Friday, September 25, 2009

Facebook Fracas

It all started out rather inocuously.  Lulu*, a Friend on Facebook wrote:

I just saw an article on MSN about the Cosbys and Obama. Sometimes I feel like the only one who is indifferent to the fact that Obama is black. Maybe it's a generation thing? If someone 'appears' qualified and competent, their race doesn’t matter.”

It continued on with other comments for awhile until "Zach” chimed in:

“There will be a lot less racism when the older population dies out. These old farts that I work with will, on occasion, drop the "N" word and also talk about mexicans. I usually don't say anything, but once I called a guy out because of how he described asians. I am a little more sensitive having a biracial relationship and having biracial kids.(by the way, Obama is biracial, but everyone calls him black).”

I, then, a  vision of decorum weighed in:

“Zach, I feel you've got some bigotry going on. some of us older people lived through the civil rights times and it meant alot to us. Don't put anyone in a collective to be dismissed. You may be giving up some of the best that is in us.”

Zachy then retorted with indignation and shock:

“I don't have any bigotry and I relay (sic) on the older population for an income. I sell hearing aids. I get a lot of racist comments from my patients. They think that I agree with them because I am white. All these guys lived through the civil rights movement as well, but it doesn't stop them from dropping the N word in front of me. And if you are commenting because I said old farts, then I apologize. I bet my definition of old is older then your definition. I feel some one in their seventies is young, eighties are getting up there, and ninety is old. I have a patient that is 103. See what I mean?”

I didn’t respond because I think everybody could see through it, but if I had, I might have said:

“Sputtered denial and back-pedaling is not evidence that you’re not a bigot, but your first comment is evidence that you are.  It would have been better had you just kept quiet and let the thing die. And just because you take money from your older clients doesn’t mean that you like or even respect them.  You use them.  That doesn't make you superior.  It makes you a user.”  

I still want to get him, though.

“Name changed to protect "Lulu's" innocence.  Zach is not a friend and I doubt he ever will be.


Wendy said...

My heart is full of thanks for Lulu - she's a gem.

Lindsey said...

I would love to say "Amen" to you Linda and your friend. I have been confronted with my share of racism and bigotry from both the old and the young. I also think everyone tends to be biased or have preconceived notions about people based on their age, weight, gender, age, color, job title, education, etc. I think those who are the most openminded are the ones who recognize that their own first impressions can be wrong and are generally reflective of their own biases rather than the person they are actually meeting. I have no idea if this makes sense. :P