Some years back I was staying at a long-stay hotel. I’m something of a night owl so I got to be pretty good friends with a gal who worked the front desk at night. She was a wonderful person, happy all the time. A smile that could light up a thousand nights all at once. She also happened to be black, which I never even thought about until…
You might remember that year when suddenly The Grammy’s was “racist?” The media went on and on and on about how “racist” the Grammy’s were, because less black actors won Grammy’s than did white actors. That was when my friend changed. No more bright smile. No more laughing. No more happy. No more joyful gleem in her eyes. I asked her what was wrong, but she wouldn’t say. She’d say things like, “I’m just really tired” or whatever to be polite, but I knew there was something else. I had a feeling it was the Grammy’s thing, but I didn’t want to assume. So I looked into the Grammy’s thing a bit more and learned some things. After she was still very obviously upset a couple days later, I said, “What do you think about the Grammy’s thing?” She just sadly looked down and didn’t say anything. Then I said, “Did you know that around 20% of the Grammy winners this year are black, and that’s in spite of African Americans making up less than 13% of the population of America?” She thought about that for a moment…and wouldn’t you know it: Her smile returned. Her eyes lit up. She said, “REALLY?!” “Yes” I said, “So with The Grammy’s going to black actors at nearly double the rate of the African-American population of America, obviously the truth is that America actually really loves black actors a lot.” She was back to her irresistibly cheerful self after that. Instantly.
What really struck me about that event, was that all of her joy was stolen by people who TOLD HER that the Grammy’s meant she was living in a racist country. People who manipulate facts for a living TOLD HER she shouldn’t be happy in a “racist” country. In the weeks leading up to The Grammy’s, many nights she had been at the front desk of that hotel smiling and laughing and joking for hours at a time…with her white friend. But that all changed after that year’s Grammy’s, right up until the truth thankfully set her free. I thank God I was there in person, because if we had just been Facebook friends then “Fact-Checkers” would have had their way and she could have become one of those who were killed by an oncoming car while trying to block the freeway. She sure was miserable enough to stand in a freeway, after being “informed” she was living in such a horrible “racist country” where everybody hates her.
Oh and President Trump isn’t racist either, but what’s the truth got to do with Divide & Conquer? I know this:
I have a dream. I have a dream to live in a nation where people are judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their uniform.