I replied on twitter but here is my answer all in one go:
It was 33 years ago when I owned a comic book store. I had left to do a Sunday comic show putting a young but responsible teenage employee was in charge. When I came back he was nervous. He pointed to a young black kid that I had befriended and said he saw him stealing but was unsure what to do because I had been very friendly with him.
I said: “What are my standing orders if someone is caught shoplifting?”
He answered: “Lock the door and call the police”
I said: “Do so”
He locked the door and called the police. The kid was very scared until the officer showed up and I head him say in relief: “It’s a black cop”. I took the officer aside and told him I didn’t want the kid arrested because he’s young and didn’t want to give him trouble but I didn’t want him stealing from me, if he could put the fear of God in him I’d really appreciated. The officer made a big show of telling him “If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s a thief” and asking me if I wanted him arrested I said I’d let it go this time but if it happens again that wouldn’t be the case. He took the kid home.
The next day the kid’s mom showed up very angry that her son had been brought home in a police car. I explained that my employee had caught him shoplifting while I was gone and although I had not it myself the kid working for me was very responsible and I was obliged to believe him. She wanted to talk to him but as he was a teenager he didn’t work until next Saturday. I told her she was welcome to come back then and talk to him at that time. I’d let them speak in the back.
I spoke to him about it and he agreed. The word got around with the regulars at the store and a good sized crowd were at the store Saturday to see what would happen. She showed up around noon and she and the employee in question went into the back room.
She led with: “My son is not a thief”
My employee answered matter-of-factly, “Yes he is”
It went downhill from there.
After about 10 minutes she left in a huff pausing only long enough to say “Hello Monkey” to a tall black kid near the counter who was one of the regulars looking at baseball cards. She was followed by my teenaged employee came out with a smile having not backed down one bit from what he saw and not the least bit intimidated by the woman twice his age and talking about his encounter.
I had noticed that “monkey” seemed surprised at seeing her and from that presumed he had no idea what was going on he he had come in after she had showed up and was looking at baseball cards either completely indifferent to or completely unknowing of the day’s unfolding drama. I turned to him and asked:
“Do you know that lady?”
“Yes, she’s ‘xxx’s mom”, he paused for a moment, “She’s a racist.”
I did a double take, and everyone else in the store suddenly turned in amazement, a few already with silly grins already on some faces, particularly my employee who had just spoken to her.
Still surprised I asked him: “Why do you say she’s a racist?”
He answered calmly like a reporter stating a basic fact: “She hates my mother because she’s white.”
At this point the entire store erupted with laughter as the irony of what we had just heard combined with what had happened that day.
It was in that moment that the twenty something me considered what I had saw and realized most emphatically that whatever the merit of the struggles of the past might have been, the “white guilt” card, what is now called “wokeness” was simply a grift employed by some for advantage or profit.