“I Almost Made a Racist Joke!”
One thing I didn’t really mention when talking about cleaning up my place is that, with my kitchen counter covered in poison, I haven’t been cooking a lot because I’ve lost my prep space. This isn’t really a problem since in Columbia Heights, I’m surrounded by restaurants, healthy and not-so-much.
Half-price burgers at the sports bar next door were tempting enough, so I headed over, sat at the bar, ordered a cider, and watched TV, not really into anything on screen. Sports radio 106.7 The Fan was broadcasting live outside, but it wasn’t really all that loud or intrusive. I mean, sports bar, it sometimes comes with the territory.
I was a quarter of the way into my cider and had just ordered a burger when another patron sat down two seats away from me and ordered a double vodka cranberry. He was maybe into his second when my order came, which was coincidentally the same thing he’d ordered. So there was a chuckle about that between us and the bartender and I went back to drinking, eating, and messing around on my phone.
After a while, he looked around and commented on the fact that there weren’t a lot of people there. Perhaps not what one might expect for a live event and Monday Night Football. I said that I just lived in the neighborhood and wasn’t really into sports, but maybe they were waiting until MNF started a little later in the evening. Again, back to my food/drink/phone.
Tonight, at a bar next door to my place, I was nearly called a “big, black man” by way of a “joke”. Is it any wonder I don’t like people?
— Brian Gray (aka ürb) (@urbanbohemian) October 19, 2015
Another another while, he turns and says, “Wow, I nearly made a really racist comment just then.” And drunk as he was, completely failing to notice my face was a mixture of “shock” and “you should stop talking”, he went on to say it was something like “How could a big, black man like you not be into sports?”
I hate people. And I hate myself a little bit because I was nice about it. Telling him he should neither think nor speak such a thing and maybe he’s had enough to drink. But no, he continued, telling me, “Hey, at least I only thought it!” to which I replied that he didn’t just think it and that it wasn’t OK.
But still, I was being polite and I can’t even pretend I don’t know why. I wasn’t trying to get into a fight. I wasn’t trying to scare some white guy. I wasn’t trying to get arrested. And I was honestly just trying to have a fucking good time and he fucking ruined it. I don’t know or care what his motivations were, but I maintained a hostile silence until he left. Then I thought I might want more to drink, but I didn’t, so I left.
This next sentiment may not apply to last night’s unpleasantness, but it’s just advice for anyone who may read this going forward: Racist jokes are not funny.
There is no such thing as “kinda racist” or “almost racist”.
I don’t care where you heard it. I don’t care how many friends of that race you may have. I don’t care if you’re dating, fucking, or married (or trying to achieve any of those three states) to someone of that race. I don’t care if you’re upset that someone else “gets to say it”. I could go on and on, but trust me, I have yet to hear a single reason for someone making a racist joke or comment and it being justified. Don’t try me on this one. Racist jokes are not funny.
If I had friends there with me, AKA backup, I might have handled it differently. But chances are if I’d been with friends, I wouldn’t have even talked to that asshole. So, yeah. 😐