"I'm Not A Racist But..." Yes You Are.

I was at a practice for my son's basketball team the other evening. I was sitting courtside, with several other parents.

While I was sitting there checking my email on my iPad, I couldn't help but overhear the conversation that some of the other parents were having. One gentleman in particular was regaling several other folks about a white supremacist that he knows.

Welcome to my hometown.

The pieces of the story that I were able to hear were somewhat jarring to me, hence this post.

As best as I could tell, Gentleman A was talking about another fellow with whom he was acquainted. This other fellow was "a really nice guy" with whom he had "rode to work with many times". Gentleman A even went so far as to say, "he may have been a skinhead, but he was always a nice guy to me.".

He went on to say that this person had been arrested for the murder of two young men. Two young men, who were black.

"I'm not a racist or anything but... let me tell you that the world is a better place without either of these black guys in it," was the line that really made my hair stand on end.

Really guy? The world is a better place now that someone has killed them?

Ask their mother. Do you think that the mother of the victims would say that the world is a better place without her children? Ask their siblings. Ask their children. Ask their spouses. Ask their neighbors. Did you know any of them? Did you know the victims? How can you say that?

Additionally, what if the victims-in-question were YOUR kids? What if -- heaven forbid -- one of your children was killed in an accident. Then, at the next Open House night at school you overheard several parents talking about the accident. In their conversation you hear one parent say, "geez, it's a shame that the children died, but let me tell 'ya... the world is a better place without [insert YOUR kid's name here] in it."

More than a bit disturbing, no? Tell me that you wouldn't launch yourself at that parent.

As I mentioned at the outset, I heard only bits and pieces of the conversation. Still, I feel strongly that if you start a statement by saying, "I'm not a racist but..." you are most likely going to contradict yourself very quickly.

That, and you just look/sound really dumb.