A conversation I had yesterday:
Protester shouting: “Blue lives matter!”
Me: “Sir, all jobs matter. Fire fighters, EMTs, postal workers”
Protester: “Yes, but police are under attack, we need to show them our support.”
Me: “You do realize the hypocrisy as you’re saying this next to Black Lives Matter protesters?”
Protester: “Black Lives Matters is anti-Christian, I can’t support that.”
Me: “Where did you hear that?”
Protester: “The Internet.”
Me: “Could you show me the source?”
Protester: pulls out phone and starts searching “I can’t find it right now, but I know I saw it on my computer at home.”
Me: “When you get home, would you mind looking it up again and checking the source to see if it’s a credible source?”
Protester: sincerely “I will do that.”
Protester: “They think all Trump supporters are racists.”
Me: “By ‘they’ are you saying BLM supporters?”
Me: “aren’t you doing the same generalizing by saying they must all be anti-Christian for supporting BLM?”
Protester: “Yeah, but…pivots the conversation to George Floyd’s criminal history”
This person and I continued to have a civil discourse amongst what I would call somewhat hostile surroundings, we even parted wishing each other well with an elbow bump.
However, while he and I continued chatting a woman who proudly shouted her name was “Paula” came up behind me and called a BLM supporter standing right next to me the N word in front of a crowd of about 10, which included 2 young girls whom if I had to guess were maybe 8 and 12. The younger of the 2 turned to the older girl and said “did she just say?” to which her friend sadly nodded yes.
Thankfully the woman whom the insult was hurled towards, and the crowd for that matter, was level headed and calmly diffused the situation as best she could. Others on the opposing side shouted “burn, loot, murder”, “this is America, speak English or go home” and “immigrants are taking our jobs!” as well as mocked those wearing masks.
As I was leaving I said goodbye to a woman I had been standing with and she said “I’m going to go over to Paula and see if she’ll listen to me for 20 seconds if I agree to listen to her views for 20 seconds.” I wished her luck.
I’m not sharing this story for kudos, because in all honesty I did nothing. I’m sharing it because I know people out there think racism no longer exists. Maybe we should all take a moment and listened for 30 seconds.
Written by: Gary Opay