Yes, I’m one of those people that’s still playing Pokémon. I always make sure to hit a Pokéstop and capture a Pokémon every day, and I’ve saving up tons of Pokémon to evolve so I can fire off a lucky egg and go up a level.
So I went for a Pokéwalk.
Normally I dig my neighborhood. Except for the loud neighbors across the street who sometimes put up a weird sign on the door that tells people to remove their shoes because the king of the castle doesn’t want their dirty shoes in it, and the other neighbors across the street who are constantly getting new dogs, neglecting them, and letting them get hit by a car on the nearby highway, then replace them with new dogs and start the process over again.
But those neighbors are outwardly and obviously unpleasant. No one likes a neighbor who’s always blaring music or screaming, and no one likes a neighbor who doesn’t care for their pets.
It’s easy to see their bad neighbor-ness, though.
On my Pokéwalk, I found a different type of neighbor.
One that I didn’t know I had.
One displaying a huge Confederate flag in their garage.
I know some people will automatically argue that the flag is Southern pride and there’s nothing wrong with the flag blah blah blah.
Those people are wrong.
I’m not going to be all polite and beat around the bush here.
If you’re still hanging onto the ideology of the Civil War…well, you’re a racist. Yell “states’ rights!” all you want. Just remember that one of those rights was the right to keep another human being as a slave. So fuck off.
Even then, I was, somehow, surprised.
I mean, I guess no one really knows their neighbors, and when someone flips out and shoots up their workplace or wherever, everyone who lived near them always says, “But they were so quiet” and “They always kept to themselves.”
And while I’m sure – well, hopeful – that not everyone on the block has a confederate flag in their garage, it goes to show you that you can’t know people from their outward appearance. These neighbors of mine are polite and appear nice when you bump into them. Walk past their house when they’re outside, and they’ll say “hi” and wave.
When it comes down to it, they are unpleasant.
When it comes down to it, they are bigots.
When it comes down to it, they are bad neighbors.