Racism the Sword

Racism the Sword.

When I worked for Hewlett Packard Company in the 80s, I was often sent to Waltham Massachusetts for training classes on supporting HP medical equipment. On almost every trip up there or even to the facility in Corvallis, Oregon, someone would make some comment about me being racist. The reason: I was white and I was from Mississippi. The only thing said before this accusation was my name and that (at the time) I was from the Jackson Mississippi office.

One day, I was traveling to the HP facility in Waltham MA in rental car and I saw a HP field car, A Ford Taurus Wagon with boxes in the back, with a Canadian tag, driving toward the HP buildings. Suddenly two HP cars with US tags passed on both sides of me and squeezed the Canadian tagged car off the road. I felt bad for the Canadian HP employee who was obviously treated with bigotry.

Later that afternoon here comes the Canadian employee, a manager from Canada, into our class room, an afternoon speaker/ instructor.

As we introduced ourselves and I said my name and that I was from the Jackson Mississippi office, he said, “Oh, a racist.”

I had had enough.

I got up walked out of class and called my manager in New Orleans and told him I was coming home and why including every accusation I had received from the time I first went to Waltham.

He asked me to stay there by the phone at the HP facility.

In less than 30 minutes, the class coordinator came down to me and told me that 1. The Canadian was fired. 2. The Manager of the HP Division that facility fell under apologized to me and assured me that nothing like that would happen again and it did not.

Racism I wrote in high school is like a two edged handle less sword. He who welds it is as cut by it as the victim. It is best to leave it lay.

The problem today; however is that racism has become a multimillion dollar industry with the ‘victims’ standing to lose millions if they walk away from it.

I believed as a young white Mississippi boy in what Dr. Martin Luther King was telling other races: that black people had value as human beings and should be treated equally.

It’s true I did not dare say anything then for fear of retribution.

But I say it now.

The sad thing is that many of his own race missed the message and will not be satisfied with equality. Especially if they are being paid to be victims, if they get attention from being victims.

The question is are the same hired protestors the same people who are telling black youth to fear, run from, and disobey police?

They have had two shooting incidents in Oklahoma and both were peacefully handled. Why?

The black leaders in Oklahoma told the hired protestors to go home they were not needed.

I am not saying life is easy for blacks or for anyone, but life is easier now that it ever was.

No one sits at the back of an empty bus because they have to.

Instead of headlines that say, “White Cop Shoots Black Man” could it not say, “Police Officer Shoots Man Investigation Ongoing”

Isn’t it the same tragedy?

Some might say it is putting the Ostrich head in the sand but I disagree.

It is leaving the sword lay.

Let it lay.

We are in this together whether we succeed as humanity or fail.

Racism is a trick not a lifestyle.

Racism is death.

Working together is life.



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