I’m a guy who talks to everyone. Ask my wife. A trip to the grocery store for milk can turn into a thirty minute conversation with the bag-boy. Most of the people who work with me on this site (Brodigan, Krystal, Jared, Caleb and ‘FunDip’ Dan) are just people with whom I’ve had a good conversation at one point or another. Never once did I ask for a resume.
They dread my phone-calls because I always go long. I’m that guy.
I’ve always loved talking with people. But in the last few years, something’s changed dramatically. Political correctness has become a cancerous growth on the absolute gift that is human interaction.
I can no longer make a silly face at a child in the movie line without his mother clutching him for fear of “stranger danger.” I can’t compliment a woman on her smile without being guilty of perpetuating “rape culture.” Some of the most common words in my everyday vernacular like “amigo” and “brother” must now be exclusively and fearfully reserved for strictly non-ethnic demographics. Instead of becoming better neighbors, we spend our time ensuring avoidance of the latest “racist code-word” or the possibility of cultural insensitivity.
It’s a terrible feeling, it’s dividing America more than ever before and it is absolutely ruining America’s neighborhoods. Allow me me tell you a story.
Last week, I was walking to my corner drugstore. As I emerged into my neighborhood, I noticed a man dressed to the nines. Clean-close-shave, suit and tie, the whole shebang. He was tying up his bicycle. Without even thinking, I blurted:
“Man, all decked out for an evening bike ride. I dig it! You make me look like an absolute bum.”
Shocked, he responded.
“Aw come on man, you ain’t gotta do me like that.”
Oh, this is about the time I should mention the fact that he was a black man. I know, I know. I didn’t think it was relevant either. Until he said that to me, that is. Then I noticed his general perturbedness. Now, I know that many white Americans can find themselves out of touch with black culture. And yes, I’m white. But I’m also a hip-hop fan. Three out of my top ten favorite albums of all time were created by talented black men. So while I may not be fluent, the lingo isn’t completely lost on me.
And as a general rule, “do me like that” usually implies some kind of wrong-doing. I found myself confused. So I tried to smoothe it over.
“No man, I just mean you look great. I should step my game up or you’ll make us all look bad.” I said with a smile. He seemed even more frustrated.
“Come on man.”
I honestly didn’t know what to say. Clearly, I’m an insensitive ass. So I wished him well and went on with my evening. But it ate away at me for days after that. I couldn’t believe that we live in a country where the joy of being neighborly has been replaced with the sinking feeling in our stomachs of collective guilt. I couldn’t believe that man’s worldview had been so warped by today’s politically correct climate, that he would take offense to a genuine compliment. Is this really what America’s become?
See, this is the goal of the left. Divide and conquer. It’s why they espouse multiculturalism instead of the American melting pot. The left wants a post-tower-of-babel America, where every person can be separated into their own pigeon-holed, pander-succeptible portion of the American voting base. Because if we all stand as Americans unified, they’d never win another election.
I just couldn’t believe that this many people had bought it. My heart literally hurt. I wept for the neighborhood of a bygone era, perhaps never to be seen again.
Then it happened. I was walking my dog (an all-white Dogo Argentino, mind you). The weather had turned warm, so Hopper was exhausted and dragging his feet home, trailing a good few steps behind me. A van slowed as it drove by and the window rolled down. A black lady, smile beaming, poked her head out.
“That dog ain’t havin’ none of it from you today!” she said, commenting on Hopper’s slothfulness.
“Most people don’t either!” I laughed. She laughed back.
“He’s got that beautiful white coat.” she said.
“Thanks! See, an all white-dog, bridging the racial divide, who’d have thought.” I responded.
She cocked her head back and laughed.
“Haha I like that! Have a great day, sir.”
My heart warmed. Maybe there’s hope for American neighborhoods yet.