We’re mere weeks away from 2019. (I know!) Which is why it’s so mind-boggling that we somehow still live in a world where racist, homophobic views still persist at such a ridiculously loud level.
The news this week has been a sad reminder that unless you’re a middle-class white person, your day-to-day interactions can be bloody awful.
First example: a fast-food restaurant in the U.S. refused to serve a group of African American customers unless they paid for their meal upfront.
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At the very same time, they allowed a white customer to eat their meal and pay afterwards. But for the darker-skinned diners, they required proof of payment upfront.
To be clear, they were asked to pay upfront for no other reason than the fact that they were black.
The story went viral, and the manager of that Chipotle restaurant has since been fired. But how many times does this happen every day, without any consequences?
Then we move to Cardiff in the U.K, where Welsh footballer Gareth Thomas was attacked by a teenager.
The professional rugby union player was the victim of a hate crime, but he elected to go down the path of restorative justice with his attacker; restorative justice allows those who have been affected by the crime, and those who have committed the crime, to come together to repair the harm caused, along the way helping offenders to understand the impact their actions had on others.
Lastly, we have a homegrown story: an Australian wedding magazine is being forced to shut up shop due to the stance they’ve taken against gay marriage.
White magazine, founded by Christian couple Luke and Carla Burrell, revealed that their decision not to feature any gay couples in their pages has seen them become the targets of an activist campaign that has forced them into closure.
“A number of advertisers withdrew their sponsorship out of fear of being judged, or in protest,” they told The Australian.
“We hope that one day soon our society can learn to accept people’s differences and different points of view and love each other no matter what.”
Putting aside the laughable hypocrisy of their statement, the pair said they were personally threatened with physical harm because of their stance. That’s not on either!
Patience, inclusiveness, tolerance, love… As we march towards 2019, it looks like we’re nowhere near as evolved as we could and should be.