There Is No Color Here

Over the past few weeks, we have heard about racism everywhere, from a tax-evading cow farmer to the NBA.

Once again there were racial slurs hurled at an opposing hockey player in Boston. The list just goes on. I do not really have an opinion on the matter. Why? Because I have talked about racism in this column over and over again; there is not a lot more to say. How many times and how many ways can you say this is wrong? We give racists power by paying attention to every little ignorant thing that comes out of their mouths. We pay little attention when kids, both black and white, throw the N word around like it’s cool. You gotta’ start somewhere, right?

Frankly, I was more pissed at the LA chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which had already given that idiot Sterling one award and was about to hand him another one. I do not want to go on about that. Maybe everyone should take a cue from the homeless about race and racism.

You would be hard-pressed to find racism amongst the homeless. I am not saying it is not there – trust me, it is. But not in the heaps you see with so-called normal people. The homeless really do not have a lot of time for racism, mainly because all of us are trying to do one thing: survive. And we sometimes need each other to survive, so we form bonds. Whatever we feel about the person next to us needs to be put on the back burner. We need each other to watch each other’s backs on the street, and to hang out together during a grueling day, to comfort each other at night, cause no one else is going to. To encourage each other when one is about to get off the street, to mourn and remember the other when they are gone.

We become family out there. Racists are generally not allowed to be with the group, their curses and swears usually fall on deaf ears. Maybe America should take lessons from us. In our world Clive Bundy and Donald Sterling would not survive. No, they would not be hurt or killed, they just would not be. No one would pay attention to them, and eventually they would just go away. Yes, I know Sterling has yet to face the punishment that is losing his team, but once he does we should all, include the media, just let him go. No fanfare, press conferences etc., just treat him like he no longer exists. Let him die a tired, bitter old man. The same goes for Bundy.

If the cameras leave, in a few months we will no longer think about him, he will be forgotten, he and his cows. See, we the homeless are a lot smarter and wiser than people give us credit for. Here we do not judge you based on your skin color or you sexual orientation. We really have no time for that bullshit, and that’s just what it is. Here, you are one of us. There is no color here.

James Shearer

James Shearer is a writer and co-founder of Spare Change News.

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