Politically Correct

In this monologue, RADLEY recounts a story about how he recently encountered a man in a Cafe who was accusing him of making a racist statement.

RADLEY:  I’m sitting down at a Cafe with my girl and I ask a different waiter to find my waiter because we were waiting for the check for quite some time.  The waiter I asked asks me which person was my waiter and I responded by saying the tall white guy with the glasses.  The waiter looks at me and says, “Excuse me, sir, but we don’t go for that kind of racist statement in here.”  I was completely taken off-guard.  I looked at the guy and I said, “Excuse me but I don’t understand what you’re talking about…you asked me which waiter and I gave a description in order to help you find the right person.  How is that a racist statement?”

He then said to me that the guy I described as White is actually Spanish.  So I said, “I didn’t mean anything negative at all.”

He says, “I think you did.”

Then I said, “I think that you are the one with the racial issue my friend.”

He responded, “I’m not your friend.”

Now, perhaps I could have been more politically correct by not saying WHITE GUY but are we really living in a world where a description like the one I made of my waiter, should be taken out of context to such a degree as to insinuate that I made a racist statement?  I certainly didn’t have any intention of insulting my waiter or the guy I was asking to get my waiter, by describing him a different race than he actually is.

So, one word led to another and all the while I was torn inside myself between feeling horrible about being indirectly labeled as a racist and genuine anger for being indirectly labeled as a racist by a guy who I believed to be a genuine asshole.

I spent hours afterwards checking myself, making sure I didn’t mean anything bad or if I did in fact pass some kind of judgement on my waiter.  That’s how upset this guy made me.

I realized that we now live in a world where the things we innocently say may be misconstrued and offend someone unintentionally and there needs to be more caution but at the same time I also think that some people need to lighten up and not take a harmless description of someone, whether he is White, Black, Spanish or Asian, as something so terrible, if in fact that person isn’t that race…it should be OKAY and a correction at best can be made without accusing someone of making a racist statement.   It should be as simple as that.

I’ve personally been described as Spanish or Muslim or Indian or Egyptian and a zillion other nationalities.  What is the big fucking deal?  If it matters that much to me I let the person know and we move on.  I certainly wouldn’t accuse them of making a racist statement by describing me a nationality that they happen to think I am.  That’s stupid.

We are all a nationality, we all come from somewhere and we should all be respected and that should be common knowledge today.  To take something so minute and make a scene was really terrible, unnecessary and embarrassing to be involved in.

Joseph Arnone


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