Today I choked in the face of belligerent racism.
Today, I let the hateful person win.
Today was a loss in my personal battle for equality between the majority and those of us with melanin.
Let me explain:
I work for a theater company. One of my several duties is to run the box office. Today I was performing my duties as usual and experienced the worst sort of racism I have experienced in my 7 years of working for this company. Today a gentleman came up to purchase 2 tickets. As soon as he saw me, this look came over his face. He clearly did not want to deal with me. I was just as professional as could be. I went through all of the details that we have to go through in regards to our ticketing system: Name, address, email address that sort of thing. This gentleman was clearly not having it. He started saying things such as “Why can’t you just slide my card?, “How do I know that no one will break into your system?”, and “Why do you not have a senior discount?” I just answered the questions with extreme professionalism and then it happened:
“Sir, for the purposes of giving you a receipt may I have your email address?”
“No, you may not have my G**D*** email address boy, just process my order!”
There were several things I could and probably should have said after this interaction. Instead of putting this man in his place, I froze. I just sat there and stared at him in his face. Then I went and processed the rest of his order, and wished that the man would enjoy the show.
I feel like shit…
I am sorry that I froze.
I am sorry that I did not stand up in the face of adversity.
I am sorry that when the time came for me to stand up and speak out that I sat down and kept quiet.
I hope that next time I will be able to speak out.
I hope that next time I will be able to put people in their place when needed.
A quote from the season which is applicable: “Today I told the devil I do work for him.”
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”- Edmund Burke
Today, evil triumphed in my little corner of the world, but hopefully it won’t for too much longer.