Remember when everyone was saying, after Barack Obama was elected nearly five years ago, that we are now living in a post racial America, and were finally achieving Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream? Lately it looks more and more like those rosy views were a bit premature.
In the last month we have seen the eviction of 25 black restaurant customers at the behest of a single patron who “felt uncomfortable” having them seated nearby. Then, there was the incident where a black waitress was handed a credit card receipt by a couple on which they had scrawled in the space to specify a tip, “none n****r”. Now we have another incident in Chicago, Illinois.
An as yet unnamed black woman walking down a residential street in an all white neighborhood was accosted for no reason by an ignorant racist sitting on his porch. 45-year-old Tom Diamond shouted at the woman as she passed his home:
Hey you stupid black n****r b***h, how does it feel to walk in an all white neighborhood?
As she walked on he shouted after her:
You hear me? You must be from Englewood.
The woman, who is studying to be a doctor’s assistant, works weekends at a local hospital and was wearing a nurse’s uniform. She called back to him saying,
I’m not from around here.
and then informed him that she worked at Resurrection Medical Center. Apparently the fact that she worked in his neighborhood was the straw that broke the camel’s back, for that was when he leaped from his porch and chased her down.
When he caught up to her he shouted:
If I ever see you in my neighborhood again, I’m going to rape you and hang you from a tree.
The woman hurried on and when she got near to the hospital and safety placed a call to 911. Police later arrested Mr. Diamond at his home charging him with a hate crime and misdemeanor casualty.
Diamond’s victim lives in Carbondale, Illinois, where she is attending Southern Illinois University and goes to Chicago on the weekends to work at the hospital. She told the Chicago Tribune:
I know that this is America and the world’s not like the way it used to be years ago. It really didn’t disgust me because on a day-to-day basis I help everyone. White people. Black people. Puerto Rican people. Gay people. You don’t think this can happen here. . .coming at you with all that hatred because of your skin color, but crime can happen anywhere.
This lady should serve as an inspiration to us all. How many of us could remain as calm as she did, and how many of us could be as philosophical about an incident as offensive as this? With people like her on both sides, we may one day achieve a post racial society, but we still have a long way to go.