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My Parents Told Me, “Never Lend Money to Blacks, Because You’ll Never Get Your Money Back!”

August 30, 2013

It might be good advice, but my parents don’t know ShiT! (on a side note: my parents never actually told me this, I just used it as a joke, and now apparently I’m a racist.)

At my workplace, I happen to work with an “African American,” even though he’s not from Africa. Ok, so he’s black? Yes, sorry I’m trying to be politically correct here. Don’t get me wrong before I go into this story. I’m white, predominately German, and live in America in the suburbs. I’m about as white as you can possibly get without being an albino. I’m not proud of my race as far as history is concerned and still continues to this day.

Anyways, I started to hit it off pretty good with my new co-worker, Reggie, and he knew I was into comedy, so I would try out some jokes with him and the rest of the kitchen staff. For example, one day I told him my middle name was Seth, making my name JoeSeth Arpke and he laughed. I tried out some other new material on him, which I don’t remember at the time, but he thought I was funny, and called me crazy and so on.

We had been working together now for a few months, and I was always hesitant about racial things, but I began asking him some things out of curiosity. For example, he said he grew up in Milwaukee, and I asked, “Did you grow up on the North side?” Right away he said, “Why, because I’m black?”

I responded by saying, “No, I’m just curious because I’ve always heard the North side was pretty bad and I’m just curious about. It’s cool that you were able to move away.”

Anyways, as I grew more comfortable around him, I began joking around with him more and asking more racial questions. I don’t know, I thought we were cool, and he seemed pretty easy going, but apparently I crossed the line by “razzing” him a little much. Like, if I razz you, that’s a good thing. I only razz people I like.

One day he asked if he could borrow money, so I made the joke, “My parents told me not to borrow money to blacks, because I’ll never get my money back.”

“OHHHH MY GOD! Are you serious? DAMN!,” was the response.

I told him that my parents don’t know shit though and then I borrowed him the $5. A couple days later there was a tiny bible by the cash register that a customer gave one of the waitresses, so I went back by Reggie and handed it to him. He looked at it, laughed a little and said thanks. Out of me not knowing when to shut my mouth, I said, “hopefully you will read some of that to remind you to pay me back.”

Anyways, those are just some examples. Some of you may be thinking, what the hell is wrong with you? You can’t say that shit! And some of you might be thinking, I don’t know, it’s kind of funny. So what’s the point? The point is, even times when I wasn’t trying to make jokes or sound racist, whatever. I would get the race card pulled on me. One day I asked him if he rapped, because I was working on some beat-boxing and I thought it would be cool to do together. And he says, “Does every black person rap?” Obviously not, but I hear you singing in the kitchen all the time, so what the hell? So, he told my boss that I’ve been telling black jokes and it’s got to stop.

This kind of pissed me off, because I’m not racist, I don’t use the N or C word because I find them highly offensive, and all of a sudden Reggie is calling me a bigot and so on. I do know a bunch of racist jokes, but I never told them, because I find them stupid and offensive. The jokes I told were conversationally like I do with anyone I razz who I consider to be a friend. So I digress. It’s OK for him to give his phone number to attractive waitresses and bartenders we work with and try to hook-up with, party with, and so on. It’s OK for him to come to work and ask me just about every other day if I want to smoke-up with him, even though I told him I don’t do that shit anymore, numerous times. It’s OK for him to sell drugs to co-workers out the backdoor at the restaurant. But god forbid I say a stupid joke, he runs to my boss. I find it interesting where society is going on race issues and being politically correct.

It reminded me about this episode of What Would You Do? It’s a hidden camera show with actors in a live situation. In this episode an actor plays a black father with his white daughter, then the rolls switch and an actor plays a white father with his black daughter.

Does anyone else find this video a little fucked up? Ok, when people were sticking up for the black father I was glad to see that, because yes, that isn’t right to be questioned like that as a black father to a white child. On the other hand, not one person stuck up for the white father and his black daughter. Everyone called the police. Really? Even when the black actress came in playing the mother, people still questioned it saying she probably wasn’t the mother. I don’t know. It’s just amazing to me. So is this where our society is heading?

Don’t get me wrong, everything done creatively in society predominately came from whites stealing African American ideas. For example, rock and roll and country music wouldn’t exist without the blues and jazz, which Elvis Presley made his living off of. Sports would be far less entertaining without black athletes and the only true art you find comes through a lot of pain and suffering, which unfortunately a lot of African Americans went through as slaves and later faced in society even after they were free.  But sometimes, I feel like today African Americans can be oversensitive and pull the black card. When something happens involving black and white, it tends to get blown out of proportion, and maybe it wasn’t about black and white at all in the first place. I don’t know, it’s all situational, and I’m not saying we should be over black and white issues, because it definitely still exists today, but I don’t think using the black card helps the issue.

I have plenty of cards I could pull myself, but I choose not to use them. Obviously, skin color is very apparent, but it’s how you carry yourself. I could use the card of- I’m an Alcoholic, or I’m an Addict, or I’m Bipolar, but I don’t let people define who I am. When I hear the word crazy, I don’t get offended because I take medication to stay sane. When people drink or talk drugs around me, I don’t get offended, I just choose not to be associated with it. Yes, I have my faults and society against me too, when it comes to understanding and acceptance, but that’s my issue not society’s.  All I can try to do is somehow be above the influence, and believe in something bigger than myself and all the bull-shit.

If you are still reading, yes Reggie did pay me back in full and quite promptly. After he told on me, I told him that I told the boss that he was selling drugs and trying to fuck the female faculty. I then laughed and told him I didn’t, but I said, “Two can play this game. You want to call a spade a spade.” Then he started calling me a snitch, which I never did, and testing me, but I deserved it I guess. I no longer work at this restaurant and it wasn’t due to Reggie, I just luckily found a better paying job, with benefits, and guaranteed full-time hours. Reggie doesn’t work at the restaurant now either. I don’t think he ever got “busted,” for anything and I’m glad he didn’t due to it, because I used to do the same shit. It would be hypocritical of me to want him fired. As far as I know, he quit on his own terms, and to be honest the restaurant was kind of a sinking ship anyways.

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