#blackolivesmatter, or the peril of misreading a hashtag

Why do I use that hashtag? Because I’m tired of ugly prejudice tainting this beautiful country. I’ve always been uncomfortable when people around me–often friends who I otherwise respect–start spouting hate, and I’m finally speaking out about it.

You “hate” black olives? Why? Do you really feel that way, or are you just echoing things you’ve heard from your father or your grandfather? Did you ever even have black olives in your house as a kid? Did you have one bad black olive experience that put you off all of them? When was the last time you gave a black olive the time of day?

Some people counter with #allolivesmatter, but by saying that #blackolivesmatter I don’t mean to imply other olives don’t matter. It’s just that those other olives aren’t discriminated against as harshly as black olives. Those other olives don’t need a hashtag.

Yes, there are people who don’t like green olives, but green olives don’t face the same problems as black olives. Green olives still are welcomed to the best parties. They top sandwiches. They are stuffed with pimentos, blue cheese, or garlic. They are added to fancy drinks. Meanwhile, few hosts are brave enough to order a pizza with black olives on even half of it knowing many people won’t eat anything a black olive has touched.

I’ve observed these things for a long time. When I saw the #blackolivesmatter hashtag trending I realized that I am not the only one angered by these injustices. I pledged to use my voice as an ally in this fight.

What do you mean the “real” hashtag? That is the real hashtag. Look. It’s trending right now.

Read it? Fine. See, it says black lives…oh.

Oops. I really thought there was an “o” in there.

Well, this is embarrassing. In light of this realization I guess I don’t care what you want to get on the pizza. (Please no anchovies though. I can’t even stand to look at those vile things.)

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This is part of my periodic series Fiction Friday. Read all those flash fiction and creative writing pieces here.

Related post: Refreshing isn’t always refreshing

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