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Black Alabama radio host: Racism ‘goes both ways’ – ‘Judge people on how they treat you’

In an interview Friday on Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson’s “Scoop B Radio” podcast, Alabama radio host Joe Lockett discussed race relations in America, saying that racism “goes both ways” and that you – regardless of your skin color – should “judge people on how they treat you.”

Lockett, who hosts the Joe Lockett Show on 101.1 WYDE, was asked by Robinson how he navigated racial divides in Alabama as a prominent black radio host.

“[H]ere’s the thing, man: people are people,” Lockett began his answer. “I see color, I see the differences, I even hear people [opine] about what I say and what I do.”

He continued, “But this is the one thing I’ve learned to do – and it may be my military training because I was in the military – is that you judge people on how they treat you. And if you put the work in, most people … when you’re listening to [most] people, they have the same fears, the same wants, that you do.”
Lockett continued to talk about his theory that there is much more that unites the average two persons than what sets us apart.

“You go to work, right?” he outlined. “People feel like they’ve been disenfranchised, whether you want to say it’s blacks or whites or Hispanics. People feel that way. But at the end of the day, what you see on TV is not what you see when you go to the big-box-stores such as Walmart.”

Lockett then asked Robinson, who is best known as a prominent national sports and entertainment reporter, “do you feel like someone’s looking at you and wants to beat you upside the head or put you back in slavery everyday?”

Robinson responded by saying “no, but” he is black and built like Charles Barkley, “so people fear me.”

“But I think when I open my mouth and people hear me talk, they’re disarmed,” he added.

Lockett then explained that he lived in Japan for 13 years and has seen racial, ethnic and cultural differences worldwide.

“People are always going to feel some type of way until they get to know you,” he explained.

“Now, is there racism in America, Scoop? Of course,” Lockett continued. “Is there people who don’t like me because of the color of my skin and the way I think? Of course.”

Yet, Lockett does not think that this racism is confined to white people.

“[L]et me tell you this, Scoop, and to your listeners: Also, there are black folks who don’t like me, too,” Lockett shared.

He kept going, saying, “For the things I say and the color of my skin and because of some of the success I’ve been able to have and they haven’t been able to have. It goes both ways.”

Lockett suggested that the mainstream media’s concept of racism is sensationalized and drummed up for political reasons.

“I get it’s a great story to talk about racism and it’s something we should talk about, but … what if we focus more on what we have in common and work on the things we don’t?” he said.

“That’s true,” Scoop replied. “That goes back to Martin Luther King’s judging someone not by the color of their skin but the content of their character. I feel like first people need to listen to understand, not listen to respond. We all have our guards up.”

“Exactly, and someone has to tote the olive branch,” Lockett said.

For Lockett, toting the olive branch gets tiring. But, from his perspective, it is worth it.

“[T]his is my goal in life – and this is what I work for and this is why I do things the way I do them – I don’t want my child, your child or your listener’s child to have this same damn conversation ten, twenty years from now,” Lockett emphasized. “So I’d rather fight this fight and get through this.”

Listen to the whole podcast, with this topic starting around the 7:30 mark.

After a black pastor in Alabama earlier this year posted a controversial sign that read “Black folks need to stay out of white churches,” Lockett gained viral acclaim after he pushed back, saying “Racism is racism, whether it’s black or white.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn