Two incidents in my cab in the last couple months have led me to be unsettled. I wear a western hat. It’s a fine custom made one of a kind hat that fits my head to the millimeter, as a custom made hat should. I’ve had dozens of comments and compliments about the hat, but until lately I have never considered my hat as a catalyst for an emotional response.
A couple months ago, and again a couple nights ago, I’ve had customers accompanied by friends who were about to say something racist, paused to consider their present company. In each case, their friends already knowing them enough not to be surprised, the speaker looked at me and said, ”You’re wearing that hat. You get it.” And then proceeded to make a racist comment.
What?! How does a western hat imply that racism is OK? Like I’m part of some kind of club because of my hat. To that I say, bullshit. I called out the first guy and corrected him about his misperception of me. The second guy was on his way out the door and I let the door close behind him and just shook my head.
The perception of course is that by wearing my hat I proclaim an association with a conservative leaning lot of folks. To that I would say, “Yep.” And? What does that have to do with the price of rice in Tibet? How does one equate conservatism with racism? That is not a rhetorical question, but one that I am eternally asking the world.
In a recent poll amongst listeners of the Glenn Beck radio show, the question was asked; If they were running, who would be your top 25pick as President? The top 10 answers, (not positive about the order) were: Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Alan West, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindahl, Carly Fiorina, Scott Walker, Mike Lee and Sarah Palin.
So, two black men, two men of Cuban Heritage, one man of East Indian heritage, two white guys and two women are surly a sign that conservatives are…bigots? Come again?
Back to my hat…sort of. I’m a registered independent-conservative-libertarian-constitutionalist. Some people that wear such a hat are Democrats (Toby Keith). Some are Liberal (Tim Mcgraw, Neil Young, Willie Nelson) and some don’t really give a rat’s ass. So, leave my hat out of your small minded tunnel vision view of what my values are. You have no idea.