Friday, February 2, 2018

Incident at CVS (in which it is discovered that, yes, perhaps I am a Racist after all) ...

This happened yesterday at the CVS at Newburgh & 5 Mile. I went there to get some zinc lozenges to ward off the cough from the guy at work who refuses to stay home even though he is hacking up pieces of his broken lung (so to speak). In the back, near the cold remedies, I saw a young black mom with her 3 or 4 year old son. The kid was all bundled up against the Winter chill, like Ralphie in Jean Shepherd's "A Christmas Story." The woman was slim, and wore stylish plum trousers and Spanish-heeled ankle boots. The boy was asking for a toy, and though I couldn't hear her reply, it sounded as if she was going to refuse him. And that's when I had a thought I later regretted: I thought, if she can't afford to buy the kid a toy, maybe I'll offer to get it for him. But then my mind became engaged in finding the right kind of CVS generic ZiCam knock-off, which can be tricky. By the time I found the right stuff, the mom and son had walked off to the checkout. But, as fate would have it, I walked up to the checkout line right behind them. The kid was clutching a toy, so Mom had indeed agreed to buy him what he wanted. But now, he was holding a small bag of chocolate candy in his other (left) hand. And that's when I began to see what a great mother this woman was. The boy held up the candy and looked at his mother beseechingly. "What about this?" he asked, with his sad brown puppy dog eyes. "What about it?" asked the mom. The kid seemed stymied. Surely his mom must know what he meant. He wanted the candy in addition to the toy. Finally, he managed to softly say something to her, indicating that he would like the candy as well as the toy. "Maybe next time we come to CVS," Mom answered. "OK," the boy said, and put the candy back on the hanger he'd taken it from. His face was angelic. Compliant. He clearly adored and respected his mother. And then, it hit me about how evil my thought was of intruding on this amazing lady's mothering. She CLEARLY had everything well in hand. But even if she had not, my idea would have been a usurpation of her parental office of the rankest variety. In fact, it represented a treacherous attempt to sabotage the good work she had already done in raising her son. But not only that. Would I have had the same thought if this had been a young white mother? Possibly not. And then it hit me: The Bigotry of Low Expectations! How many times had I complained about Leftists when they exhibited this pernicious trait? A lot. And now I had been guilty of it. By now, the mom and son were gone, and I was paying for my items. But I caught up to them again in the parking lot. Their vehicle was parked next to my salt-white, once-orange Fiesta. I had caught them because it had taken Mom a while to fasten Junior into his car seat. I gave a smile and a grimace at the same time, as she zoomed off in her nice, clean, late-model Mercedes.

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