Everyone, Everyone! I Am Not A Racist!

A man was waiting for his plane at an airport, with his two-year-old daughter. As they waited, a stranger waiting in the same place approached them and showed the toddler his tablet. He played kindly with the little girl for a while, and then they all went their separate ways.

This is a common occurrence. Anyone who has a young child can tell you that we occasionally meet kind strangers who enjoy interacting with young children, play with our children for a short while, and then we all go on with our day. To be sure, it is a nice thing when it happens, and meeting such people is one of the many great benefits of having children in the first place.

What's uncommon is this: The man in this story, the toddler's father, filmed the encounter, then posted it on Facebook. The video went viral, and then the press caught up with him. At that point, he said this:

"Watching them in that moment, I couldn’t help but think, different genders, different races, different generations and the best of friends. This is the world I want for her."

So a man stops in the airport to show his daughter some kindness, and what does the parent see? He sees a black man. He sees a black man. He sees an old black man. He films it like he's at the zoo, and then posts it on the internet for other people to see. See? Look, people. A kindly, old black man played with my daughter.

People who live in ethnically homogeneous bubbles always seem surprised when they encounter normal people from other cultures. They always pat themselves on the back for interacting with people of different cultures, proud of the fact that they could have positive interactions with "others."

It's hard for me to see this as being anything other than another form of racism.

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