Tuesday, February 6, 2024

The Failure (a short story, of sorts)

   The ignorance was loud and astounding.  

    He sat there in stunned silence as his office coworkers spewed forth ignorance and maybe even hate.  It was difficult to say when hate and ignorance sound so similar.  Either way, he couldn’t believe his ears.

    One coworker theorized that the entertainment industry was trying to get rid of white people.  She complained how there weren’t as many white faces on television and in film these days.  He knew this was a ridiculously bigoted theory and a gross exaggeration, but he bit his tongue.  

    The second coworker agreed with the first coworker’s theory and added one of her own.  With a tone best described as disdain, she complained that when there is a white person on television or in film, they were gay.  He knew this was also a ridiculously bigoted theory and as senseless as the other, but he continued biting his tongue. 

    Deep down, his voice was screaming to put an end to this blatantly racist and homophobic exchange, but what could he say? 

    “I am the whitest white guy you’re ever going to meet and I’m as queer as a two-headed penny, but I’m thrilled to see a variety of people telling their stories, daring to show the world how we are all very much alike!” 

    He could’ve gave voice to the screaming thoughts in his head, but he didn’t.  The community where he lived was predominantly made up of white, conservative, straight Christians.  If one did not fall under all of these categories, then one had to tread with caution.  He knew his place in this so-called community and out of fear of being fired or being labeled the problem worker, he swallowed his anger and sadness over how such intense prejudices continued in the world.

    In the end, he felt like a failure for not speaking up, for not daring to shine a spotlight on the intolerance before him. 
2024, John L. Harmon 

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words. 

Freak Out, 

P.S.  my queer little books are available from an Amazon near you… 📚 
3 books by john L. Harmon.  Dark excursions the complete set.  Vision bent half blind poems.  Sturgeons the complete serials


  1. Great little story, John. And depressingly accurate. It's often the people with the loudest voices that are so blatantly wrong.

  2. Great story, and certainly one that makes you think.