, , , , ,

…Life is FULL of bloggable moments isn’t it? I said I’d NOT blog this week while away for training; but simply can’t resist! Have you ever been in the midst of a defining moment & had to make a moment’s decision how to proceed? Often times the correct solution , though clear, isn’t an easy choice to make. And! also as often there isn’t but a moment to make such a decision. Last night? I found myself in said situation..I chose to take the path least traveled & actually attempt to seize the moment in to try to TEACH ..And what I felt/feeeeel is a very important lesson, indeed. Whether the person I was trying to “reach” caught the lesson or not; probably won’t be revealed to me..ever. ***COMING SOON the full scoop! I almost made it a FULL week without blogging..Other than this small teaser I left here..And what a week out of state I had! This is but just one of the bloggable events that happened; but certainly one of the highlights that I could hardly WAIT to blog about. So hang onto to your hats/caps/wigs/& weaves I’m back & so ready to share to get your take on this topic…Ready? ***

…Here I go! And I’ll try to present this fairly regarding the State I was in for training this past week..First just a quick background on the State. Beloved home of Jan Brewer..

DISclaimer: Oooops almost forgot to add this..For those that are easily offended by facts; might want to skip this post. For those that don’t mind reading my take on this topic; read on. This is the way I see IT. Moving right along..>>

Now I’d be remiss in not mentioning that this bit of funky news I’m getting ready to deliver? Was but a very SMALL blip on the radar of an otherwise mind-blowing AWESOME week. Almost upon arriving late last Sunday night into Arizona I was making/meeting new friends! The class I was there for had 2 of the most amazing people as facilitators that I’ve ever met. The room full of people I was blessed to get to know; taught me a wealth of info about my new career field. Majority of them far more seasoned in the field than I..I took FULL advantage of their experience and personal accounts of work related tips. I networked/ networked!/ and connected/connected/and feel I made 2 lifelong brand new friends. Mind you I walked into that class NOT knowing a soul..The hotel that hosted our week stay? Top shelf all the way! Breath taking decor and superb customer service..Even so much as an attendant waiting for me every morning with hand-poured soy milk; because I’d requested it the first day at breakfast. WOW now that’s service!! The food in all the spots we ventured out to eat? Fabulous; we tried a new cuisine every single day. And though the weather boasted temps of 106 thru 108; I honestly didn’t feel the full wrath of that until the very afternoon I was departing Arizona. Yesterday…Alright now that I’ve given a fair shake to Arizona; onto the down-right-funky-part>>

..ever notice when the words “I don’t mean to be offensive..” are said; usually means some really FOUL ish is getting ready to be uttered? Well I’ve noticed it a lot in 50 years..Honestly? I’ve also delivered such things myself..And this really happened last week at a well-known(I won’t disclose the name) National chain restaurant..So, duck! cause here it comes>>

So, there we were HUNGRY and ready to order at this well-known National chain spot..We had already had the venture thwarted that we set out on for the night(another long story for another time…) and just wanted to eat and then head back to our hotel. The place was hardly populated and we basically had our waitress to ourselves..Our group of 4 consisted of all women. Of Black and Latina/Hispanic descent..By far I was the eldest; a fact which I feel is well worth mentioning. (might explain why I responded as I did or not..) Anyways, our waitress got pretty comfy with us chatting it UP; and even sat for a bit as we deliberated over what to order. All the while chatting..Somehow! the conversation led to the crime rate in the area..(how we got to that topic is another topic for another time..) I’ve since tried to rationalize why our waitress made the comment she made..She was after all very young, early 20s I’d guess, but appeared to be quite smart. Smart enough NOT to have made the comment she made among a group of people of color. US. But first let me share what she said; and let y’all make the call as to the whys..Ready? >>

…Whoa, wait I got ahead of myself. Forgot to give the quick background info on Arizona! Heres a really fast run-down. **There were several states that resisted making MLK, Jr’s birthday a holiday. Matter of fact some of the Southern states even went as far as to celebrate confederate generals, on purpose!, on the same day. And Arizona? ONLY consented in 1992 to making it a holiday AFTER a TOURIST boycott. Tourists..which means in Arizona the color GREEN isn’t an issue. Or rather they’ll suck down their actual beliefs for money..Or mayhaps thats just the way I see IT. Also take note that Hispanic/Latino accounted for a whopping 30.1% of the population in 2011 in Arizona. Blacks accounted for 4.5% of the population in 2011 in Arizona. And if y’all don’t know the motions the governor, Jan Brewer , has moved forward with regarding illegal immigrants..then you’re really not paying attention to much publicized news in our country. Recently when asked to drop the term @illegal immigrants? This is what Jan Brewer had to say on the topic. And I’m quoting her directly…**Avila pressed her on the subject after she gave her first answer, saying that few people call those with traffic violations “illegal drivers.”

Brewer paused for a moment before reiterating her defense of the term.

“Well I’m sorry but I believe that if you break the law and you’re an illegal immigrant and you’re in this country illegally, that you are an illegal immigrant,” Brewer says. “We know they’re human beings, we know that they’re our brothers and our sisters, but we believe in the rule of law and we can’t afford it and we certainly can’t afford the criminal element, with Arizona having to deal with the drug cartels.”** Moving back to my story>>

There we were, chatting & chopping it UP , and I really liked this young lady’s ease with chatting with strangers. I do that, alot! She had a very , very friendly manner ; and we were all rambling while looking over the menu. Then! out of her mouth flew a comment that horrified me..I didn’t know how to respond at first. Ever had your hair blown back & it rendered you speechless? Well, that’s saying ALOT for me. It’s not often I’m speechless..But I was so taken aback. Wasn’t sure what to say..Honestly? I tried for a brief split-second not to say anything. Was afraid to say something really , really FOUL. I had to count to 10 about 1000 quick times. In my mind. All of a sudden it felt like it was a cazillion degrees ..And we were in an air-conditioned building. My throat got tight. My stomach clenched. I was having a very big mental flashback. To the first time I was called the N word. By a 3-year-old little girl. My friend. And I was approx the same age. On my front steps of my home. With my Daddy listening /over-hearing it inside the house. I was so young then & had NOT heard that word..I innocently later asked my Daddy IF I was that N word…As I listened to what this young lady, our waitress, felt for some reason all I could think IS..OMG she’s so young to feel that way. And certainly she feels it or she’d not have said it, right? Or was she just repeating what she’d been taught? Or over-heard? I’ll never know..But all I did know is I was going to say SOMETHING. I had to..And in my calmest-trying-to-be-gentle-yet-firm-and-trying-to-teach-a-lesson-voice..I said..>>

..lawd! I did it again. Getting ahead of myself. Haven’t yet told y’all what she said! Well what she said WAS (and I’m para-phrasing..) that the areas where the highest CRIME was in the area??? Were limited to only a few certain areas..BECAUSE ‘the illegal immigrants’ had grouped only in those certain ‘areas’..BUT before she said that she did, politely, precede it with ” I don’t mean to say anything offensive, but…” I won’t even lie and say I recall exactly what I said either. What I attempted to say was (and I’m para-phrasing…) that NOT all people who are undocumented immigrants are criminals. I said I’m willing to guess they just came here to work hard like you and me..I also said MANY people came here as immigrants. More than likely even some of YOUR ancestors..Unlike mine who were brought here involuntarily as slaves. (and then later involuntarily meshed “with”; for lack of a better word other than a really ugly word) And then I went on & on until I noticed her mouth had dropped open; and she was trying to apologize. So I stopped talking/preaching. Whether I had the right to say what I said isn’t up for a vote. I said it. Just as she said what she said. Afterwards? When she finally came back to the table …We glossed over it quickly and let it drop. Went back to laughing & chatting…yet WE talked about it more after she was gone. I’ll never know if what I said had a positive impact on her or not. I do know what she said had a definite impact on me. Forever…Isn’t it sad that more than likely folks are still teaching such things to their children? Whats going to happen when the Hispanic population is the MAJORITY? How will those with such a mind-set adapt to that? Why can’t we ALL just learn to learn from one another? Why does ONE group always have to try to black-mark another group in this country? The infamous “they” keeps saying we’ve progressed..Have we? And the last question out of my multiple question set..What would you have done in the same situation? Would you have responded? Or just talked about it when she walked away from the table? What would you DO if something like this happen(s)(ed)? Lets rap…