Okay, so this blog was going to be my “professional” blog where I could talk about teaching and yadda yadda yadda. But I’ve decided I need to break that because there’s something I really want to write about instead.
Sometimes we talk about towns being overall racist. It’s easier that way, to assign blame to a whole town. There’s no personal connection. It’s almost a joke. But when we were eating lunch, someone pointed out tattoos on a random guy who was there, also eating lunch. At first, I thought it was gonna be a funny “ha ha ha – he misspelled tomorrow!” or something else that you’d see on WTF Tattoos. But it wasn’t. It was that he had “WHITE” going down one leg and “PRIDE” going down the other.
Here’s the thing: for all the “bad” places I’ve gone and lived, I’ve never seen someone up close and in person with a racist tattoo. Sure, I’d seen them on People of Wal-Mart. But not in the local restaurant. (Which just happened to be, ironically, a Mexican restaurant.) But I digress.
I couldn’t immediately qualify how I felt. There was a tinge of anger – how dare he! A little fear – did he *act* on that opinion? Mostly, though, I’ve determined that what I really felt was a whole lot of disgust.
Obviously, he felt strongly enough to get those huge tattoo letters running down the backs of his legs. But why? And how? Did he realize that he was nothing but a 2-bit racist? Or did he honestly believe that he was part of some so-called “master race” who was superior to those of different skin tones and beliefs? Was he really that sure of how right he was and how wrong everyone else was?
How deeply did he hold those beliefs, anyway? Would he reject a waitress who wasn’t “one of his kind”? What about a nurse? A doctor? A police officer?
Seeing the tattoo actually left me shaken for the rest of the afternoon and ruined my meal. It left me wondering about how people portray themselves and how they think of others. And how insanely stupid some people really are.