While we may like to think that in 2017, racism is a thing of the past, it simply isn’t.
In fact, believing that cases of racism are rare in our modern world and that we no longer have to work towards making our society more tolerant and inclusive would be pretty complacent. Every day there are instances of racism occurring in every corner of the planet. Racial prejudice is certainly not a thing of the past in the US, and as much as we might like to brush any talk of race under the carpet, unless we have a frank and open discussion about it, it’s not going to go away. The great thing about discussing social issues in 2017 is that we can take full advantage of the widespread use of social media. Most people have some form of social media presence, and with important discussions becoming viral on a daily basis, this can be used to educate people who may previously have been misinformed about certain issues. Very recently, a man by the name of Emmit Eclass Walker went viral on Facebook after alleging that he had experienced an instance of racial prejudice in Ronald Reagan Washington Airport. So what exactly happened? Well, according to Walker, a woman assumed that he was not a first-class passenger, presumably for no other basis other than the color of his skin color. He claims that she refused to believe him when he insisted that he was indeed a first-class passenger. She even went as far as to suggest that he must be part of the military to be in a position to enjoy the privilege of traveling first class. Referring to himself as “just a n***a with money”, Walker then took a selfie with the woman in question in the background in order to shame her for blatant racism. He initially shared the selfie on Snapchat and captioned it with “this lady is funny lmao”. In the Facebook post, he paraphrased the entire exchanged between himself and the woman:
Her: excuse me i believe you may be in the wrong place you need to let us thru. This line is for priority boarding. Me: priority meaning first class correct?
Her: Yes… now excuse me they will call y’all after we board Me: *shove first class priority boarding pass in her face* you can relax ma’am I’m in the right spot, been here longer, so you can board after me Her: *still won’t let It go* he must be military or something, but we paid for our seats so he still should have to wait Me: nope too big to ever be in anybody’s military. I’m just a n***a with money Everybody waiting in line: starts to clap lmao
The post has since garnered a whopping 252k shares and 158 comments, the majority of which were Facebook users who weighed in with their own anecdotes and echoed Walker’s sentiments. “She ain’t use to sh*t,” wrote one commenter. “Look like she should have spent that plane ticket money on that tired ass fried til its dry hair. Spend some on that! Mutt smelling b*tch (sic).” “This is the ignorance we have to deal with! This person will not change me or my view! It’s sad!” wrote another Facebook user. Now it turns out that Walker was pretty uncomfortable with the hate that the woman receiving. In fact, in an Instagram post that he uploaded yesterday, he explained how taken aback he was at the explosive reaction that his Facebook post garnered:
“When i posted that post on Facebook i didn’t expect all that to come from it. I can honestly name the four or five people i thought would comment with something funny, and that will be it. This racist stuff is definitely a issue but this is not the solution to that issue. It brings me no joy waking up in paradise to for my 37 bday and knowing that woman might be going threw hell. The story was definitely real, just like this issue is definitely real, but i now know that I myself should of handled it another way, or left it how it was, and not shared It publicly.”
“When dealing with people i always try to stay on the side of Right, so to make sure I never do anybody wrong, I try to always put myself in that persons shoes, and ask how would I feel if that person did this to me, and if I was her this morning i would be a total wreak today, and that doesn’t help this situation, or her… It only makes them more angry, and bring more drama… SO I WOULD LIKE TO APOLOGIZE AGAIN TO THE WOMAN I HAD THIS ENCOUNTER WITH YESTERDAY. NO MATTER HOW WRONG YOUR ACTIONS YOU DON’T DESERVE THIS.”
Now Walker didn’t have to apologize for what he did. He was, after all, only highlighting a very real issue in our society. In fact, the irony of the whole situation lies in the fact that Walker, despite other people’s ignorant and undeniably prejudiced preconceptions, is actually very successful. In fact, according to his Facebook page, he is the vice-president of a recording studio in Washington, DC where he currently resides. Yep, he’s flying pretty high in the music industry which just goes to prove what we should have all known to begin with: never judge a book by its cover, especially if it’s as a result of deep-seated racism. Instances of racism are not always as subtle as this though. The woman featured in the video below went on an explicitly racist rant in the middle of a grocery store, and somebody slyly captured it on camera:
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