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HURLEY- L.S.D.

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He thought I was a racist!
« on: December 12, 2004, 06:20:43 PM »
Ok, so I'd like to hear your thoughts on this..

Every weekend or so I like to walk over to the local video store and rent a movie.  I don't live in a very affluent area, so there are usually at least two homeless people over there in front of the store, and there are always people in the parking lot selling things.

So, this past friday I went over there with my girl, and she was a couple steps in front of me.  This guy starts walking toward her and he says "Hey!  I want to ask you somethin'"

I immediately turn to the guy, he sees me, and I just frankly (and politely) tell him "NO, we are not interested."  He was a cleanly-dressed, african american guy in his 30's.

Then, the guy tells me "You think that just because I look like a homeless person means that I am asking your for money!" 

I said, "No, sir, it is just that whenever I come here there are always people out here approaching me for money or trying to sell me something." 

He says, "Whatever man, you just think that because I'm black I am automatically trying to sell you something.  You're making up all of this stuff up about homeless people out here."

At that point, a homeless guy (an old white man) comes up to us and asks us for money.  The man who had just finished berating me becomes visibly embarrassed and says, "Whatever man, I was just wondering how to get to the Main Street."  My girl and I immediately pointed him in the correct direction, but he just walked off.

I was really bothered by the fact that he thought I was a racist.  I mean, it didn't even register to me that he was an african american and therefore selling me something.  In fact, there are never any african americans out there asking for money.  The people are either latino or white (mostly).  If someone approaches me in that parking lot and doesn't immediately say "I need directions", but instead, "Hey!  I want to ask you something", then I'm going to register that they want money.

I never carry money over there anyway because I have a debit card with my picture on it and it is much easier to pay and show my ID that way.

Why did this guy think that I was a racist?  What if I were black and told him the same thing?  Just because I am white, am I automatically a racist because I refused to acknowledge him?  I'm just wondering how and why a person would think that way about me. 

Everyone faces rejection, but if someone told me when I was young that the reason I face rejection is because of the color of my skin the I wonder how I would look at life from that point on.  As I faced the same sort of rejection that others faced, but interpreted it differently as race-based rejection, then I think that I might begin to live a very angry and pessimistic life.  I began to think that common rejection being interpreted as racist can be a very dangerous perspective since it will inevitably lead to a perpetuation on the part of URMs that racism is still alive and well when in fact it could very well be dying away. 

Garbled

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Re: He thought I was a racist!
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2004, 07:29:08 PM »
Ok, so I'd like to hear your thoughts on this..

...


You are not a racist, you just don't like yourself or your gf to be bothered. Hey, i immediately interrupt phone telemarketers, say "NO", and hang up on them. If they happen to be black, does that make me racist? No way. I think your story has parallels to my telemarketing thing.

IMO, some <insert race>'s use their race as an excuse for what they see as mistreatment by others when it isn't that way at all. If they choose to perpetuate racism in this way then there isn't much you can do about it. If you try to say anything it will probably just make a bigger problem because they don't want to listen; just treat everybody the same regardless of color.

edit: i'm not saying that there isn't racism at all, just that it can be an easy excuse.

DOWNY

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Re: He thought I was a racist!
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2004, 07:35:24 PM »
You are the biggest racist the world has ever known.

HTH

HURLEY- L.S.D.

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Re: He thought I was a racist!
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2004, 07:39:27 PM »

IMO, some <insert race>'s use their race as an excuse for what they see as mistreatment by others when it isn't that way at all. If they choose to perpetuate racism in this way then there isn't much you can do about it. If you try to say anything it will probably just make a bigger problem because they don't want to listen; just treat everybody the same regardless of color.


I agree, and you worded it SO perfectly.

When the guy first erupted about my thinking that he looked like the homeless people I was really confused because he was dressed in a nice, new pair of jeans, and very clean blue jacket, and he was wearing a hat from a local university.  He didn't look like a homeless person at all!  But then I realized that when he said, "You think that just because I look like these people..", that he was actually talking about the fact that he was an african american.  I mean, I was so incredibly taken back that it got me thinking about it for the entire night.

I actually feel bad for the guy because he is dealing with a normal part of life in a way that will leave him jaded and angry all the time.  As I said above, everyone faces some measure of rejection.  I recently read in "Law School Confidential" that out of the hundreds of internship and job applications that each law applicant will apply for, only 1% will come back with an affirmative response.  That is 99% rejection!  Now, what if I were taught from my youth that because I am 'X' race I will be discriminated against?  I would be inclined to assume that I had such a large margin of rejection because of my race! 

It would be a very unhealthy way to live because not only is it a skewed view of reality (the reality that everyone except for ivy-leaguers face a huge margin of rejection in this life), but it also further ingrains the roots of racism in our culture. 

In this context, I am beginning to understand the PR aspect of affirmative action.  I wonder if it is, in part, designed to lessen this reaction among URM communities.  I'm not sure, but it is just a thought. 

 

sweetkid

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Re: He thought I was a racist!
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2004, 08:34:12 AM »
I totally agree with Downy.
I am a black indivdual myself an yes racism still exist and i do not think there is any way in which it will be eradicated, as indviduals still have a messed up view of what is just and what is not and how different cultures/race are just and not. No i do not fink you are racise in fact ur not, the guy who approached you was trying to use that simple concept of racism to preharps start up an argument which may later progress into an undesirable result. From what i have been seeing and hearing i truely fink that people are using racism as an excusese to relaiate to somthing which could be simply solved when they desire it to escalte into somthing bigger.
if there is one thing, i am satisfied with the way you dealt with the situation. simply top put it some people need help and need to stop using excusses which will preharps cause somthing big...they need to stop being president bush and Tony blair

SanchoPanzo

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Re: He thought I was a racist!
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2004, 12:32:47 AM »
I totally agree with Downy.
I am a black indivdual myself an yes racism still exist and i do not think there is any way in which it will be eradicated, as indviduals still have a messed up view of what is just and what is not and how different cultures/race are just and not. No i do not fink you are racise in fact ur not, the guy who approached you was trying to use that simple concept of racism to preharps start up an argument which may later progress into an undesirable result. From what i have been seeing and hearing i truely fink that people are using racism as an excusese to relaiate to somthing which could be simply solved when they desire it to escalte into somthing bigger.
if there is one thing, i am satisfied with the way you dealt with the situation. simply top put it some people need help and need to stop using excusses which will preharps cause somthing big...they need to stop being president bush and Tony blair


 ???
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SanchoPanzo

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Re: He thought I was a racist!
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2004, 12:39:03 AM »

IMO, some <insert race>'s use their race as an excuse for what they see as mistreatment by others when it isn't that way at all. If they choose to perpetuate racism in this way then there isn't much you can do about it. If you try to say anything it will probably just make a bigger problem because they don't want to listen; just treat everybody the same regardless of color.

edit: i'm not saying that there isn't racism at all, just that it can be an easy excuse.


K, while I agree with your general idea to some degree I think your statement may be to broad. For one, I don't think you can draw the conclusion that that individual was using "their race as an excuse....". He could have just experienced a racist response from the last person he asked.

As for Hurley, I think you acted quite appropriately.
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the REAL desi

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Re: He thought I was a racist!
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2004, 12:58:54 AM »
Ok, so I'd like to hear your thoughts on this..

Every weekend or so I like to walk over to the local video store and rent a movie.  I don't live in a very affluent area, so there are usually at least two homeless people over there in front of the store, and there are always people in the parking lot selling things.

So, this past friday I went over there with my girl, and she was a couple steps in front of me.  This guy starts walking toward her and he says "Hey!  I want to ask you somethin'"

I immediately turn to the guy, he sees me, and I just frankly (and politely) tell him "NO, we are not interested."  He was a cleanly-dressed, african american guy in his 30's.

Then, the guy tells me "You think that just because I look like a homeless person means that I am asking your for money!" 

I said, "No, sir, it is just that whenever I come here there are always people out here approaching me for money or trying to sell me something." 

He says, "Whatever man, you just think that because I'm black I am automatically trying to sell you something.  You're making up all of this stuff up about homeless people out here."

At that point, a homeless guy (an old white man) comes up to us and asks us for money.  The man who had just finished berating me becomes visibly embarrassed and says, "Whatever man, I was just wondering how to get to the Main Street."  My girl and I immediately pointed him in the correct direction, but he just walked off.

I was really bothered by the fact that he thought I was a racist.  I mean, it didn't even register to me that he was an african american and therefore selling me something.  In fact, there are never any african americans out there asking for money.  The people are either latino or white (mostly).  If someone approaches me in that parking lot and doesn't immediately say "I need directions", but instead, "Hey!  I want to ask you something", then I'm going to register that they want money.

I never carry money over there anyway because I have a debit card with my picture on it and it is much easier to pay and show my ID that way.

Why did this guy think that I was a racist?  What if I were black and told him the same thing?  Just because I am white, am I automatically a racist because I refused to acknowledge him?  I'm just wondering how and why a person would think that way about me. 

Everyone faces rejection, but if someone told me when I was young that the reason I face rejection is because of the color of my skin the I wonder how I would look at life from that point on.  As I faced the same sort of rejection that others faced, but interpreted it differently as race-based rejection, then I think that I might begin to live a very angry and pessimistic life.  I began to think that common rejection being interpreted as racist can be a very dangerous perspective since it will inevitably lead to a perpetuation on the part of URMs that racism is still alive and well when in fact it could very well be dying away. 

i had a similar experience a year ago.  i was getting tutoring for o-chem in downtown gainesville.  this guy comes up to me on his bike, and before he can open his mouth, i tell him that 1) i don't have any cash to give him 2) i don't need my windows washed.  (he had the bucket of soap water on his handles).  He started cussing me out, calling me a racist, assuming that I thought he was a bum, etc.  (btw, i'm desi, of course).  Then I'm like, ok, what do you want?  He asks me FOR MONEY!  I'm like, didn't I just say that I only carry plastic.  He had the nerve to ask me to walk across the street to the gas station to buy him a sandwich.  I told him to @#!* off.  I mean, I was in a foul mood that night to begin with, but I was at most brusque, but by no means racist.  Every racial group (except white people) use their race as a tool at some point - hell, I bitched out a security guy at the airport who took extra time checking me.  I got a bit smart and I was like, yo i'm wearing these foam flip flops, wanna check these out too?  I was a total ass and insisted on putting them through the x-ray machine.  Anyway, digression.  In conclusion, no you were not racist.

c00lbeans

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Re: He thought I was a racist!
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2004, 01:03:38 AM »
Hurley, sucks something like that happened to you.
Sometimes people come from places so different and their views are so different than yours that
when misunderstanding or conflict occurs in a episode like that, it leaves you all perplexed and things unresolved.
it's the worst feeling ever.

But I think I can understand where he's coming from, or at least where I think he's coming from.
I'm from Houston, and I never really experienced anything that I can recall as discrimination or what have you.
I live in Katy area, where the majority of the popluation is white, and I have lots of friends who are also white, etc.

Then I came to Lubbock, TX to attend Texas Tech University.
The very first day I arrived in Lubbock, I was walking next to the University St. when a car drove by right next to me.
One of the guy actually came half way out of the car while they were driving and screamed "Chink!"

I was just standing there, stunned and mesmorized by the fading laughters from that car, and I suddenly felt very very alone and insecure.
I mean.... I don't think I ever thought about stuff like this... until at that moment.
It's all cool, because I know that there are some ignorants like that, and that probably will never change.

But my point is that people come from different places... and sometimes it might seem irrational for them to think that way,
I think that sometimes it's really hard for some people exposed to things like that to think more positively and healthy way.

But no, I definitely don't think that you are a racist :)
Baylor Fall 2005

the REAL desi

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Re: He thought I was a racist!
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2004, 01:06:10 AM »
the highlight of my undergraduate career was being called a "sandnigger" by a construction worker in the elevator at the reitz union.  i was so shocked that I started laughing.  the elevator was full of people with jaws that had dropped to the basement of the reitz