On reasonableness, good beer, and a good robot

Sometimes you gotta give a good robot a chance to show they’re good. This is true when racist assholes show up for a beer or when bad neighbours learn to be good neighbours.

Our local corner of the twitterverse is alive with the ugly today. A photo of the head of a to-remain-nameless racist organization stopped into a local craft brewery for a beer with another racist.

For those in the know—or who actively follow local news—this group of racists has been working hard to establish a local base of support.

Fortunately, a better more hopeful segment of our communities has been working hard to prevent their ugly message from gaining ground. Without that hopeful segment, we might see a lot more racist assholes showing up in a lot more places that one-offs at a local tap room.

For those people involved in keeping this racism out of our communities, this is top of mind. They’re all too aware of their enemy. The cause is worthy and the consequences of sitting idly by are devastating.

That said, no group—no matter how worthy the cause—can expect everyone else to have as great or clear an awareness of that cause as they do.

We all have our shit and we only have so much room for so much. Should we all work to eliminate racism, indeed we should. Will we all take up the cause? No. Should we give up? Not a chance.

But is it cool to talk shit about people who may not know the ins and outs of the issue as well as you? Certainly not.

That there are bartenders in Halifax who can’t identify the head of a national racist organization should surprise no one.

That they managed to identify and move to eliminate the assholes relatively quickly is—if anything—a testament to their commitment to providing a safer space.

Why were Good Robot Brewing Company attacked for unknowingly admitting racists? How is the anti-racist cause served by attacking a local business?

Social media can be a tool for good. Today, all this energy could have been used for good. Let’s focus on fighting racism and avoid jumping to conclusions that have no place in the conversation.

Cheers to a good robot, a good beer, and being reasonable.

(No version of reasonableness should ever be used to suppress the voices of people of colour in their fight for equity and equality. Period.)