Adam Goodes’ was the target of a racist taunt by 13 year old, and a Papa Johns Pizza Employee in Sanford, Florida goes on a racist rant: Two racist incidents that have captured pop culture view, and provided a lesson for us all.
First, Adam Goodes is an excellent soccer player, who plays professional Australian rules football player with the Sydney Swans in the Australian Football League (AFL) – he’s also an Indigenous Austrialian. This 13 year old girl named Julia went to the match pitting The Swans against Collingwood, and as Goodes was making a play for the ball near her, she yelled out “Ape” loud enough for him to hear her.
Goodes was having none of that, and so asked security to remove her from the stadium, and they did.
It was a hard, but important lesson for the youngster, and even as her Mom says she’s sheltered from the outside World, it does put a light on her parents – a bad one.
Just like the light shown on the now-former Papa Johns Employee (named Brian Pavelchak) who left a racist phone message to a black customer because the person left him a tip that he believed was less than what he deserved. For that, the now-former Papa Johns Employee’s N-word rant was smartly recorded by the victim, and sent out via YouTube and social media.
The video just happened to have the the now-former Papa Johns Employee’s cell phone number on it, so its a fair chance that the person was getting some unfortunate calls himself. Now, the number works, but doesn’t allow on to connect with a person (I tried it to ask if the the now-former Papa Johns Employee apologized for his actions.)
The lesson in both of these examples is two fold: first, don’t be racist, especially on the job, unless you don’t mind losing your job. In fact, considering that the the now-former Papa Johns Employee did this related to his job is a classic example of why some consider racism to be a mental illness. The now-former Papa Johns Employee didn’t care that he was on the job and making a job-related phone call, so powerful was his racist view of blacks.
Julia, the 13-year-old, faced a similar scenario when it never occurred to her that she could be thrown out of the stadium after a racist taunt. Now, she will never make that error again.
Second, we have to formally teach that racism is wrong, and we have to stop letting society do it. Parents aren’t uniformly doing it at home, obviously, so it has to be institutionalized.