Racism Is Alive And Well …

I don’t know about you, folks, but I’m getting a mite tired of people calling themselves “patriots”, then using ethnic slurs and denigrating African-Americans, Latinos, Middle-Easterners and others, simply because they believe their white skin makes them somehow special.  In fact, I am damn sick and tired of it.

The latest?  It happened in Albany, New York, where a black employee of the local Home Depot store was fired for defending himself against a man hurling racial epithets at him for no reason other than … the colour of his skin.RuckerMaurice Rucker, 60-years-old, was working in the garden center at Home Depot last week when a male Caucasian came into the area with an unleashed dog.  Mr. Rucker simply asked him to leash his dog per the rules of the store.  Company policy, nothing more. The unidentified customer went ballistic …

“If Trump wasn’t president, you wouldn’t even have a job. You’re from the ghetto, what do you know?”

The man continued spewing racial epithets and expletives until finally Mr. Rucker had enough and said, “You’re lucky I’m at work, because if I wasn’t you wouldn’t be talking to me like this.”

Five days later Mr. Rucker was fired by Home Depot.  Why?  Because his words were perceived as a threat.  Oh wait … it’s okay for the white dude to curse and rail at the black man, but the black man is not allowed to civilly ask the white man to treat him with respect?

“I’m a black man, and I have dealt with all levels of racism all my life. I am not going to accept racist behavior at work, home, the streets or anyplace else.”

Good for you, Mr. Rucker.  I stand behind you 100%!

Mr. Rucker had been with Home Depot for ten years and earlier this month was named “Cashier of the Month”.  Yesterday, Home Depot had a change of heart and offered Mr. Rucker his job back, complete with back pay.  No word on whether Mr. Rucker accepted or what prompted the company’s change of ‘heart’.  I would be inclined to tell them where they could put their job, but … one must pay the rent and eat.

No less than three incidents of blatant public racist behaviour crossed my screen last night, all involving white people telling non-whites they “don’t belong here” or are “stupid” and hurling vulgar epithets for no other reason than that they can.  In just the past few weeks, we have witnessed episodes of racism in coffee shops, picnic areas, grad school dorms, suburban cul-de-sacs, golf courses, and public pools, to name a few.

Most recently …

A group of high schoolers from a Spokane youth group traveled to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, last Thursday to hear a guest preacher. Afterward, the group’s leader, Jose Ceniceros, took them out for ice cream at McDonald’s.  According to witnesses, as they were leaving the kids were being a bit loud, as kids will do, and one man took offense. Richard Sovenski followed the group to the parking lot, punched Mr. Ceniceros, then began screaming racial slurs at the kids.  There is a video of this tirade that I will not embed in this post, for it is beyond vulgar, but Sovenski goes on for several minutes saying things like …

“I will f— you up in a f—in’ heartbeat you f—n’ little faggot. Oh you f—you, you f—in’ half breed. Get the f— out of Idaho.”

Who died and left him the boss of Idaho???sovenskiSovenski had a friend with him trying to get him back inside the restaurant, but the friend also made obscene gestures toward the kids.  By the time police arrived, Sovenski was gone and it took them 5 days to ultimately arrest him on charges of misdemeanor battery and felony malicious harassment.

Earlier this month, 57-year-old Anne Marie Messiano of Pearl River, New York, went on a racist rant on a public bus, calling other passengers the n-word and “illegal immigrants” before attacking one of several riders who was recording her tirade.  Messiano faces charges of disorderly conduct, aggravated harassment and criminal obstruction of breathing.  ‘Criminal obstruction of breathing’?  That’s a new one for me.

Last week, Bentley Sanon was on his way to drop off his young son, when he was accosted by a racist driver who spewed racial insults at him.

I have no doubt that there are more of these incidents happening all over the country every day, for the ones I just told you about popped onto my radar without me even going in search of, all within a span of a few hours.  Why?  Well, what do you expect when both the president of the country and the secretary of Homeland Security publicly announce that some white supremacists are ‘fine people’.  What do you expect when the president pardons the most racist former sheriff in the nation, calling him a fine man?  What do you expect when neo-Nazis and white supremacists are running for seats in the U.S. Congress?

I have always been a firm supporter of the right to freedom of speech, the 1st Amendment.  I still am, but I think, in light of the fact that a portion of the citizens of this nation have shown that they lack good sense and common decency, there must be some boundaries on that free speech.  We simply cannot tolerate people abusing others simply because they don’t like the colour of their skin or the partner they chose to love.  This is insanity!  Those who wish to live in a lily white, Christian nation should go find one.  The United States is a diverse nation and will always be.  We need to be better than this, folks … we really need to be better before more people die from simply being who they are.  Think about it.

45 thoughts on “Racism Is Alive And Well …

  1. No matter how much people try to hide and say no to racism, it’s like they are saying yes instead. Left to me the so called Home depot should be sanctioned as they are consciously supporting racism. He was hired back because of open criticisms, what of those perils faced by others due to racism in dark places where no one can point their touch. Seriously strict and followed laws should be placed if are leaders are truly involved and willing to bury racism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m 100% in agreement with you, and yes, he was only hired back because of the public outcry. Many more are discriminated against on a daily basis, but they are afraid to speak out for fear of even greater retaliation. And yes, there should be strict laws that are strictly enforced with heavy penalties for those that break them. But sadly, there is a fairly large contingent these days who support “white supremacy”, and they happen to be Trump’s followers. We are sliding backward, almost as if we have forgotten the lessons of the Civil Rights era. I don’t like what I see. I just don’t know how to change it. I keep using what little voice I have in hopes that others will too, and that someday we will make a difference.


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  3. I’m a 911 dispatcher in California’s Silicon Valley, I answer racist calls on a daily basis. My police agency covers a rather affluent area where it’s mostly older and wealthy white couples living in their mansions that cost $36 million. I answered a call the other day, and this older woman started ranting about a suspicious person in her neighborhood walking around. When I asked her what made him suspicious she would only offer me the explanation that “he didn’t belong there”, but as soon as she described him to me, I knew that the only reason she thought that was because he was black. Unfortunately due to policy we had to send an officer out. He made contact with the gentleman and it turns out, he was her neighbor. He was a rather successful neurosurgeon, but because he was black she decided he must be a criminal and up to no good. You would be surprised of what racism I have to hear everyday. It’s a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is indeed a shame and a sad statement of what our society is becoming. I can only imagine the things you deal with in your job. Thank you for visiting my blog, and most of all for sharing your story … it makes it all the more real for us.


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  5. “there must be some boundaries on that free speech.” Said the slaveholder in a discussion about his uppity slaves.
    “Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure there is one less rascal in the world.” ~ Thomas Carlyle Because “Nothing is so contagious as example; and we never do any great good or evil which does not produce its like.” ~ Francois de la Rochefoucauld (1613-1680)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unfortunately, people cannot seem to be counted on to use common sense, decency or kindness in their speech, and when speech leads to violence and lives lost, then it’s time for some filters.


  6. Dear Jill,
    Home Depot ought to thank God that they offered Mr. Rucker his job back, or I would never step foot in that store again.
    These all too many stories like the ones above of White racists under the administration of President Trump, feeling entitled to accost decent peoples of color to yell epithets, etc,

    Once upon when I was working to help a Black child as a Guardian Ad Litem, I went home crying because this sweet child asked me if I wished she were White? No child of color should ever wonder out loud about her/ his value?

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  7. speech is only “free” until it negatively impacts upon another. There are already laws in place. harassment, verbal assault, hate speech are all prohibited. Of course, that doesn’t stop the absolute MORONS running around this country spewing forth their vile epithets. What can we do? For one thing, stand up to the asshats doing the yelling. Get next to the person being abused and simply put your hand on their shoulder and walk away from the idiots. That generally shuts them up. it doesn’t help when the asshat has a gun, a baseball bat, or whatever…but if it is just speech, it works really well. Do not be the cameraman…take a stand.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Jill, ditto, ditto, ditto. I especially like “Those who wish to live in a lily white, Christian nation should go find one. The United States is a diverse nation and will always be.” Think about it. A nation of all white, Christian, conservative, straight, people would be sooooooo boring. God bless America!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! No, that is NOT a nation I want to live in. I will not, in fact, live in such a nation, for as you said, it would be boring and frankly, these days I’m finding I don’t much like those white conservative Christians!

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Trump’s America. He’s their last ‘great white hope’. Make America white again. These people need to be called out whenever and wherever they spew this racist crap. Never thought I’d see this in America again.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I can only say this. I have a 16-year-old bi-racial nephew. He will be 17 next month. He graduates high school next year with honors. He plans to go on to study sports medicine as a way of dealing with a sports injury that crushed his spirit for a while. He had a rough year filled with frustration and disappointment and yet he kept his grades up in advanced classes with honors. To reward him, his grandparents bought him a car. It’s used, but.nice enough for a teenager to want to drive. When I saw him driving for the first time, my spirit uttered a prayer for safe keeping. I have a picture of him peeking out from under a baby blanket and each time I hear the news, my spirit sends up a prayer for him. He’s the first grandbaby of the next generation in our family. He has already been harassed at a stop light but he has been taught not to respond – don’t even look. His parents had to have “the talk” with him before they handed him the keys because there are people that will only see the color of his skin and he may not get the chance to make a good impression. It’s strange how “the talk” takes on a different meaning. His parents know he is a teenager- somewhere between a man and a boy but he is not entitled to some of the privileges like making mistakes or being angry. He is always reminded that no matter who he is, his skin in black. That is a sad true story in 2018 because we want him to come home each night.

    Liked by 4 people

    • First, let me say that it sounds like your nephew is one AWESOME young man … and he has a pretty cool aunt, too! He seems to have a good head on his shoulders and I hope he has a happy life! Second, though … isn’t it just too damn sad that we have to teach our young people to not even so much as look an antagonist … or even a cop, the people who are supposed to protect us ALL … in the eye. This is not how it’s supposed to be, and I so fear for the young people like your nephew who have two strikes against them before they even take the first pitch in life. Thank you so much for sharing your nephew with us!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I can’t help but to think of him during these times. He is a special boy and mature of his age. I always hope that by hearing stories like this people will stop and think but unfortunately very little has changed in these past 50 years regarding racism. Thank you for keeping us aware and informed.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I didn’t read all the sad yucky stuff above since I just don’t have the patience for it, but I certainly agree that no one should be subjected to abuse, especially at work–one would expect the workplace to protect the worker and throw out the bum doing the abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s disgusting. And yet, these white bigots will cry, moan and weep claiming it’s reverse racism because everyone around them doesn’t bow down and kiss their arses because…well…because they’re white, and they’re entitled to such treatment. The blatant snowflakery of whites who become offended merely by the presence of someone with black or brown skin is mind-numbing. Never has there been a bigger group of mewling babies than the white folks cited in your post above and others like them. Perhaps they all need to be deported to a nice safe-space where everyone around them will be white and hold the same ideals they do. You know, like Russia.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is mind-numbing indeed, and I don’t see an end in sight, for our government looks on in silence or else condones the behaviour. Where does it lead? Another Civil War, perhaps, but there is no line of demarcation, for the racism is prevalent throughout the nation. Sending them all to Russia … specifically Siberia … sounds like a wonderful idea!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. My Son, of whom I am extremely proud, is the Executive Director of a non-profit group that provides support to families and individuals with disabilities. They have incorporated these words of Howard Dalton Winters as part of their mission. I think these words could also pertain to eliminating the plague of racism and bigotry. “Civilization is the process in which one gradually increases the number of people included in the term ‘we’ or ‘us’ and at the same time decreases those labeled ‘you’ or ‘them’ until that category has no one left in it.” I do not understand why this concept is so difficult for many to grasp. Thank-you!

    Liked by 5 people

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