Person 1: Man, I hope the President and governors do something for the people in the Northeast who are getting pounded by those snowstorms.
Person 2: I don’t want my tax money going to help any of them.
Person 1: What? Why?
Person 2: Snow isn’t real.
Person 1: Um, excuse me?
Person 2: It’s all a government conspiracy to take my tax money and use it on those stupid Northeasterners. Like they don’t already get all the money.
Person 1: What do you mean it’s a conspiracy?
Person 2: Are you thick? Snow. Isn’t. Real.
Person 1: Yes, it is.
Person 2: I’ve never seen it.
Person 1: You’ve never seen snow?
Person 2: Nope. Born and raised in South Florida. Snow doesn’t exist.
Person 1: You’ve seen it on the TV and in movies.
Person 2: Like I said, government conspiracy. And, excellent sci-fi stuff.
Person 1: (points to himself) I have seen snow.
Person 2: No, you just think you have. It was an elaborate ruse.
Person 1: No. I lived in the Midwest. I’ve played in it. Made snowmen.
Person 2: Nope. I don’t believe it.
Person 1: (grabs a passerby) Is snow real?
Passerby: (looks around for a hidden camera) Are you serious?
Person 1: Yes.
Passerby: Yes, of course snow is real. (runs away)
Person 1: See, I told you. Snow is real.
Person 2: None of my friends have ever seen it.
Person 1: But other people have.
Person 2: But I haven’t. And my friends haven’t either. So it’s not real.
Person 1: (shakes head and walks away)
Sounds ridiculous, right? What’s really ridiculous though, is that this is basically the discussion I’ve had with people after Colin Kaepernick decided not to stand during the national anthem to protest the conditions of black Americans. All you have to do is substitute in “injustice against blacks” where I mention “snow.”
People (mostly white) keep insisting that blacks aren’t having problems. They’ve never seen it happen, so it isn’t happening. They work with black people, so black people can obviously get jobs. They have black friends who agree with them that the Black Lives Matter movement is overblown.
I have yet to figure out why people cannot admit there is a race problem in the United States. What is the harm in admitting there is a problem?
Is it an ego thing? A need to feel superior?
Or perhaps it’s economics? The (erroneous) belief that there isn’t enough for everyone to have a good share?
Of course, I fail to see how anyone could derive ego satisfaction for achieving more under these circumstances. It’s like being excited about winning a race when you never told your opponent when the race would be. Sure, you won. But who did you really beat?
There IS a race problem in the United States. People can continue to deny it, but that only means that some day, perhaps not a day far in the future, it will all blow up. We will have to face it. And, because we tried to sweep it under the rug for so long, it will be bigger, messier, and much harder to eradicate than if we’d just dealt with it properly in the first place.