Change these stories / Racism

Don’t call me boy!

Life is uneven.

People speak about the highs and lows to describe the uneven course life takes; where positives such as peace, success and happiness don’t combine and flow in the continuum for which we hope and maybe pray.

Recently, together with some friends, I embarked on this blog /website call FeministAliens,   as a tool to help us agitate and advocate for change regarding the various forms of discrimination that leave us hurt, scarred and saddened. We are often bewildered; as we wonder how human beings’ can mistreat each other.

Some seems to result from an uneven share of knowledge.  As I was doing my Christmas shopping recently the cashier said to me, “I’ll get the boy to check that these headphones are working as soon as he is finished with that gentleman.

I looked across to discover she was pointing to two men, both roughly about the same age, one a customer, the other, a worker. I remarked that calling a man over 50 years, a boy was demeaning and given his ethnicity clearly racist.

Strenuously defended her behavior, she said: “He doesn’t complain about it. Bajan men around that age like to be call, boy, it makes them feel young, that is why they say they are going out with the boys.

I couldn’t convince her. By coincidence, I met the man/worker on his way to lunch, a few hours later. He said he wanted to tell the cashier about calling him boy, a long time ago, but her relatives owned the store. “She is my boss, see, and many jobs ain’t stirring,” he said.

Today as I reflect on this word prompt, I muse on the uneven distribution of knowledge and understanding in this world.  Power and wealth will never be shared evenly but  as we deal with the vulnerable, let us try to consider that  by not discriminating we can  dull some of the negative effects flowing from the unevenness and the disparities of this world.

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