Saturday, August 15, 2009

I Think I'm a Racist

This is an embarrassing story and I'm unsure about posting it. I hope you will forgive my honest assessment of my inner racist.

Late last night, around 12:30am, coming home after the pretty interesting Pinter Pair at the NYC Fringe Festival, we came upon a young, white man with a 10-in-1 tool trying to jimmy open the building's front door. In years past this was not an uncommon event, and even if I didn't witness the actual breaking of the front door lock, I have surely experienced the broken door dozens of times. The result is either the door doesn't lock, or the door doesn't open at all, and you have to enter and exit the adjoining building by waiting for someone to open the door, and then go through via the courtyard or the roof. It's been a main point of contention with our landlord - the perpetual disrepair of the front door, and the complete lack of a lock on the second front door.

So what did I do? I yelled at the guy for trying to break the lock. He looked a little ashamed and said he would stop, and explained that he was having a fight with his girlfriend. Did he live here? No, he said, but his girlfriend does. He followed us in after we opened the door, though I tried to stop him, and he proceeded to bang on her door.

The racist part is that if this guy wasn't white I'm pretty sure I would have been too scared and intimidated to yell at him or open the door, knowing that he would come inside. Even though he had a tool that could hurt if he slashed you with it, I didn't hesitate to reprimand him for his bad behavior. I think that whole scene proves that I'm a racist. Shit.

Follow up: I saw them together this afternoon, and they were very loving toward each other. There were 2 empty six packs outside her door, and her two school age kids were nowhere to be seen.


Larry Slade said...

I don't know where you come up with the ". . . if this guy wasn't white. . . "
The fact is he WAS WHITE so you dealt with the situation at hand not how you would have acted if it was someone else. And apparently it worked out OK.
I think you should just continue to treat everyone as if they were white. Then you don't have to worry.

Anonymous said...

You're not racist, you're just practical. 70% of black men have been or will have commited a crime by the age of 25. Most of the people in american prisons are black. There is a reason you would be more fearful of a black man over a white man: because you should be.