A dialogue on equality, gay rights, Christian hypocrisy, and bigotry. Part 2 is in the Opinions Section.
PASSING THE BUCK
By Christopher Michael Carter
Part 1. A Certain Level of Tolerance: A Dialogue
A couple sits in bed. Kevin, a white male, is reading stuff on his phone. Charlene, a black female, is watching TV; both are young, healthy and intelligent. Charlene looks disgusted while he’s mentally occupied.
Charlene- Ugh did you see that commercial?
Kevin- Nah. I wasn't paying attention.
Charlene- It had two guys kissing and it said marriage is for anybody.
Charlene- No it's not.
Kevin- Who is marriage not for?
Charlene- Who God said it's not for.
She gets up and begins her soapbox; a show he's seen before.
Charlene- They want to show two guys licking each other's buttholes and two women sucking on each other's pussies; they tongue each other down and shove it in our faces. They keep shoving gay marriage in our faces any time we turn on the TV. There are people dying and children starving and they're worried about gay marriage. They're pulling prayer from schools and they got all these commercials for gay rights. What about my rights as a Christian? Do gays really need their own channel?
Kevin- They're not forcing you to watch it.
Charlene- Why can't I watch a movie without all the nasty queers everywhere? I just wanna take all the gays and shove them all back in the closet!
While still hearing her, his visual focus stays on whatever he’s reading on his phone and his head just shakes. She continues to pace back and forth.
Kevin- You make me wanna burn a Bible everyday...
She pauses giving him a dirty look.
Charlene- You just went too far. Every time I say something about gay people you have to say something. I can't say what I want in my own house.
She storms out of the room to the kitchen to get something to drink.
Kevin- There's just no reason for the hate & bigotry.
He follows her.
Charlene- What do you care? If you like the gays so much you need to just be gay. You need to be with a dude. You wanna stick up for them? Go march in their parades!
Kevin- What would you say if I came home and said "I think we need to shove all the niggers back over to Africa"?
Charlene- Why would you say that?
Kevin- Purely hypothetical.
She doesn’t appear offended at first but then turns to him and her hands become animated as she speaks, much like during her march and rant in the bedroom.
Charlene- Wait, why would you say that to a black woman?
Kevin- To prove a point.
Charlene- I said those things to a straight man and you said that to a black woman. It's not the same.
Kevin- Offensive comments are offensive comments. I just want you to see that.
Charlene- So you called me a nigger? How is that the same thing?
Their kitchen standoff continues.
Kevin- Whoa. I didn't call you anything. I simply asked you a hypothetical situation involving offensive comments. It wasn't directed at you.
Charlene- It must've been. We're the only two in the room and I'm black.
Kevin- Yeah we're the only two in the room so who else would I ask? And I used the "n" word as an example of offensive language.
Charlene- Well it's not the same at all. You calling me a nigger is not the same as me saying I don't like the gays to a straight man.
Kevin- Nobody's called anybody anything.
Charlene- So do you think all black people are niggers? Growing up I was taught that a nigger was lowdown and dirty. Are you saying I am?
Kevin- What are you even talking about? All I did was ask you a question to prove a point. I wasn't aiming to offend and I certainly would never call you that. Again, hypothetical.
Charlene- I was offended the moment the words came out of your mouth.
Kevin- Then I proved my point.
Kevin- When you say things like that it offends and bothers people.
Charlene- Well it's not the same because I'm black and you're straight.
Kevin- Hate is hate. Bigotry is bigotry. If you don't like to hear that stuff, even in a make believe situation, you shouldn't be spouting off the same kind of hate. Things being said like that in your soapbox are moronic.
Charlene- Oh so now I'm a nigger AND a moron!?
He rolls his eyes, not believing what he’s hearing.
Kevin- Ugh, we're not getting anywhere here.
The two exit scene in different directions.