Sunday, May 24, 2015


Someone online has started calling me a racist.

At first, it left me a little uncertain, a little unsettled. My brain began to collate my own personal history with the question of race, and the fact that I, indeed, have been a lifelong victim of racism, and persecution. So it left me really puzzled, initially. Who was this person? And what had I done that must have been so horrible--so terrible--that accusations of racism were now being flung in my direction?

Then I realized that that must be how every racist thinks. That somewhere in their mind one of the synapses has made a very clear decision that "Nope, I'm not having any more of this. There is no possibility of me being a racist".

There was a lot of smoke in the room. And there was this...mixture of noise. I almost felt like I was right at home, that this was my comfy place. Being in this zone allowed me the privilege of contemplation. Because, usually, I'm very blunt to people. Very tit for tat. You say words to me, I disintegrate your previous comment with a special mix of my own. Extremely quickly, but regardless of thought or conscience. It has landed me in oceans of trouble, but over the years I've learned to deal with this annoying feature of mine. Seriously I can only be friends with people who already know I'm not really a terrible man. Because of shit that I say.

Anyway, this time I was able to come back with a decent response, I feel. "I don't want to be," I said to my accuser. But I said it while looking directly into his eyes. "I never want to be that. Never want to be that person. How could you even suggest such a thing?"

We were floating in mid-air, flying through space as though passengers in an aeroplane. Except, there was no plane. There wasn't even an aisle or two. Everything had stopped existing, and there were only two people. Me, the defendant, and my accuser. "Witness, I explained to the fellow, "how quickly we are traveling. At this speed, there is just no--room--for racism."

"So you will accept me as I am?"



"I can't." By this time I had become blind. You know how some people can smell different colors? Blue and orange? Some people can actually live just by imagining those colors. I was feeling like that was happening to me, at that point.

My opponent was not an idiot by any stretch. He knew what was going on. He knew the number of the game. He knew I was a real person, with buttons. Buttons that could be pushed. "So you are a racist. Who won't accept me."

"I need you to tell me about you. I need to hear your story," I replied. "That's all. I need to learn about you--who you are, your name--everything about you. What cellphone plan you subscribe to, your purchasing habits. The decisions you make in everyday life."

The accuser stared at me, but I had already been looking directly into his eyes all the while. I felt I was a passionate man, and that I had empathy, and so it allowed me to figure people out, simply by staring into their eyes. They unravel, you see. They unfold. Characteristics slowly seep out. Diagnostics are revealed and their personality slowly starts to shine. "You see, I could stare at you like this forever. But it would take a very long time. And the results would probably not be as accurate as--"

"As what?"

"--as, if you told me in your own words."

"So what you're saying is that this is an opportunity for me. To disclose details, to reveal myself. You are opening yourself up to my manner of being, allowing me to penetrate your existence with my wholeness."

"As data," I carefully pointed out. "Information about who you are."


That night they called me names in my sleep. Names from when I was young. Disparaging names. Mutilations. But I knew who I was, so I just waved back, and I was terribly arrogant about it.