For whatever reason (I suspect a combination of relative anonymity and a general distaste for overt racism), I don’t get too many racist trolls here at the site. I thought for sure when I started I would get all kinds of “race realists” and would-be white supremacists and all sorts of slime crawling out of the woodwork. Instead, I’ve found my life sorely lacking the high-quality and high-cognition contributions of those who believe, for whatever reason, that you can tell something meaningful about someone based on the flawed genetics behind the arbitrarily-assembled social constructs we call ‘races’.
That being said, just because they’re not here, doesn’t mean they don’t exist:
A Hawkins man is claiming his civil rights and religious freedom were violated earlier this year when a black man sacked his groceries and a Big Sandy grocery store owner banned the customer from the business. DeWitt R. Thomas filed a federal lawsuit in July against Keith Langston, owner of Two Rivers Grocery & Market.
Yeah, read that over again. You weren’t wrong – the guy who did the racist thing is suing the guys who employ the victim of the racist thing. Do not adjust your internet. This isn’t even the crazy part of the story. Are you ready for the crazy party of the story?
He stated in a nine-page, hand-written lawsuit that he told the grocery sacker, a black man, “Wait a minute, don’t touch my groceries. I can’t have someone negroidal touch my food. It’s against my creed.”
“My question is, why after I told them how I felt and that it was against my creed did this negroid try to impress himself upon me and try to handle my groceries again.” Thomas said.
Thomas said his religious beliefs are based on Vedism, which he said encompasses Hinduism. “Vedism translates into knowledge. I am not this way because I am ignorant. Ignorance is the enemy,” he said.
Thomas said he has not broken any laws and was exercising his religious freedom and the rights he has been given. “White people are to be protected under the civil rights law just as anyone else,” Thomas said. “It would be the same as if you asked that a congoid (a person from west/central Africa) not touch your food.”
So… there are so many directions to go on this that I’m really not sure where to start. As far as I can tell, his ‘appeal to Vedism’ is entirely unique, rather than being tied to various white power mysticisms, which was my first thought upon reading this story. Also, I am deeply curious as to where he conjured up the terms “negroidal” and “congoidal”*. My guess is the internet, but I honestly haven’t a clue where.
The thing I will talk about here is the aspect that seems pretty obvious to me, but clearly isn’t quite so obvious to the people involved in the story (or indeed, many of the people I’ve seen commenting on it).
This guy doesn’t believe that shit.
I do not for an instant believe that this guy actually follows a “Vedist creed” or has any sincere objection to have either negroids, congoids, mongoloids, androids, haploids, or even Duploids bagging his damn groceries. This is fucking stage craft – elementary trolling technique that is unique only in its colourful presentation and the fact that it is happening in meatspace rather than online. If I had to guess, this guy is trying to make an oblique point that the legal protection of civil rights is absurd because they require people to accommodate people’s beliefs no matter how absurd they may be (to him, I imagine). Furthermore, they do not extend (in his opinion) to white people, and therefore nobody should have any at all (equality!)
Of course his position is stupid (and not just for the obvious reasons). When and if a white person is legitimately discriminated against by a person of colour (i.e., if he were treated with the level of dehumanizing disrespect that he showed to Aaron Menefee), he would be able to avail himself of the entirety of the legal system. The same legal system that is supposed to protect all people equally, but had to be drastically reformed to ensure that it filled in the cracks of the ‘barely behind the scenes racism’ that preceded the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (a task at which the system still fails miserably, but not as miserably as it used to). Not only that, but I’ll bet he’d have zero trouble at all raising assloads of cash for his legal defense if he did face that kind of discrimination.
So no, this isn’t a case of a religious nutjob with a wacky belief. Nor do I believe it to be a case of a racist guy looking for a bullshit backdoor to hide his public aversion to black folks. No, my suspicion is that this is something a bit more insidious – a guy who wishes to make a mockery of the very idea of civil rights legislation. The harder people push back, despite their good intentions, the longer this absurd farce is allowed to continue. Hopefully a judge will be insightful enough to see past this obvious ruse and kick this guy’s case out before he gets a trial. If not, please believe we’ll be seeing a lot more self-professed “Vedists” popping up out of the woodwork real soon.
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*I have to confess that my first reaction upon reading this story was to laugh. A lot. The story is too bizarre and too absurd not to laugh. That being said, I can’t imagine that the joke is particularly funny for Aaron Menefee, or his employer.