Two Sets of Rules: Powerful & Powerless

By Beverly Gadson-Birch 

Since the beginning of time, people of color inhabited the Earth. Everyone is different! Even identical twins are different.  Think about it!

There lies a lot of conflict.  With different personalities and backgrounds, folks are bound to disagree.  However, our differences should not be grounds for cultural or racial disrespect.  Neither should egregious behavior in government be accepted as the “new norm”.

It should never be acceptable to vote someone into office with sexual misconduct looming over their head, regardless of party affiliation, in order to maintain a majority vote.

Yes, I am referring to the Republican nominee from Alabama, Roy Moore.  It’s a darn shame what this country is willing to accept in order to maintain a majority Republican Congress.

At first it seemed that the President was taking a hands-off approach to Roy Moore. And, he should have! After all the President was not only accused of “groping” and” sexual misconduct” towards women but was caught on tape making light of his inappropriate acts with no consequences.

Now that Moore’s election is crucial to maintaining a majority Republican Congress, some of his followers are willing to forget his past and downplay the victims’ claims of sexual misconduct.   

Since President Trump took office, sordid behavior is in and ethical behavior out.

How low are we willing to go?

While on the subject of Two Sets of Rules” I was in one of our major building supplies store where I spend thousands of dollars each year for my home and business.

There was only one store clerk checking out and a long line of customers waiting to be served.  I decided to walk over to the “Self Check-Out” where one of the employees was helping a customer.  I was next and the only other customer in line until one of my blond brothers walked up.

Well, you guessed it. The employee never acknowledged me but said to my blond brother, go to the next “Self Check-Out” and I will be with you in a minute.  She ignored my presence and waited on him.  I told her you knew I was next but you dismissed my presence and served the gentleman behind me.

What’s the matter?  Is my money worthless; or, am I?  Is my time not just as important as my blond brother? I summoned the manager and before I could finish explaining what happened, he jumps to his employee’s defense by saying “perhaps she just didn’t’ see you”.  Oh, now y’all know that did not sit well with me.

I said “didn’t see me? She didn’t have any problems seeing my blond brother behind me.  I must be invisible and just don’t know it.  Is that it? or, is the clerk’s action what is known as “subtle racism”.

While my encounter may seem insignificant to you, it was disrespectful to me. Subtle racism is what leads to aggressive racism if you don’t nip it in the bud.

Do not allow folks to dismiss you.  Demand respect where you spend your money.  And, as a US citizen, you have the same rights and privileges as any other person on this planet as provided for under the United States Constitution.

So, why did I make a big deal out of my check out line experience that day? It happens far too frequently than I am willing to accept.  My time is just as important as my blond brother and we should have been served in sequential order.

I don’t have a problem with racism because I know who I am. Although when folks mess with me, I detest it and I address it.  I don’t practice racism and I don’t allow folks to practice it on me.

That’s my take on racism—subtle or otherwise!  And, if we look the other way and dismiss sexual misconduct by the powerful, it is wrong no matter how you cut it.

The powerful have no more rights than the powerless.

Even in the kiddies’ rhyme, Humpty Dumpty sat high up on a wall and had a great fall.  And all of the king’s horses and men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

So, it is with the powerful.  To the powerful, you may change the rule today to cover up your improprieties to gain a Congressional seat but tomorrow your kingdom will come down.

The Trumpty Dumpty reign has been in chaos since day one. A White House divided against itself cannot stand. Stay tuned!

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