• Brian D. Hinson

Racists: Still Here

Picked a guy up around 1:30 in the morning. His gait was unsteady, looked to be in his late twenties. He sat up front with me and announced that he needed another bottle before going home. I drove him to a Circle K. I waited. He soon staggered out disappointed.

“They wouldn’t sell me any,” he said as he plopped back down in the passenger seat. “I didn’t like being in there with that n***er anyway.”

Here is where someone might kick him out of the car. Or, maybe should kick him out. It certainly ran through my mind, but I run the risk of a huge complaint and a 1-star rating. After all, I don’t have a dash cam and didn’t record his remark. Maybe the issue is far larger than risking a part-time a job. I can’t disagree with that.

But that’s not what happened. I drove him on to the next place, a 7-11. They wouldn’t sell to him, either. He came back with more racists comments about black people. There weren’t even any black people in that 7-11.

I asked him where he was from, half expecting some state where racism is still fairly common among white folks. He grew up in Rio Rancho and still lives there. That sprawling, boring ‘burb northwest of Albuquerque. I really don’t think that place is some sort of hotbed of white supremacy.

Another stop at a different 7-11, the same result. Three strikes. I asked if he wanted to make one more try. He was good with it. I drove back to the same Circle K we stopped at the first time. He didn’t notice. They still didn’t sell to him.

So, his quest had failed, he was sad.

On the long ride out to Rio Rancho, he drifted from subject to subject. But one remark stuck with me, for its sheer stupidity and callousness. “You probably think I’m some sort of racist. But, man, you just can’t trust the coon.”

I dropped him off at his house, gave him a 1-star rating. When the prompt asked me what went wrong, I type RACIST.

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