I pulled up to the store and noticed on my way in a big truck parked beside me from New York with a canoe on top and a disabled handicapped parking tag on the rearview mirror. I thought it was strange that someone who had to park so close to the door in the handicapped parking would have a canoe on the top of his truck. Another snowbird from New York arriving in Florida I thought to myself and chuckled.
I started putting the bread into my bag and a gentleman from New York told me he wanted to load all this bread up on a truck and take it to NY so that he could sell it. He claimed there was no place in New York that has a bread outlet. Maybe they don't I am not sure but I did know we had them in California and Florida. I assured him that I loved this bread and the pricing too and I thought surely one would have to just look harder for a bread store to find the same pricing everywhere. He continued on about how he was raised on brown bread and how he raised his kids and how much better than white bread it was for us. I agreed.
I continued to another table and he kept talking. So I assured him again how great brown bread was even my foreign exchange students that come from all over the world love it better than white bread.
He continued on as I put my bread on the counter to pay. Europe is so much further ahead of us he continued. Yes I agreed. He then continued on further, "If this country gets any worse and we reelect Obama, then I'm moving." I said, "It wasn't much better under Bush." He stated, "I can't believe we elected one of them while I live here." SCREEECHHHHHHHH. What? What was one of them? [The implication here is that President Obama was a N-I-G-G-E-R] So for clarification I asked, "What do you mean by one of them?" He said, "You know, I'm not going to say it but one-of-them." The lady behind the counter said in her attempt to referee [bad choice in my presence] "Let's not discuss politics in the store." I corrected her, "We are not discussing politics, the issue we are discussing is race!" She said Oh and shut up.
I had watched Viola Davis win the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) award the night before for her role in The Help and she said that if each and every one of us could make a small difference, then together we could make a big difference. I've been in this situation many times. My lily white skin and kind manner are mistakenly viewed as cues to believe the same thing that other white people think. If I wasn't white, he would have never taken this conversation to this dark area. So with Viola Davis whispering in my ear, I summoned the courage and told him, "My kids are biracial and my husband was black and your remark is offensive to me and to other people of intelligence." He murmured, "Oh you must have been one of people who elected him." I said, "I didn't elect anybody, the majority of the American people did. You were obviously taught well." Not realizing that this was a term that we as diversity trainers use was not a compliment, he smiled and said "I WAS taught well." So I remembered the truck and asked him as a freeloading able-bodied person on his way to go canoeing and receiving disability checks [a so-called-entitlement-program] "So who taught you to be dishonest, what are you when you collect disability, use a handicapped parking tag with a canoe on your truck?"
He reached toward his left ear as he fumbled with his hearing aid and said, "I'm going to turn this thing off so I don't have to listen to you." If only I had the luxury to do the same from the brown shit that spewed from his mouth! The irony of it all...he LOVED brown bread but hated a brown President so much so that to be confronted with his own desire to defraud the government, he could turn off his capability to hear. It doesn't make a difference, he was a disabled listener as well.