A Friend of Mine Was Jumped This Weekend While Standing Up Against Racism

So I’m going to tell you a story.  I’m not going to reveal the name of the person whom relayed the story to me, but I will reveal the name of the establishment where the event happened.  The story is being recounted from text messages, exchanged on this past Sunday morning.

And the story starts with a Youtube video…well, actually it was a Facebook video, that I shared. Here is the clip however; it should start at the 1-minute mark:

At about noon on Sunday morning, I got a Facebook message from a friend, which I will recount here:

Friend:  the video you posted… could have used you the other night
I was at a bar with 2 friends and guys were dropping “n-bombs, s-bombs, etc” left and right
my friend who has a black son, was like lets just go, i’m like no
i went up told these dudes to shut the fuck up
and then took a 3 on 1 beating
at a bar call rabbits

Me:  Oh man. I’m so sorry to hear it.
Friend: these were old dudes but the size of (name redacted.  Now the mutual acquaintance he mentions is by far twice my friends size, who is in the 5’6″ 140lb. range at best)
i actually walked out with only a few scrapes
totally fine
but man its hard to believe today that people talk like that
and no one says shit
Me: Oh nice, well I’m very happy to hear that.
Oh, I’m not surprised
Friend: yeah, I mean I think the bartender is part hispanic
but that video you posted hit home, except the crew I had were not able to defend themselves what so ever
Me: Yeah. I’ always aware of that when I’m out and about
Friend: yeah, I proably should have been a little more aware of that
Me: Ha ha ha…the things we learn
Friend: but thought someone else there would have backed me
Me: Yeah, for sure
Friend: but there was really hardly anyone else there
and then there was the cops that showed up
a whole other story
these assholes told them it was a political conversation
Me: Helpful at all?
Friend: oh fuck no
Me: Also not surprised
Friend:the dude in charge was probably an old racist piece of shit too
i didn’t press charges because I don’t want those dudes to know where I live
Me: Yeah
Friend: funny its like one step forward 2 steps back
Me: True, so true. We live in Trump country
Friend: yeah, exactly
fucking sucks
there were a few african american cops that showed up, but they sent them away
the main cop did
and is like I got this
Me: Of course he did
Friend: not that i’m surprised by it
just so fucking irritating
Me: Oh yeah. Well thank you for taking a stand at least. I’m glad you weren’t hurt
Friend: yeah, i didnt do much
i didnt even get a punch it in
Me: Mind if I share the gist of your story on my social media?
Friend: they had my hands behind my back
Me: Just saying something was a lot.
I’ll share anonymously, but will share the name of the bar
Friend: sure
the bar owner who wasn’t there apologized
Me: Oh cool. At least he did that much.
Friend: yeah, he is looking to 86 those guys
ill let you know
Me: Please do
Friend: anyway, i saw your video and that hit home
in a different way
Me: Yeah.
if you want to change this neighborhood
you got to let those fucks know that is not acceptable
Me: Exactly!
Friend: anyway, keep up the good fight
Me: Thank you brother, and thanks for being brave.
Friend: no need to thank me, it was a wake up call to see that things aren’t so different
Me: Yeah

So many thoughts go through my head at recounting that exchange, I don’t even really know where to begin.  But, I will start with a simple question:

What would you have done in that situation?

I tip my hat to the friend with which I had this conversation.  He put himself in serious danger, to stand up against racism.  While I didn’t say this to him, it didn’t escape me that he could have easily recounted that story from a hospital bed, or the story itself could’ve been lost to time if he’d been beaten to death.  That’s been happening to high school students as of late, so certainly could happen in a bar.
But he did it anyway.  And yes, in retrospect, when you do something that can be viewed as “heroic,” sometimes after you find yourself thinking, “Why the fuck did I do that?”
Needless to say, I don’t think there is much gray area when it comes to racism. And the saddest part, which became a huge issue during the last presidential election, is that so-called friends wanted to act like “we can still be cool” while they were supporting a man who was fanning the flames of racism, and courting white supremacists, white nationalists, and the trolling the dirges of white identity politics to get every vote he could muster…and still didn’t get a majority of popular votes.
If racism is tacitly ok with you, hell naw we ain’t friends.

And sometimes I sit and reflect…people try to tell me about their racist uncle, and how he spews his hateful diatribes at the dinner table…”but I keep my mouth shut because I don’t want to start a fight.”

The fuck?

I can’t even imagine…the perspective.  The cowardice?  People want to believe that racism doesn’t exist in 2019, or that it isn’t a “major” issue, or that it doesn’t exist in the “cosmopolitan city” of Chicago….

And I don’t have the luxury to choose to be an “ally in the struggle” when it suits me.  If I’m faced with a racist, I don’t have the luxury to take my skin off and blend in.

I wear me, 24/7….365.  This never comes off.  Nor would I ever want it to.  I am who I am, fully, and wonderfully.

It amazes me that in 2019, this is a daily topic of conversation.  From racist police to “Chicagoland high schoolers in black face” (the side note of that story is that those kids thought that was A-OK to do.  However, let’s keep in mind that as recently as last October, a similar incident happened on a college campus. And it was only 9 years ago that 2 Northwestern University students decided to black it up for the cameras.
I stop and wonder what the rest of the patrons in the bar were thinking, and doing, while my friend stood up for what is right?
I wonder why bar staff, who must have been able to hear the conversation if my friend could, didn’t ask them to leave?
And yes, I will say, wholeheartedly that I don’t think that leaving is enough.  Don’t just walk away in the face of hate.  That’s bullshit.  Say something.
Now, don’t land yourself in fisticuffs with 3 men, and sure as hell don’t stand idly by and watch your friend taking lumps…but fuck, at least say something to bar staff to the tune of “I didn’t know this was a bastion of racism. I won’t be returning to this establishment, and I will be writing letters to the manager, the owner, and the 3 largest newspapers in the city.  Good evening.”
And yes….follow through.

Yeah Jake, I hate Illinois Nazis too.

What would you have done in my friends situation?  Do you think my friend made the right move?    Let me know down below in the comments section!!

Step 2, if you liked what you read here, SHARE IT WITH OTHERS!!! Also, be sure to know every time I post a new entry by subscribing! Also, you can check out Reflections of a Chicago Life on Facebook. I post a lot of articles and we can have some wicked discussions on there. Be sure to click “Like”. You can also check me out on Twitter, and see all the things I see around the city on Instagram, and it still bears repeating…it’s important to have STANDARDS!!

This post was created on a  HP Pavilion x360.
I hate this computer. 

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