I just don’t know what to expect next.

A few days ago, I was sitting in the doctor’s office that was full of heart patients like me waiting to see the Doctor. Well like most doctors I think they over books appointments for that day and so I spent many hours in a waiting room with perfect strangers. It didn’t take long before each of us in the office began talking about different things in life. Most the patients in the office were 60 years or older however there are half a dozen patients that were 30 years and older.
Realizing that I am living in Northeast Texas rural area the people in the office were all white. And so, as I sat there and began conversations with people I was somewhat surprised about their views in life. First having come from Los Angeles most my adult life and having been exposed to multicultural differences I was not expecting the kind of racist conversations there were going on in that office. Not only was there conversations about the difference between blacks and whites but there was a undeniable class distinction made about Hispanics. It is hard for me to believe that currently there still grown men and women who use the N word in a public place and their views on why society has his problems. I’m not talking about just old men but the women in the office were equally as racial. Of course, each time they began to say something negative they would make the disclaimer that they were not a racist but they have the facts. Having been a police officer I know there are two sides to every story. But in this office, it seemed like I lived in the 1800s. I was really thrown back by the disdain that some of the people had for what they called Yankees. It was as if they were still back in the Civil War. Some of them referred to the taking down of statues in the South of Confederate officers. Others talked about carpetbaggers. It was if I was in a movie made in the 1930s.
Then when it came to race there was the same disdain for black people and Mexicans. In my mind were all Americans fighting the same issues from employment to medical needs. I also was taken back by many people stating that things are so much worse now than before when it comes to medical. I piped up and said we are blessed of be in such a time that our life expectancies have really grown and that is why we are in this heart doctor’s office. So, he can use many of the new techniques to keep us alive.
Upon making that statement a lady asked me if I was from this area. I told her no, that I was from Los Angeles. After all the previous statements, I didn’t feel like telling them that I was from Indiana and one of those Yankees they were talking about. The woman looked surprised and then announced that I didn’t seem to have an accent. Somehow, being from the West Coast means that you are not from the South so your opinion is just a liberal unreal opinion.
Towards the end of my visit in the office a man walked in who I had met before at a transmission shop where he and his brother fix my truck. After short time he remembered who I was and then in front of the whole group stated, you are policeman what’s up with all the policeman shooting people today for no reason. Of course, I looked at him and gave him a quick response that all policemen don’t just shoot people for no reason. Not all policemen are good just like not all doctors are good or all politicians are good or even all judges are good.
My first thought about this man when I met in the first time was here is an ignorant uneducated drunk and is the reason that rural America gets a bad rap. But then I thought, you know everyone deserves their opinion and those opinions were developed from whatever experiences that person may have had. The man later told me that he had been in trouble with the law a lot as he was a big drinker and fast to start a fight. He said this and then his son walked in the room who looked a lot like his father. As he said down a woman in the office said that she recognized him. At first the son said no you don’t. The woman said yeah, he went to this particular junior high school where she was the school principal. The boy looked at her again and said oh yeah, I remember now but I would usually in trouble when I went to your office and I spoke to the vice principal who was a man. As I sat there and looked at the father and the son I thought to myself this is just going to be life repeating itself. Then I stop myself from that view and realized I was profiling and there’s no way that I could know what would happen next for any one of them.
Somehow sitting in that office, I experienced several views in life that had the common theme of profiling and stereotyping. The office somehow represented to me, the voting public of this rural area. It also reminded me that there is no way I can predict what someone’s opinions are by just looking at how they dress and how they speak or where they are at.
I just don’t know what to expect next. So, I hope I can keep an open mind and some more patience as it comes to the people that I meet.
Pops

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