Seating conflict example of racism

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As I begin to write this letter, I must first state that I am totally against racism of any sort. In 2013, one would think that we should be a better nation. I am here to tell you that racism is still very much alive and raises its ugly head quite often.
Graduation exercises (at Groesbeck High School Football Stadium) begun at 8 p.m. on May 31, 2013. My husband, sister and I arrived at the football stadium around 7:25 to get good seats. We approached the 50-yard line where there were two half-empty rows of seats. We noticed that a Caucasian lady was sitting middle ways on a bench with a purse about seven or eight feet from her.

As my husband, sister and I began to sit at the end of the bench another Caucasian lady and a Caucasian gentleman on the top row next to the rails stated that we could not sit there because they were saving those two rows of seats for their family who was running late. My husband told them that they could not hold seats and that no one had tickets to any of the seats. He told them, “First come, first served.”

As we began to sit down the Caucasian gentleman at the top row kicked me in the back. As I turned around to look at him, he said, “Excuse me.” The conversation continued with the Caucasian gentleman and lady at the top. The lady stated that they were there to see their special needs grandson graduate, and that I should get me some Jesus. I in turn told her she should get her some Jesus and that I had a grandson who was special to me graduating as well.

The racism continued, so my husband got up and said, “We can fix this problem.” The Caucasian gentleman rose up, perhaps thinking my husband wanted to tangle with him, which was not the case. My husband left and returned with a policeman, but while he was gone, the gentleman told me I did not know whom I was messing with. I told him that if he hit me again I would file the biggest lawsuit he ever seen. The police asked if there were any problems. The couple then stated, “No.”

The third row was still empty, which at that time, the lady with the purse had moved and placed her purse in the center of the row. A few moments later, a few members of my family arrived, so I stood and pointed to where we were. As my family proceeded to sit, the lady with the purse got upset and told my daughter she was not going to sit by them. Plain and simple my daughter told her to just move then.

Later, my eldest daughter arrived. There was still space on the top row. My daughter asked if anyone was sitting there. The gentleman said, “No” and moved over. As the graduation continued my daughter noticed the gentleman going into his pocket and putting tobacco into his mouth. After getting the tobacco soft and chewy, he turns and spits his tobacco on her arm. She tells him that he spit on her arm and to watch it. He again says, ‘’I’m sorry.” It is my understanding that no form of tobacco products or liquor is allowed on the campus.

I know the name of the family who came to see their grandson. Perhaps they assumed that since we were surrounded by peers of their nationality that they were somehow safe with their acts of racism. However, there was a Caucasian couple sitting in front of us. The lady said to me, “My motto is this. If I am driving the speed limit and someone behind me is in a hurry and needs me to pull over, I simply say to myself, “You should have left home earlier.” If I am in a hurry and someone is in front of’me that is going the speed limit, “I say, ‘Self, you should’ve left earlier.’”

I thanked her and agreed with her motto. I had numerous family members that were running late and I never tried to save any seats. We were scattered throughout graduation.

I am 62 and have experienced many acts of racism, but this one took the cake. I felt it necessary to write this letter in hopes that those who feel they have the right to treat other nationalities with disrespect simply because they are the majority and somehow believe themselves to be superior in certain situations that it does not make them right. I feel that it is a shame on all who feel this way because my God sees everyone as equals. So for those that don’t believe that God is watching and knows every evil deed or thought, you are totally wrong.

Oh, just a little humor. I would love to know what Tyler Perry’s Madea would have done in a situation of this sort.

Bettie Jackson
Groesbeck