Playing the race card…

It’s time to air an irritant of mine out. First, let’s get the obvious point out of the way. There are undoubtedly racist individuals in the United States and all around the world. Racism has not been eradicated. To what extent it’s still prevalent whether outwardly (like we are more familiar with) or subconsciously is anyone’s best guess.

That out of the way, there’s also something to be said about those that play the race card when there’s no justification for doing so, which circles back to the notion that racism exists and those calling for racism when there isn’t any are detracting from combating the actual permeations of racism in our society.

I have a job at a vending machine company thanks in large part to my dad being one of the operational managers. Under him are delivery drivers and route drivers that go out to various commercial accounts to deliver products and goods for those vending machines.

One such driver apparently does not like my father very much. First, it just started with the usual joking jabs you would expect and are appropriate. Then it was statements like, “Your dad’s not a very pleasant fella is he?” Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some playground, “My dad is better than your dad,” type stuff. Certainly, there are times where he can be stressed, hard to deal with and overbearing. All of which, I think, are general hallmarks of any father to varying degrees, but this worker’s implications take it beyond that. First, he does so by insinuating that he’s some tyrant that lives in our home, which is unequivocally false. Second, he does so by placing the race card.

For some reason, he started with “he’s unpleasant” to “he’s racist, isn’t he?” He even had the audacity to ask me if the N-word was ever used at our home. I relayed the “he’s not pleasant, isn’t he” line to my father, to which he responded, “It’s because I get on him all the time.” And why does my dad get on him all the time? He’s lazy. And no, I’m not parroting my dad in an attempt to defend him. I’m stating what I’ve personally witnessed and experienced working closely with him: he’s lazy. On more than one occasion I’ve had to pick up or otherwise compensate for his slacking effort.

So, no, man; he’s not racist, you’re just lazy.

To further drive this point home, I’ve worked with a variety of people at this company in my short five months there and not one of them had a bad word to say about him (besides, again, those usual joking jabs you would expect). In fact, many have outright offered glowing appraisal.

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