Like the Boondock’s N-word moment, but you know, hopefully productive. The teachable moment is an expression of how what someone said can be a mine field they are unaware of.
I should have gotten my PhD, because “Doctor Freelove” has a nice ring to it. But more than that, I love explaining things.
New server at a restaurant told me how I looked like a scary person to meet in a parking lot. He was being playful referring to a story I had told him about a person contacting me on Facebook in a weird way wanting to either meet or mail me something. On its face, it was still microaggression territory.
I didn’t want to lay into him and solidify his potentially racist views. I didn’t want to make someone who feels like an ally feel alienated.
So instead, I told him some stories about my experiences. He was engaged. Others who witnessed were drawn into the conversation. Based on his comments, I think he got my points about how this stuff is something we have to carefully navigate. And it is draining to have to do so. The question is, will it help him be even just a tad more cognizant?