Note: Today’s opinion comes from Ellen Lane of Clunge, Virginia.
As a very progressive woman, I have long prided myself on being at the forefront of my community’s quest for equality. I exclusively hire minorities to do my yard chores. I post notes on my HOA’s community board to bring awareness to minority events. I vote Democrat. I understand that my husband even has two of them working at his office and says he might consider letting one of them be his golf caddy. In all of this, my husband and I feel like we’ve really connected with minorities locally and like we really understand their pain and their plight.
After George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, I hurt for the local minority community. I wanted to help, and I immersed myself in it. Ultimately, I carried signs and shouted slogans for them right through our little town’s main square, and after seeing someone doing it on the news, I even went out and found a black man and I washed his feet while pleading with him for forgiveness for the sins that have been imposed upon his people.
You’d think he’d say thank you, right?
Instead, he had the audacity to look me square in the eye and suggest that instead of washing his feet, I should be contacting my local politicians about making meaningful changes in law enforcement.
Can you just imagine the gall?
I don’t think these people realize just what we’re doing for them, just how difficult it is to accomplish the things we’ve accomplished for them over the past month. We’ve cancelled hundreds of Twitter users. We took the confederate flags out of NASCAR. We convinced the Dixie Chicks — that’s right, those Dixie Chicks, the very pride of middle class white women everywhere — to change their names for them. We gave them a June holiday (and right in the middle of LGBTQIA+ Month, I might add!). We even changed the syrup bottles, a campaign I have been behind for a years and am thankful finally happened so I can dig out all of the old Aunt Jemima bottles I’ve been picking up at bric-a-brac sales and sell them on Ebay.
All this, and I was still willing to get out a bar of lye soap and wash this man’s feet.
How much more can they ask for?
I mean, read it slowly, let it sink in: I washed his feet, for fuck’s sake!
Neither I nor the nanny have washed my own kid’s feet since they’ve been old enough to do it for themselves, but I washed his feet. Now this? What exactly do those people expect? How selfish can people be? That man clearly didn’t appreciate the sacrifice I had just made for his people!
Look, I want the police to stop beating and killing those people as much as the next guy, but what happens if we train the police to just stop using excessive force and to be respectful and I suddenly see someone who makes me uncomfortable in my own neighborhood? You know the type: unemployed, dirty, in need of a belt. Then what? Do you honestly think calling the police and having them politely remove him is enough of a deterrent? Or don’t you think having the police rough them up juuust a little will help keep them out of this part of town where they can only drive down property values? I mean, sure, maybe the police could use a little more training, but aren’t we going just a wee bit overboard here? If the police aren’t going to use any force, I’m almost to the point of thinking it’s easier to just take my valuables out of my Volvo and taking my chances that one of them will rifle through my glove compartment.
I’ve made a lot of sacrifices for their community, but it creates quite a conundrum when they’re asking me to remove one of the most important conveniences — a compliant police department — from mine.
I was thinking about setting up a charity to help the underprivileged get manicures, but I don’t know anymore. I really wanted to do something for them, but I’m not so sure now that I see how unappreciative those people are.