake driven into the ground in public, in town square, because a white woman accused him of attacking her. (Rockwall TX, 1909)
And instead, now a white woman can walk into a man like, Botham Jean’s home and kill him because she thought it was her own. Because, you know… she accused him of breaking into her house and then thought she had the right to kill him but then.. oops, wrong apartment. (Dallas TX, 2018)
Or is it better because now you can buy band-aids in diverse skin tones… they’re just 366% more expensive. And for those of you, like me, that don’t do percentages well… I’ll show you pictures.
The Tru-Colour package reads “Diversity in Healing”… just less bandages and more money.
But, yes… so much better.
Do you feel better?
I don’t. I don’t feel better. I feel ooogey-er for dancing around these things and not just calling them what they are.
Because, my friends… they are racist.
And, I’m sorry if that makes you uncomfortable but is true.
If you had to go online and order band-aids to match your skin color instead of walking into the Dollar Tree and picking up a pack of “flesh tone” band-aids and then also pay something like 366% more for those band-aids AND just stare at that cut on your arm until your Amazon package arrives 2 days later with your band-aids in it
THAT IS NOT BETTER.
It’s not better.
The “someone” that got stopped on the street by a stranger and talked to about why that stranger doesn’t watch the NFL anymore… that was Micah.
2 weeks ago.
And that someone that said… “Why did that offend you? He wasn’t overly racist.”… that was Micah’s roommate and fellow airman.
Evan is patient. More patient than me, for sure. He let the young man say his piece yesterday. For almost 20 minutes. He let him tell us how the shirts we were selling are racist. And how, in fact, we are the problem. He let him tell us how saying “Mamas don’t let your cowboys grow up to be racists” is actually telling people that everyone is racist. Instead of it maybe just meaning… hey, y’all, don’t teach your kids to ignore racism.
Because that’s really what it is.
Evan had a conversation with him for as long as he could. Trying to get the young man to understand our perspective. And then he told him to leave. Walked him to the parking lot and waited with him until his friends went and got the car.
It is not all in my head.
Racism is not all in my head.
We will be selling those shirts and donating the proceeds to an anti-racism organization.
If you are interested, fill out THIS FORM and we will get with you shortly.
And by shortly, I mean after I take a nap and eat some food. So maybe like, a week.