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Thu Dec 6, 2018, 07:29 PM

Best of times, the worst of times

I don't know how to tell this because it happened so fast this afternoon at the supermarket.

A little over three hours ago, my sister and I decided to make a quick run. The best of time of the day because no rush-hour traffic and we were anticipating another onslaught of precious rain here in SoCal. We're being rung up at one of the registers near the entry/exit when an elderly African American gentleman with a cane walked in. I could tell that he was once a very tall man. He wore a black cap emblazoned with "Viet Nam Veteran Proudly Served" and a couple of other badges on his jacket. We looked at each other long enough to exchange a pleasant glance but he was clearly agitated, more frustrated though. I thought his distress was because no one was at the special counter near the door for cigs, money orders and stuff like that.

I smiled at him anyway and surprisingly he came directly to us as we were being rung up, talking. His voice was shaking and his cane was shaking. He spoke directly to us saying, "They tried to run me over! They said get out of the way, nigger. I told them I have the right of way! And you better be glad I don't have my pistol! I wish I had my pistol. I wish I had my pistol."

My heart sank but what could we say but I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. Then he said, "I escaped Tennessee and came here to get away from that." And in unison we said, "It's everywhere," remembering the first shocking outright racist incident at our community college a few weeks ago. He said, "I'm 75 years old and I have heart failure and I was just crossing the parking lot. I told them white bastards, you better be glad I don't have my pistol!"

At this point, I get out of the line saying, They're cowards! We just left the cashier and went to him. We hugged him and he let us heap kisses on his neck and as far as we could reach on his face. Sister asked, "Are you okay?" He said, "I'm all right, girls. I'm all right. Get your stuff and get home safe."

He just needed everything to stop! and to be heard. I'm so weary and hope our tears will be gone with the rain come morning. Good night.

28 replies, 2293 views

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply Best of times, the worst of times (Original post)
Kind of Blue Dec 2018 OP
Roland99 Dec 2018 #1
Kind of Blue Dec 2018 #10
mcar Dec 2018 #2
Kind of Blue Dec 2018 #11
malaise Dec 2018 #3
Kind of Blue Dec 2018 #12
ZeroSomeBrains Dec 2018 #4
Kind of Blue Dec 2018 #14
Honeycombe8 Dec 2018 #5
Kind of Blue Dec 2018 #13
Honeycombe8 Dec 2018 #19
Kind of Blue Dec 2018 #20
Honeycombe8 Dec 2018 #26
Kind of Blue Dec 2018 #27
demigoddess Dec 2018 #6
Kind of Blue Dec 2018 #15
FakeNoose Dec 2018 #7
Kind of Blue Dec 2018 #16
Kind of Blue Dec 2018 #23
FakeNoose Dec 2018 #28
Haggis for Breakfast Dec 2018 #8
Kind of Blue Dec 2018 #17
erlewyne Dec 2018 #9
Kind of Blue Dec 2018 #18
USALiberal Dec 2018 #21
Kind of Blue Dec 2018 #22
lunatica Dec 2018 #24
Kind of Blue Dec 2018 #25

Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 07:41 PM

1. Trump has enabled the worst of humanity

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 12:08 PM

10. Yes, he has. I never

thought actually in my neighborhood.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 07:53 PM

2. So glad you were there to support him

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Response to mcar (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 12:10 PM

11. Yes, indeed!

I don't believe in coincidences and am so glad to be in the right place at the right time. I just hope that the people just watching, as shocked as we were, could pay it forward one day.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 07:57 PM

3. A sad post

Thanks for your kindness. I hate disrespect to the elderly.

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Response to malaise (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 12:12 PM

12. Yeah, I have a huge problem with that, too!

If we're lucky, one day we could all live to a ripe old age. Seeing elderly people is just automatic respect to me.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 08:36 PM

4. There are racists everywhere

I see them here in Illinois. I wish they weren't so prevalent in this country. I wish we could all treat others the way we would like to get treated. Maybe one day we will.

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Response to ZeroSomeBrains (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 12:51 PM

14. Your wish and my wish, too, ZSB.

But it's gonna be a long time coming.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 10:11 PM

5. So glad you were there for him. I'm surprised that happened in California.

I thought California was more tolerant and inclusive.

People get road rage more often these days, and the Trumpers feel freer to express their hatred. To be fair, if it had been me, they may well have said, "Get out of the way, c__t! You b__ch, I have the right of way!"

People like that call out derogatory names to anyone who is not like them.

I've had a number of insults hurled at me by total strangers (all white males) in my life.

So there's plenty of hatred to go around, coming from people like that.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 12:48 PM

13. LOL, I wish. But none of us live in utopia.

I disagree with your idea of fairness. Yeah, the group of white boys may hate the elderly and/or even Vietnam vets but they clearly said nigger and not you old man or you old vet or you lame old vet or even say hurry up. Please remember one of this country's recent terrorist shooting when the gunman said, "Whites don't kill whites," clearly targeting PoC if not specifically black people. Or did you forget about the sick bastard who targeted gay people at the club in Miami?

There are too many examples to cite so please stop trivializing by giving undeniable violent racists a pass because the plenty of hatred that goes around is totally perpetuated by those who do.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 01:29 PM

19. They wouldn't call me "lame old vet" or whatever.

They would call me something related to my gender, just as they would call someone who is not what they are white males.

They would call Asians or Native Americans derogatory names, too. And of course, they'd have a field day with a black woman...a double derogatory would be used.

Women live with derogatory comments by strange males. Happens all the time. I'm sure it happens to Af. Americans, too. May happen to women more often, ironically, because we are perceived as weaker and powerless to do anything about it.



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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 05:27 PM

20. Predictable response from you: center yourself

and uphold and affirm your reality as a white woman as fundamentally the same as that of my elder black vet's life experience, of course, it's just "to be fair." Then claim that those same unidentified men in my town would also come for you with derision and try to run you down with a vehicle, too.

You're projecting so hard that I want to minimalize your experience and that's the last thing I want to do to anyone but I admit that I do fail at times. But your predictable responses highlighted by your lack of awareness as a liberal that the vet's incident could happen in California, where he escaped to in this day and age, is a breathtaking attempt in obfuscation.

There's a whole body of work, if you're interested, by those more learned than you and I in white supremacy's responses, especially white women's responses, to obscure racism with sexism thereby centering themselves. Check it out or not.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 06:50 PM

26. If you're interested in the history of hatred against women...

I have a whole library to reference for you, people more learned than you and I.

It does not take away from Af. American's experience in this and other countries, to acknowledge that others have also faced similar, though not the same, circumstances.

I'm just pointing out....our whole lives, women are treated to name calling like that person encountered. Anywhere. Everywhere. Every age.

I've been told I'm ugly...by a stranger just passing by (FWIW, I'm not unattractive). More than once. Yelled at from vehicles a ways a way, calling me "c**nt" or "hey, b**ch." For no reason. I'm just walking into a store on a beautiful day, and a man coming out called me a derogatory name. For no reason, except I'm female.

I would also point out that the black male got the vote before it was given to women. Married women in this country could not own property. And so on. I do not equate the experience of one group with another. I merely point out, that there is more than one group in this country who has experienced discrimination, currently and in the past. I can relate, having experienced similar things that this man did. Not quite the same, of course. But similar.

(Then there is the history of assault and rape, a long time use to show hatred of women. Including women of color.)

Geez....I'm done with this.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 07:14 PM

27. Okay.

Yeah, as a black woman I can counter and top all your I've-been-told-isms, too. But to what end? Your agenda is using my voice to promote yourself. Your're not telling me anything with your self-centered apathy. So get off my OP and start your own because your desperation is now cloying.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 10:11 PM

6. It was a black lady who taught my daughter to eat (she's severely handicapped)

My daughter loved her deeply. I had great respect for her. It was a black man who massaged my daughter for years. She loved him too. I respected him because he was a man who cared about handicapped children. A bunch of black men and women who work in the medical areas have dedicated their lives to caring for all kinds of people. I have come into contact with many of them. Kindest, nicest, people you can ever meet along the way are often black. These racists tick me off totally. The racists are the stupidest people on the planet. this man sounds really nice and I am glad you did what you did. Let's stand next to these people and say "you have to go through me first, racist!"

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Response to demigoddess (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 12:56 PM

15. Demigoddess, you just gave me the chills!

Let's stand next to these people and say "you have to go through me first, racist!"

That's what I'm talking about. Our freedom from them is inextricably linked.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 10:33 PM

7. It sounds like you handled the situation very well

... as long as the older gentleman wasn't injured. So unfortunate! I hope the victim complained to the store manager but I suspect he did not. As it turns out, it's a good thing he didn't have his pistol with him. It wouldn't have ended well.



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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 01:02 PM

16. I wish he could complain to someone to

get deeper satisfaction but the incident happened in the parking lot of the grocery store by men in a vehicle. I'm sorry I didn't make that clear.

Thanks, FakeNoose

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 05:56 PM

23. On Edit: I was discussing this with my husband

as we were running around doing errands this morning. And he said there are cameras everywhere and we Do need to contact Albertson's, the supermarket, to see if those assholes were captured on camera and contact the police, too. I mean we've got the date and time and at least 2 employees who we can easily identify witnessing the vet's plight.

So you're right, if the vet can't, we can and will complain. I'd forgotten that it shocked the shit out of me that the police in this diverse town have gone out of their way to stress that racial violence, verbal and otherwise, is one of their main focus and I've experienced it in subtle ways. So I think they will at least try.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 08:14 PM

28. Awesome - good luck!

It might not be easy finding the older man though. Maybe he's a regular customer, somebody at the store might have recognized him? I'm not sure how much the police will do if you can't find him. But those asshats in the car should be reported anyway. I hope their car tags were captured on video.


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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 10:53 PM

8. I keep getting these surveys in the mail.

They list all manner of issues: protection of the environmental, education, housing, health care, judicial reform, and on and on. I have taken to writing across the entire page with a large magic marker in big block letters:

RACISM.

It is the root cause of all of the above. I am so tired of writing this, yet I keep getting this crap in the mail.

Racism is a worse than a sickness, it is an intentional hatred, a mental illness with these people. A pathology that screams a lack of intelligence. A truly depraved soul with no heart.

As a retired service member, I can tell you this -- there are no racists in a foxhole. So why does it exist in a peaceful society ?

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Response to Haggis for Breakfast (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 01:09 PM

17. My God! I'm so glad to read that

because I push the same message. Repeat for those in the back of the room who can't hear it

RACISM.

It is the root cause of all of the above.

It exist in this society because I think the majority of white people feel constantly under siege by The Other.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 11:24 PM

9. This is not a fairy tale

My parents moved us to a new school district. Poverty but not complaining.
We were just poor. I had went to a school that abounded in poor blacks.
My family, poor as we were, we were (unintentionally) white
supremacist. I went to an acquaintance's house a few miles away in this new
school district and his next door neighbors were black. They were only blacks in
this new school district! A farm school (agriculture). I met Herman. good
looking black. So, shortly thereafter we played some backyard football, and
this nigger (me) ended up chasing him and I said "Look at that nigger run!
His speed astounded me.
I had no idea who he was. It turns out he is a super athlete that I was
unaware of, this school is new to me. I apologized to Herman and he scoffed
it off. We became good friends and I always felt, after that, that I recognized
the racial barrier openly whereas my white classmates just used him because
he was an athletic star. I was poverty ridden and he was a negro. I was
apprehended as a star athlete but as trash and he was the star and was black.
I went to another school and lost contact with Herman. A few years later I
was drafted for Vietnam. I was in A.I.T. (Advanced Infantry Training) when I
got a letter from my mother, :"Charlie just talked to Herman, Herman has to
go to Vietnam and he is going as a medic (Herman was a conscientious objector)
and Charlie is my brother.
A day or so later (not a week) I got another letter (the same letter, it is
a mail-call problem and long before cell phones) that had a P.S., Herman
was killed. I am waiting for my deposition to Vietnam, being trained as a rifleman
and forward observer, I am trained to call in mortars, I was trained to kill, and
I get a letter from home telling me my h.s. football, superstar teammate was
killed in Vietnam. And he was a conscientious objector and was killed doing his
duty as a medic, dressed in white with a red cross, trusting,
I was waiting for my assignment to Fort Bellevoir, Va. (I apologize for the
misspelling, but it is close). I was going to be an officer in the engineers (barb
wire application, mortar, forward observer, and all kinds of accolades). I am
thinking, you stupid mf.! It was 1967, Ft. Dix, N.J. when I got the sad news
that the government was in a money pinch so my officers training was can celled.
I was reassigned to Berlin, Germany ... unless I went to Ft. Bennington and
trainee another six months. I decided to go to Berlin. (wink, not a hard decision)

I think, I will try to contact Herman's family and send them this letter, but I never met
them, and I am sure they have all passed away. He had an older sister who I never
met and I think she was unmarried.

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Response to erlewyne (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 01:25 PM

18. Well, if the incident with my elderly Veteran

has stirred you to contact Herman's family, I'm beyond - I don't know how to feel. Just blessed because the connection is clear to me.

Thank you, erlewyne, for relating this incident to your life and reaching out to Herman's family the best way you can. I'm sure his family would love to hear about your friendship because stories of those we've lost along the way never get old.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 05:32 PM

21. Terrible experience for him, but I'm glad he didn't have his pistol. Murder charge would be worse.

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Response to USALiberal (Reply #21)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 05:39 PM

22. Ha! Indeed! or even brandishing a weapon.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 05:58 PM

24. He'll remember your loving kindness over the racist remarks

You didnít care that you didnít know him. Your smile invited him to come to you and made him feel safe so he could tell you. He couldnít have picked better people. You hugged and kissed him.

Yeah, heíll remember you and it will always warm his heart. You did a wonderful thing!

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Response to lunatica (Reply #24)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 06:17 PM

25. Thank you, lunatica. Please don't make me cry.

I hate crying

So many times I wonder if it's even worth trying to explain but you make me feel that it is.

Thanks, Girl.

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