No Whites Allowed – An MLK Day Tragedy

Martin Luther King Day – a day where we commemorate a man who worked tirelessly to bring about change in our great nation. It is a day where we are able to step back and reflect on how far we’ve come as a nation. It would also appear it reminds us of how far we have yet to go.

“So, the NAACP threw a big feast today. They gave our company meal vouchers, and asked that they only be handed out to Black folk. So, I just need someone to tell me how I should feel… Cuz right now, I’m hungry”

I was absolutely floored when I saw the above status on my friend’s page. It hurt me to my heart to see that an organization I have always equated to civil rights and equality for all  was DISCRIMINATING against non-blacks. In my mind (my very southern born and bred mind) it was wrong. It was no less wrong than refusing to serve blacks in the diners during the sit-ins of the 60’s. It was no less wrong than having different water fountains, bathrooms, train cars and days to attend the zoo in the Jim Crow South. It was no less wrong than the racism and segregation that we are supposed to be celebrating having overcome.

I must say that my friend is a great person. He did not post anything angry or rant about the injustice of it. Many people would have. I did. He was totally gracious about it though. That almost makes it even MORE frustrating that he was denied the opportunity to, as he put it, “… break bread with my friends because I’m not the right color…”.

I’ve heard the theories of how black people can’t “really be racist” because they are not in a position of power. I cannot say that I can agree as it is my opinion that anyone of any color can be racist. It’s just that without power your racism doesn’t count for very much. I certainly can’t see the exclusion of white people from a luncheon at a workplace (WHATEVER the occasion) as anything but racial discrimination.

There are those who will disagree with me and I will probably be called a name or two. But we cannot claim victory over racism in one hand while shocking it back to life with the other. I can only hope my poor starving friend got to eat eventually. I know next time he’s up this way, my black guilt and I will definitely buy him a burrito.

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Comments

  1. That’s really interesting. You’re right- NAACP is well known for civil rights, tolerance, etc. and it is sad that they opted to exclude any one race. Maybe it wasn’t anything that went beyond an example of what happened barely 50 years ago? That this was an example of what the African American community went through with segregation but still allowed the rest of the employees who aren’t black to eat? I hope?

    I also agree with you that ANYONE of ANY color can be racist. I’ve heard it even said “You can’t be racist against white people because they created it!” or some other nonsense. Um, no. Racism is racism regardless of the skin color of the recipient or the skin color of the person being racist. We’re one race.. the human race.

    My opinion, of course is neither wrong nor right, is that we are one. We are brothers and sisters- some of us are pasty (me, lol, even though my dad is half Native American… how I am so pale is beyond me LOL), some of us are dark… our external shell matters not at all… we are all human beings.

    I loved this post, Krissy. I know that our world still has many, many, many hurdles to leap but I really believe that we are making progress as a country. Well… I am hoping so!

    • I’m so glad that you were able to see what I was trying to say with this post. I shy away from these topics a lot because they make people so uncomfortable, but I feel like it is time I start addressing some of these things. So many times they just get swept under the rug and that shouldn’t be the case. It should be addressed when ANYONE of ANY race does it. Things are changing for sure… but this made me sad.

      Oh, and sorry it took so long to reply… just wanted to reply thoughtfully so I waited til I had a reprieve (which is rare. Crazy kids) Thank you for reading. 🙂

  2. Minute Made Papa says:

    Well said by both MMM and Jaime Huff. It truly is a shame that this happened. Period.