OneGrassRoot (19,885 posts)
Four racists got a surprise today (cross-post from Good News)
Last edited Tue Oct 22, 2013, 02:51 PM USA/ET - Edit history (4)
I shared in Good News but think it's worth sharing here in GD as well. Freemay20, a DUer, doesn't post here much; I'm sharing this whether he wants me to or not.
This happened less than two hours ago in a suburb of Raleigh, NC.
A good friend of mine, another DUer -- freemay20 (50-ish, heavyset, tall, white guy) -- went to the laundromat this morning.
The only other person there at the time was a middle-aged, heavyset, tall black guy, sitting, reading the paper.
After freemay20 loaded clothes into the washer and sat down, in walked four average-sized white guys in their early 20's, wearing confederate flag t-shirts and other clothing items conveying their worldview, shall we say.
One of the four looked at my friend and at the other gentleman, then asked my friend which washers were his. "Why?" freemay20 asked.
"Because we don't want our stuff anywhere near his," nodding toward the black man.
He said it loudly, not trying to hide their ignorance. As you can imagine, they high five'd one another and guffawed, proud of themselves.
They also made the mistake of assuming freemay20 was racist, just like them. Unfortunately, chances are great that, in this very red area, the white people they've come in contact with in their lives (assuming they're from this area) are indeed racist and bigoted.
Freemay20 looked at the black man (I really hate that I don't have his name...sorry), who was clearly holding back emotion, and said, "I got your back."
They both stood up, side by side, and the gentleman told the four young racists, "I don't want my things next to YOURS. YOU need to leave. NOW."
Freemay20 backed him up with some profanity-laden words. The person working at the laundromat today (not the owner, as I wrote earlier) came out, hearing the raised voices, and freemay20 simply said, pointing to the four, "They need to leave. NOW."
She took the situation in and asked them to do just that, and they did. They left, silently, a bit in shock, no doubt.
Both men sat back down and took deep breaths to calm down from the potential ass-whooping that nearly took place. The only thing the gentleman said to freemay20 was, "It's everywhere." And shook his head.
And it is. It's not limited to the south AT ALL. It's everywhere.
It's appalling and ugly and dehumanizing. It's friggin institutionalized, for cryin' out loud.
But one man, who has likely endured decades of such hatred, got to stand up to it in a big way today, telling THEM to leave.
Kudos to that gentleman and freemay20 for speaking up and facing it head on.
Silence is consent.
(Edit to add that I only mention physical description because I tend to be a very visual person. The physical description of those involved is really a moot point here, imho. Even if freemay20 and the other gentleman had not been physically imposing in any way, and even if the four younger guys HAD been physically imposing, I have a feeling they would have handled this situation in the exact same way.)
UPDATE: In case anyone is concerned, there is no worry about the laundromat employee in question. The laundromat is part of a cluster of family-owned businesses, and many people are always there. They aren't strangers to such incidents and are not concerned about any retribution or trouble. Seems the employee was glad to be given the opportunity to do something about it.