Saturday, November 28, 2009

Overheard at the gym

“…but they can’t handle the fact that he’s a young black man who’s got his thing together.”

I smiled silently on the other side of the wall. Brother whitey giving it up for the Brother-in-Chief, in this very red part of a blue state (I saw a bumper sticker today that read GIVE ME BACK MY MONEY; YOU CAN KEEP THE “CHANGE”).

“That’s the part I can’t stand. They have no reason to hate him, but they do, just because he’s not what they’re used to. A black man with his thing together, they’re jealous and resentful, so they go after him in the media. It’s cowardly.”

I tied my laces and got up to leave, nodding, feeling a bit better about this place where I live with such frustration, with so many reservations.

“It’s like Jesus Christ, you know?” His lockermate snorted, but I knew what he meant. “Another young guy with his thing totally together who challenged the way things were, but they couldn’t handle it so they went after him.” Still his friend chuckled derisively.

“Hey, I’m not saying Tiger Woods is on the same level with Jesus Christ, that’s not what I’m saying.”

Oh. I thought he was talking about someone else. Someone, you know, with his thing together. Not that Tiger doesn’t have his thing together.

“I just think they should give the guy a break, that’s all.”

Yeah OK. Give him a break. A car accident, is that what it was? Or marital trouble, he’s seeing someone on the side, something like this? M-kay. He’s a golfer. Good player, seems like. One of the best. Now, some personal problems. Uh-huh.

Righto, well that’s about it for the world of sport. Next time I’ll tackle the world of supermarket checkout line hostility. I’ll tackle the subject, not the guy in line behind me. Which I almost did. Actually I almost brained him with a frozen turkey. But that’s another story.

At least locker room guy stood up against the unfairness of bigotry. I still feel a little bit better about living here. Not quite as much but a little. It’s something.

I think they should give that other guy a break too.

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