Against my better judgment, I watched the KMBC so-called local so-called news tonight. It's just been so long since I've had a good dose of homeless pet coverage, and I wanted to subject myself to the sickening stream of political ads.
I'm crazy like that.
So any way, anchorgeezer Larry Moore led off the news with the story of Keith Slater, the 22 year-old KC resident who found a racial slur printed on his receipt after returning a pair of shoes at the Journeys store in Overland Park's Oak Park Mall.
This isn't going to be a commentary on KMBC's coverage, although you can bet your Kenneth Cole's that since the story went national they'll be blanketing their coverage with senseless follow-up stories for the rest of the week.
Rather I just wanted to ask, nay implore, Slater's parents to take a higher road on this issue. Sure, they have every right to be pissed off. Who doesn't get angry when called a name -- even more so for a racially charged one.
But KMBC aired footage of a room full of local media hacks invited into Slater's home where his father threw out not-so-veiled threats of a lawsuit against a store that was clearly screwed by an employee (an employee who has been summarily and rightfully fired).
This goes dangerously close to perpetuating a stereotype.
So please, Slater family, don't play the role of the victim on this. Please don't wax melodramatic about your pain and suffering and the pain and suffering of your children.
Instead, be magnanimous and accept the store's apology. Lament the fact that this kind of thing can still happen in our day and age and try to make something positive out of it.
Teach your son that there are assholes in the world, but he doesn't have to be one. Teach him that he isn't defined by someone's ignorant opinion of him, but rather by the way he treats others.
Teach him, when being hated, not to give way to hating. Teach him to battle a stereotype by showing that the stereotype isn't true.
But don't be swayed by a pack of slimy lawyers trying to cash in on an insulting incident. Doing so may give you an extra 15 minutes of fame. But is that really what you want to be famous for?
tagged: race, Slater, Journeys, Kansas City, Overland Park, Oak Park Mall