Most of us who grew up in the South can remember sitting under a tree with a big slice of watermelon, usually wearing something old so that the juice could splatter and we could compete for the title of best seed spitter. I dare say those doing so covered the spectrum of race in the community; it was clearly a Southern tradition and one that many in the North observed as well. Let's face it, folks, a cold and fresh watermelon was something special on a hot summer day, a respite from the heat and a delicious one at that.
I had planned to cover a more serious topic today, but hearing the Bob Rose Morning Show as I prepared to write my daily blog, the watermelon was in the limelight. It seems that a probationary firefighter in Detroit, fresh out of the Fire Academy and serving in his first fire assignment was summarily fired over a watermelon. Detroit firefighters have a tradition of the newbies bringing something to be shared by all to the station and this poor young man selected a watermelon. He even put a bow on it and thought that his fire crew would enjoy it, knowing how firefighters love to eat in their stand down time at the station. Instead he was fired, told that he had been racially insensitive in a department that is heavily black.
Do you really think that a new, young firefighter would deliberately be insensitive to his fire teammates while going through his probation? I certainly don't; I think he truly wanted to bring something that they could all enjoy and if you don't think American blacks, or at least a large number of them, enjoy watermelon you would be sadly mistaken.
From my own experience right here in Alachua County, two very nice young black men routinely sell watermelons on the weekend in season on Route 20 right outside of Hawthorne. I love watermelon and have been buying them there for several years. Their product is sweeter, juicier and less expensive than the big grocery stores and they truly appreciate my business. So why would black men publicly sell watermelons if there was something racially charged about them? Should I stop and tell them that I can't buy watermelons from them anymore because I don't want them to think I am racially insensitive? Or course not, they never even thought such a thought, but then again, they don't subscribe to the racial phobias associated with political correctness that has so infected our society. How sad things have gotten today.
And you know what's even sadder? Detroit spent a lot of money training the young man as a firefighter and now has wasted his time and the city's money because of the stupidity of political leaders, always looking to find another way to waste money over a problem that didn't exist in the first place. That's truly pathetic and it's just another, yet very simple reason why continued political correctness will destroy our nation at all levels. Let's stop the madness, shall we?