Politics

A Microaggression Over a Microbrew

“Anyway, when you think about it, what kind of person would engage in microaggressions against a person innocently enjoying a microbrew? Seems somehow sacrilegious.”

Okay, so, like, yesterday, I was sitting at the bar at one of my favorite microbrew pubs, glancing at football games on various TVs and enjoying a frosty mug of an amber ale. I’d also been chatting with my wife Jody, Emma the bartender, and a couple regulars. Then it happened.

With all the subtlety of an ordinary pub patron, he saunters into the restaurant. However, I notice as he nears that he presents an un-purposeful threat, equaling that of Attila the Hun attacking an Eastern European village. The customer pauses at the knot of people collected by the Seat Yourself sign, and then he sidles into the pub.

The young man targets a stool, cruises toward the bar, and then sits—right next to me. Turning toward me, he doesn’t say anything and does nothing physical to me, but he strikes the first blow. I see it, and my world implodes. I now understand something the lefties have been freaked out about for years. Holy crap! I’ve just experienced a microaggression.

I was unprepared for this vicious assault. I… yes, me… I had just become a victim of a bona fide microaggression. In that moment, I understood what such micro-evil meant to humankind. I couldn’t believe this callous heathen thought nothing of my feelings, donning that dubious piece of attire, not caring about the fear it might instill in me, turning my favorite watering hole into a den of danger. This wasn’t right. His micro-actions had me scanning my surroundings for a safe space when I thought I was already in what I’d always believed was my safe space.

Nevertheless, I silently forgave her because she was just a kid; she didn’t know what she was doing.

I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to look, but my eyes kept going to it like a tongue to a canker sore. My wife and buds appeared unaware of my inner turmoil. They probably hadn’t seen it yet. I was completely taken aback by this interloper’s micro-lack of self-awareness. Surely, he had to know what he was micro-doing. Yet, he appeared oblivious to his micro-offense. What micro-aggressive apparel was he wearing that caused me to scan my surroundings for possible escape to a safer space?

A hat.

Not just any hat, a Ben & Jerry’s hat. And not only did I have to suffer the microaggression emanating from this leftist micro-brute but also from the bartender—my bartender—who’d actually had the nerve to unknowingly ally herself with him in this micro-aggressive ambush.

“Nice hat,” Emma said to him.

Nevertheless, I silently forgave her because she was just a kid; she didn’t know what she was doing. “Nice hat.” How hateful was that? I could have taken her comment as a microaggression as well. Instead, I reduced the lapse to a mere nano-aggression and let that matter drop—for her sake, not his.

But, then B & J’s hat man turned up the micro-heat.

“Thanks,” he said to Emma, and then poured petrol onto the fire. “I get that a lot,” he added.

He gets that a lot, does he? I felt the increasing microaggression deluge as if a fear dam had broken and the horrifying torrent would carry me away to my micro-doom if I couldn’t find a hate-free zone, and fast.

Doesn’t B & J’s hat man know Ben & Jerry’s is one of the most loony, leftist companies in America? Ben & Jerry’s encourages their stores to sell anti-cop “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” t-shirts and also created an ice cream flavor called, “Hands Up, Don’t Scoop?”

Doesn’t he know that, even worse, they support convicted, confessed cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal? Doesn’t B & J’s hat man know how offensive his cap is to the retired police officer sitting next to him? Doesn’t B & J’s hat man care at all about how other people micro-feel about his Ben & Jerry’s communist beanie?

No, probably not, and you know what? He shouldn’t care. He’s likely just a guy who walked into a pub for a drink wearing a chapeau he finds fetching. Maybe he’s liberal, maybe not. Maybe he simply likes the ice cream, just likes the hat, or both. And, no, in reality, I’d felt no “microaggression.” But the thought of the left taking offense at such stupid micro-stuff does tweak me. I mean, I don’t lose sleep over it, but it micro-offends me—you know—as a sane person.

But the thought of the left taking offense at such stupid micro-stuff does tweak me. I mean, I don’t lose sleep over it, but it micro-offends me—you know—as a sane person.

Hmmm, how am I able to separate how I feel about B & J’s hat man from my feelings about Ben & Jerry or what the company they founded seems to stand for? Because I believe in free speech, individual liberty, and civil discourse. I refuse to think the worst of my fellow human beings by attributing to them micro-offenses they have neither intended nor actually inflicted.

Maybe B & J’s hat man knows Ben & Jerry’s supports a cop killer, maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he’s aware that the ice cream moguls help to spread anti-cop myths, maybe he’s not. I don’t like most of Ben & Jerry’s politics—and I’d guess they don’t like mine. But it’s their right as individuals and as a company to support or oppose anything they want, as it is mine—and yours, as long as we all do it peacefully.

Anyway, when you think about it, what kind of person would engage in microaggressions against a person innocently enjoying a microbrew? Seems somehow sacrilegious.

Besides, I have to admit I thought it was kind of a nice hat. But I didn’t say so; I just thought it in a micro-passive sort of way.

Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens Contributor and retired Seattle police officer. He has served as a field training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and as a precinct mountain bike coordinator. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys riding his Harley and hiking and biking with his wife who is also an English major and a retired firefighter.

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