The other day I got a flat tire, the first time in seven years of driving. As I was sitting in my car, in the cold, reading the car manual to find out where the jack and spanner was stored and worrying about being in a really bad neghborhood with thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment,some guy knocks on my window. He has a jack and lug wrench in his hand. He saw me from his house and came out to change my tire. Not at all what I was expecting from someone in that neighborhood.
Small things like that make me feel better about humanity and make me a much less cynical person.
It is amazing how some unlikely people can surprise you. I was on holiday in New York and was on the metro. I got up to look out the window and this great big rough looking black guy sat in my seat. Not the kind of person you’d normally make eye contact with even. To my suprise when he noticed my glance at the seat he immediately said ‘Oh sorry have I taken your seat’ and offered it back. I declined in shock.
Things like that do make you feel a happier resident of our world though.
I think this sort of thing is most apparent in the donations to the Tsunami victims. I never knew the world was THIS generous, in Australia we need extra Volunteers just to sort through the masses of donations.
It’s also good to see that kids still trade their seats for adults on public transport, well, most kids anyway.
Me and this girl were headed out on a date, and I saw this old black guy almost stumbling drunk and it was pouring cold rain. She freaked when I pulled over and called him in, hehe. He sat in the back and was so thankful. He was cracking jokes about how his wife was gonna kill him etc and had us rolling the whole trip. It’s a great feeling.
Wow, you met a good black person and that shocked you!
I’ve never met a single person of african descent I didn’t get along fine with and that includes my mother-in-law. <sarcasm> Isn’t that shocking or what? </sarcasm>
You’re just being an ass, he said “big rough looking black guy” not just “black person.” This black guy and either of these white guys would probably have exactly the same effect. No, you don’t expect someone who is extremely intimidating and possibly a little rough looking to just give up a seat. This black guy might seem more approachable, however, any of the above wearing America pants are totally unapproachable, as they use the buddy system and someone has their back even if you seem to hold an advantage.
In Oklahoma my weary eye looks to rednecks, the type that wear cowboy boots and have huge muscles from stacking square bales or whatever. Almost all of them are generally very polite and have genuine southern hospitality, but the one that used to beat me up in high school seems to ruin my image of all of them. I’m pretty lucky to live in such a polite state really, people won’t usually go totally out of their way to help you but they’re still pretty approachable and helpful.
those people dont look rough just strong…
because people have musle doesnt mean there gonna smash you if you look at them. in londan england ive seen this average looking guy bit like the seconed guy you showed without glasses or accordian between http://www.photo.net/photo/pcd1359/venice-beach-muscle-beach-60.3.jpg and acorrdian guy
and he was ready to throw a brick at this guys head. he didnt look rough to me…
Of course it doesn’t, but it seems that way because they’re intimidating. They’re “rough” at first impression automatically, because by being equipped to kick ass, it seems like they probably have. A tank can be clean and without a scratch, maybe without even having drivers, but staring into the barrel will still make it look rough.
Despite what the media has told you, stereotypes are oftentimes very usefull and sometimes nessecary for survival. It is only when they become rigid and unrational rules in your mind that it becomes bigotry.
I grew up in an ‘integrated’ neighborhood so I don’t feel particularly intimidated just because someon may be huge and black. At the same time there are ‘black’ parts of this town that if I was stupid enough to drive through in the middle of the night in a damned expensive and pimped out vehicle and it broke down I would be MUCH more likely to get shot than an offer to help fix it. Thats not prejeduice, it’s having a healthy sense of self preservation. In such a case it would not be a prejeducial thing to say I was really suprised that a ‘black man’ helped me out. The same principal applies to the incredibly poor and violent white ghettos in this city. Given the same situation there would be nothing remiss in me expressing suprise that I was helped rather than harmed.
Regardless in my situation I was in a ‘checkered’ neighborhood - it had good elements and bad elements, depending on which direction you faced (we have a lot of these in saint louis). The man who helped me out was in fact large and black, and no, I was not scared of him. I was just suprised that ANYONE came out in the January cold to help me when they certainly didn’t need to.
As is often said, intentions are very difficult to judge over the internet, hence netiquette. IE: not accusing someone of racism based on an innocuous comment.
Kindly refrain from acts of hysteria.
Now I don’t know your background as to why you would react so violently to an innocent statement like that, but I assure you I had no ill intent. I give you the benefit of the doubt as I don’t know you. Please do the same in return.
My reply was sarcastic, but not violent. I know you meant well, that’s what irked me the most. It just goes to show the extent of our (yes me included) conditioning when it comes to judging others. I did not call YOU a racist but your original post can only be considered innocent if you are not black (my son read it and did find it extremely offensive: he is tall but not really big, not too dark and only 11 yet still gets reaction like yours all the time.
I’m cool with you though. Don’t take my original reply as a personnal attack, My tone was more surprise than venom. This kind of underhanded racism is all over the place so I’m just doing my little bit to fight the good fight.
Yeah, inbred racism, like assuming all black people would not say ‘how do you know I’m not black?’. Cultural stereotype on your part. I know black people who would have said that. Why? Because of where I live, and the culture.