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Photo a Day : Day 107 Black & White
I went to an awesome house party in San Francisco. I haven’t been to a house party for a while. Good times, seeing some friends I haven’t seen for almost a year – good times, making new friends, that I hope to have for many years. The host was spinning some old school funky vinyl as people were dancing, mingling and drinking.
As my friends and I were on the way out, two guys stopped, shook our hands and started chatting. They had some awesome accents and we found out that they were from Canada. They arrived into the States earlier that day. As a welcome my friend offered them a swig of her Fireball, and they both kindly accepted it. I said, “Welcome to America!!” I told them how everyone I met from Canada so far have been really good people and I’ve had great conversations with them during my travels. We then continued on our way and one of the guys, who was really drunk stopped me and said,
“I don’t like black people.”
I was so surprised that I thought it was a joke – a joke that wasn’t funny.
I smirked. “You did shake my hand. Besides for the color how are we so different?”
“I hate how black people are naturally good at sports,” he slurred while stumbling back and forth. Looks like he had one too many drinks, stoned out of his mind or both.
“I don’t know much about sports but what I do know is if we shot each other in the head, the outcome would be similar if not the same, am I right?”
“Do you eat, shit, and know you will eventually die?”
“Of course…” He stepped back and squinted his eyes, I guess he was trying to process what I was getting at.
“Unless you have some superpower that I don’t know about like flying, we’re pretty much in the same boat.”
“I see on the news, black people are soooo violent.”
I responded,”Did you ever think that the media race baits to distract people of the real issues at hand, because if people of all races came together then unpopular wars and laws would not be possible…”
“I never thought about that…”
He shared some personal story with me about his family and how it was split by tension because one side is Jewish and the other side is Roman Catholic.
I said, “That’s unfortunate.”
I shared with him that my stepfather is Jewish and his side of the family accepted my Thai Buddhist mother and I.
“Would you have known that I have a Jewish side of the family and a Thai mother just by looking at me? And that I am first generation born American whose father was from Angola?”
“No I thought you were just black.”
“Even if I were full African American, it wouldn’t matter because we all are souls and these bodies are just a temporary vessel. Good people are good people and bad people are bad people. Whatever you may believe in. You may be losing great opportunities in your life, because rather than building relationships through people’s character you are doing it through the color of skin based on your perception from the media. You are not using your intelligence or discernment. I invite you to think about what I just said, and I hope you reconsider your conclusions.”
I then walked away. Later that night he found me again and said I was a cool guy and wanted to hangout. He followed me around the party and I didn’t mind.
I could have handled the situation differently, but this was an opportunity to enlighten a person on his first day in America. Although the first Amendment allows the freedom of speech, the constitution may not protect him from the next guy he shares his views with. That guy may wind up dumping him into the bay because of his candidness. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, and I truly hope I did open his mind for his own good. But, I guess time will tell!
In the famous words of Michael Jackson,”It doesn’t matter if your black or white.” hehe. This guy made it to photo of the day 106 and I cropped his face for his sake and these are my words.
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