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spin off question re racial discrimination(63 posts)

spin off question re racial discriminationDougSloan
Jun 12, 2003 2:20 PM
How recently has anyone personally witnessed an act of racial discrimination? Tell us what happened.

Maybe I'm blind or working in field where racial discrimination is rare, but I just don't see any. I know I personally and my firms have bent over backwards to avoid it and encourage applications from minorities.

I'm talking about first hand, not Rodney King on television.

Were you totally shocked when it happened?

spin off re: your spin off.czardonic
Jun 12, 2003 2:27 PM
I haven't personally witnessed anyone die. By any cause.

Is "death" really a problem in our country anymore?
Mortality rate is still 100%--even in America. nmKristin
Jun 12, 2003 2:38 PM
she shoots, she scores! ;-) nmDougSloan
Jun 12, 2003 2:45 PM
I'll believe it when I see it. (nm)czardonic
Jun 12, 2003 2:47 PM
I'm the one from Missouri nmDougSloan
Jun 12, 2003 2:53 PM
I saw it when I was six.Live Steam
Jun 13, 2003 9:08 AM
I was at a classmates birthday party being held at a local diner. The chef/owner? was sitting at a nearby table sipping coffee and just like that, he keeled over and died. Yup, people die! Hate to break the bad news to you friend :O)
not my pointDougSloan
Jun 12, 2003 2:44 PM
I'm not trying to make a point that discrimination does not exist. I'm interested in what experience people really have. You are too cynical (but you know that already, right?).

I couldn't help myself.czardonic
Jun 12, 2003 2:46 PM
(Hey! Maybe there's a joke about Liberals in there!)
I do like the friendly ribbing and self-deprecating humor...PdxMark
Jun 12, 2003 2:51 PM
we can share here sometimes... In between taking turns with rants, rages, etc.
death if very non-discriminatoryDougSloan
Jun 12, 2003 2:51 PM
Don't worry, the death rate for minorities is precisely the same as whites, as Kristin noted -- 100% for all.

ps: half the time I type "if" I mean "is" nmDougSloan
Jun 12, 2003 2:51 PM
Jun 12, 2003 2:39 PM
Somebody spray-painted the "n" word in one of the squadron heads (bathrooms). Within 5 minutes of its discovery, our CO cancelled the day's flight schedule (a VERY big deal) and had all of the division officers address their troops. My senior chief and I made it abundantly clear that, should we discover that the painter was in our division, the least of the offender's worries would be prosecution under the UCMJ. In stead, we made it clear that "old school" discipline would be administered, namely a severe a@@ kicking.

All of the other chiefs and officers passed the same message. ...It never happened again.

Yes, I was totally shocked, utterly outraged, and thoroughly ashamed. That stuff shouldn't happen, not at all. Of course, the 2.5 years I just spent in NOLA were a complete throwback to the Old South. Digsuting....
Jun 12, 2003 2:49 PM
Hard to believe that would happen in today's military. I imagine someone was panicked to dispose of a can of spray paint, huh?

Maybe racial discrimination, maybe not...PdxMark
Jun 12, 2003 2:45 PM
Cars pulled over with minority occupant(s) (Blacks & Hispanics) seem to be in greater proportion than the total number of cars with drivers of those minorities. It could simply be a matter of my selective observations or different driving habits, but as a counter-point some minority drivers seem to be amazingly diligent about complying with traffic laws.

Professionally, I've seen no racial discrimination.
When I was in High School in Santa Monica, CA. . .czardonic
Jun 12, 2003 3:02 PM
. . .an anonymous letter was distributed to a large number of minority parents that contained all manner of racial epithets.

As disgusting as things like this are, they aren't even the real face of discrimination in this country at this time. Racial discrimination most often occurs in ways that can not be "witnessed", except by deduction. A better question to the board would be, how many live in racially diverse communities? Work in racially diverse offices? What are the racial demographics among their friends? And perhaps most tellingly, what are the racial demographics within their families?
Fresno extremely diverseDougSloan
Jun 12, 2003 3:10 PM
Since I have a trial in July concerning alleged FHA racial discrimination against the City, I'm keenly aware of the racial distribution in the City. It is very diverse. Even my fairly upscale gated neighborhood has a racial makeup fairly representative of the population. In Fresno, white non-Hispanics are 39% of the population.

I don't think it's fair to lump in (wrongful?) lack of diversity where the races, even minorities, are choosing to marry their own race, etc. That's more narcissism than anything.

California? Natch.czardonic
Jun 12, 2003 3:26 PM
Here's why I think marriage matters. A lot of people wouldn't bat an eye at someone saying they are more "comfortable" marrying someone of the same race. There are a lot of seemingly non-racial reasons why -- common background, common ground in general. Even if you are right and this is mostly a matter of narcissism, you are still admitting to a preference that can not be divorced from race. (Also, while it may not be racism, it is still racial discrimination).

Now, if this is accepted practice in social circles, isn't it a bit naive to assume that the same motivations don't influence who we hire, promote or deem a good member of the "team"? As you say, you make concious efforts to make sure that minorities are included. Do you imagine that everyone is as diligent?
not the sameDougSloan
Jun 12, 2003 3:40 PM
I employ balding, fat 35 year old males. Doesn't make it wrong that I don't want to marry them, too, does it?

For the record, before you jump on that, about half the lawyers I have worked with have been women, too, and many minorities (bosses and subordinates). Actually, it's hard to even get minority applicants.

Not my point.czardonic
Jun 12, 2003 4:03 PM
First of all, we already established that professionaly speaking you have made specific efforts to hire minorities. (Why do you suppose there are so few minority applicants? Could it be that minorities are simply not interested in your field?) Do you feel that your attitudes and efforts are typical?

Second, on the issue of "comfort", my point is this: If it is considered a matter of course that a person would prefer a mate of the same race, why is it not considered a matter of course that one's choice of social and even business associates would not be similarly "colored". You say mate choice is a matter of narcissism. I think it has more to do with the assumption of commonality. Otherwise balding, fat 35 year old males would prefer balding, fat 35 year old females (or males!) as mates, and I don't think that is the case. In America, their preference seems to be for thin 25 year old women of the same race and similar "background".

We all know that humans infer a great deal based on what they can see. Most of us know that these inferences are notoriously off-base.
good points nmDougSloan
Jun 12, 2003 7:58 PM
Now look who is making stupid assumptionsLive Steam
Jun 13, 2003 9:23 AM
"Second, on the issue of "comfort", my point is this: If it is considered a matter of course that a person would prefer a mate of the same race, why is it not considered a matter of course that one's choice of social and even business associates would not be similarly "colored".

This is an unbelievable statement, however you seemed to cover yourself with the last statement. Appearences can be deceiving, I guess is the message. At least I hope it is.
I don't follow your comment, other than that you disagree. nmczardonic
Jun 13, 2003 10:02 AM
<I>"you are still admitting to a preference"</I>Live Steam
Jun 13, 2003 9:17 AM
So is choosing a blonde over a brunette! Personal preference has nothing to do with your arguement. Gee, aren't we allowed to make personal choices any more without being called a racist?
I'm not talking about hair color.czardonic
Jun 13, 2003 10:04 AM
I am talking about the persistant view that it is "normal" to seek out a mate of the same "race". FWIW, I see this attitude asserted by Blacks all the time.
I realize you are not talking about hairLive Steam
Jun 13, 2003 10:22 AM
My point is that people have preferences, but that doesn't make them a racist or bigot and it has nothing to do with "black and white". Some people prefer the differences and others require similar heritage because of religion and other reasons. Your arguement that one is a racist because he/she marries a person of similar ethnicity is ridiculous. The same goes to your extending that to ones associates and friends. I don't think you really believe this.
I didn't say it was "racist". I said it was "discrimination".czardonic
Jun 13, 2003 10:44 AM
And while I think that both are wrongheaded, I don't assert that all forms of discriminiation are motivated by hatred or bigotry.

Especially in the United States, if you think that skin color corresponds to culture, you are living under a rock (perhaps Little Rock). Now, maybe that isn't your fault. Maybe you hail from one of the many areas of the country where there is still persistant racial stratification or even homogeneity. That phenomenon itself speaks volumes.

But in my area and several others that are racially diverse, you'd really have to try to avoid meeting friends or potential mates of all races. You couldn't reasonably claim that only people of your own race share the same heritage or religion. Unfortunately, many people still do make these efforts.

Think about what you are implying: within each race all people look the same, hold the same values and share the same backgrounds, and between the races these traits are distinct. Do you believe this?
I guess I have to stop responding to your CRAPOLALive Steam
Jun 13, 2003 11:50 AM
That's Italian for crap. First I never said anywhere in my post that skin color correlates to culture, though we have set aside months on the calendar to celebrate them - Black History Month, Asian History Month, etc. These are to celebrate the history and culture that these groups deem as being part of their culture. That however is a different issue.

You obviously retain very little. I have stated here on many occasions that I was raised and live in NYC. NYC is probably the most concentrated, culturally, ethnically, religiously place on earth. The building I currently live in has 54 units. Of those 54 units, off hand I can say with complete accuracy that every ethnic group you can think of is represented. You leap of faith that I do not have friends of different color, religious beliefs and culture is totally presumptuous and wrong.

As I stated below, you do not have a clue how to develop an argument, if that is your purpose for posting here. You may cause on, but not the type of cohesive argument that intelligent people engage in. I think I have to stop responding to your posts.
. . .and resort to insulting that which you can't respond to.czardonic
Jun 13, 2003 11:57 AM
You'll pardon me if I don't take your debate advice too seriously.

So you live in NYC? What is your excuse? Either you maintain that people of different races are different as a rule for reasons other than skin color, or you admit that I am right.
Personal experiences (warning very looooong)kilimanjaro
Jun 12, 2003 4:51 PM
From most recent on backwards. I will use the term "Racial/ethinic bigotry/intolerance/stereotype" since I don't know if you want to restrict your original question to situations when the descriminator has power over the descriminated (i.e. job/school application)

* Every time that I watch Spanish TV I see discrimination. Judging by the hair color skin tone of news anchors, soap opera stars etc you would think that 90% of the people south of the border were one generation removed from Europe. Ok I am exagerating a bit. When ever I see this I think how funny it is that La Raza complaining about major networks like CBS.

* My son recently learned "Chinese eyes this way, Japannese eyes this way" along with face/eye manipulation from classmates at the pre-school. We are talking to him without reprimand. We shall see what happens

* Sometime last year. I was joking with a Spanish couple at work that I can call myself spanish because I speak a bit of spanish, I have a spanish firstname and after a day in the sun I get pretty dark (reference to Moors in Spain). The woman said that the Moors are much darker and uglier. They had very fair skin and the woman's hair was bleach blond. Take it for what it is worth. I said nothing.

* Soon after 9/11 a lady at my congregation made some comments about not allowing any Arab/muslim passangers on planes, or not allowing them in this country. I don't remember if I gently confronted her or not.

* Many negative references to the "Mexicans" that wait for day jobs at the corner and work in most of the neighborhood yards. I cannot tell you the exact language, rather it is combination of words and body languge. My only response is to use the term "day laborers" myself.

* About two years ago. One of my neighbors said something like "Oh he is OK (referring to me), he is not Mexican, he is ..." to her husband because he was confused by my first name.

* The same neighbor's daughter, who is a very close friend of my son once said that she does not like Mexicans. The mother is very nice and I think she worked with the girl. I do not know of another occurrance. By the way I did not witness either. My neighbor told me about them so I don't know if Doug will allow this.

* About six years ago a co-worker with a Jewish relative by marriage made some remarks about Jews and money. I later asked her not to make similar remarks in my presense and that even though she did not mean to be negative I was very sensitive to such remarks. I recall some tension between us for quite a while after our coversation

* About seven years ago a co-worker with a wife of Argentine/German descent mentioned that his wife spoke proper spanish, not the dirty spanish Mexicans speak. I don't remember if Isaid anything about dirty english but I certainly thought it.

* About eight years ago my aunt said something about Jews being oily when she found out my fiance being Jewish. Her friend agreed. I said nothing at the time.

* About ten years ago I went to a local dive with my friend. We sat at the bar next to this middle aged man. I can only describe him as the stereotypical union worker with the cap, blue jeans and a polyester jacket with eagle on the back. He kept eyeying us and said something along the lines of "You know what to do, taking math and engineerng clases ..."or something like that. What was not directly said but intensely felt by me was "You're taking our jobs." I started complaning about making ends meet and going to school at the same time. When he asked where we are from and named a few countries we resonded "Los Angeles". The man chuckled and said you guys are all right and we bought him a beer. This is how I envision bigotry conquered in the world.

* About eleven years ago when I was speaking with my father about hypothetically marrying someone from a different ethnic group he said that it woul
Why doesn't the board warn you that your post will be cut!kilimanjaro
Jun 12, 2003 5:17 PM
* About eleven years ago when I was speaking with my father about hypothetically marrying someone from a different ethnic group he said that it would fine as long as the woman was not Black. I asked him if he meant black skin or black heart. He answered correctly.

* Arround the same time my mother told me she preferred non-black tenants for purely economic reasons. She related a story about a black family who were perfect tenants for my uncle. However rent never went up for properties immediately surrounding that family while others further away in comparible condition did. Once the black family moved out all previously "depressed" rent went up. We had an arguement that resolved nothing.

* A deceased uncle used to own a electronic repair shop. He did not like to hire "Americans" because he thought they were lazy and claimed too much disability. Hence most emplyoees were members of the same ehtinic group.

* I lived in South America between the ages of seven and ten. I remember a taunting rhyme about my ethnic group being pigs with penguine faces. I don't remember my physical response to the taunts.

The more I write I the more I can think of. During my adult life I usually felt blind sided by these situations. When I remained silent it was usually because I felt any efforts would have been futile. I am most proud of the conversation with my father and the bar story. In each I responded immediately and was able to make someone rethink his position. I agree with czar that discrimination now days are harder to pin down, but can be felt if you have your radar on.
A few observationsLive Steam
Jun 13, 2003 9:38 AM
-Your first example is not discrimination - at least not proven. It is your assumption and possibly your own stereotyping that jumps to the conclusion I think you are trying to make.

-The second example is also not discrimination. It may be crude, but not racism.

-Your next example is somewhat disturbing based on your last and subsequent examples. Think about it. You may have been guilty of what you despise.
Re: A few observationskilimanjaro
Jun 13, 2003 3:14 PM
I thought I made it clear that I use a very broad definition for discrimination to avoid having an arguement over semantics. If I did not make it clear I will try harder in the future. I hope you trust that I can tell in general a difference in the combination of skin tone/facial feature/hair color between Spanish speaking western europeans, mestizos, and aboriginal Americans. The majority of shows I watched would be comparable to having mainly black men and specially women behind news desks, playing leading roles on US TV shows. Even for someone like myself who only has a rudimentry knowledge of the Mexican demographics, it looks as if mestizos and aboriginal Americans do not exist, except as audiences. I do infer from this that the Spanish networks in question place higher value on people with certain western european features.

Regarding 2nd example. Again I used a very broad definitions for racial stereotyping, bigotry etc. I hope we all agree that the expression had racial overtones and could have hurt someone's feelings. They could also shape my son's views of different ethnic groups.

You made me think about my Moorish story a bit more. I still don't see how my joking claim to be a Spaniard of Moorish descent because commonolity of name, language, and the some peculiar physical feature is disturbing. Would it be any less disturbing if I have very fair skin, red hair with frekles, spoke galic and joked that I want to pass myself off as Irish? This is not rhetoric. I really see what I did very differently than shoe blacking my face and telling people I am "African American".

By way I would could never claim that I do not have biased views that can be considered bigoted. I try to be aware of them and not let them affect my daily interaction with people.
I didn't intend to insult you or .....Live Steam
Jun 13, 2003 4:24 PM
question your open-mindedness. I hope you didn't take it that way. I only tried to point out that some of the issues you cited were not necessarily bias or racism.

On point one, I guess you haven't watched the evening news lately. Your analogy does not hold water - at least here in NYC it doesn't. To make an allegation of some impropriety you would first have to know how many qualified "mestizos" and "aboriginal Americans" wanted or qualified for the positions.

Example two was just my observation. It is a crass episode, though children are not aware of this as being wrong. The actual basis of it is fact. Each ethnic Asian group has distinguishable features.

The last issue is totally different from the previous. Not intimating any racial bias on your part, I view your idea that you could be of Spanish origin because of your skin tone and features, irregardless of your name, similarly to the second issue as you view it. You would not have made the remark had your hair been red and skin fair. It wouldn't have made sense. Do I view this as prejudicial? No. Does it make you a bad person? No. To me it is a harmless episode along the path we walk. Might someone else be offended by it? Maybe.
Me personally encountered racial discriminationPaulCL
Jun 12, 2003 6:19 PM
Some would call it "reverse" discrimination since I am white and he was black.

Sophmore year in college. I had run track (400m, 200m) for Vanderbilt the year before. I transferred to the Univ. of Cincinnati for my final three years. First day of practice with a brand new coach. He was new, I was new. He knew no-one, I knew no-ne. He seperated the sprint group into the "fast" and "slow" groups. His words. The fast group was a black, the slow group all white. Remember, he had not worked with any of us before. During intervals, myself and one other "slow" white guy busted our a**'s to catch the fast group. Each time, the coach publicly admonished us for daring to run with the 'fast' guys even though it was obvious (even to the fast guys) that we belonged with them. This went on for several practices until the "slow" (white) guys and I complained to the head coach.

The head coach (white) told us 'tough'. Since I was the ring leader, I was then essentially told to leave the team.

End of story.
Jun 13, 2003 6:16 AM
So, what kind of times were you running? ;-)

Can't believe that still goes on.

Jun 13, 2003 2:59 PM
I'm 41, so this was 21 years ago. I hope it doesn't go on now.

As for my best recollection was upper 47's in the 400m and 21+ sec in the 200m, both done as a freshman in college.
We quit running yards after my junior year of high school - which gave me a bunch of HS records. I was really fast in HS and set the 100yd, 220yd, 440yd school records and now they will stand forever becuase no one is running yards anymore!!
I saw an Indian familysacheson
Jun 12, 2003 7:22 PM
(Indian, as in Middle-Eastern) get ridiculed by a group of middle class, twenty-something, trendy wanna-bes here south of Denver a week or so ago.

I was shocked ... but I was also pretty embarrassed for the fools.

I didn't witness this first-hand, but an Indian couple I am friends with have a pretty nice house near a dammed reservoir in town. Most evenings they take a post-dinner stroll on a walking path that goes around the res. A couple of weeks ago, a cop stopped them on their walk and wouldn't let them walk across the dam to get back home. He cited Home Land Security. I call it discrimination.
Once last year; once this year.Jon Billheimer
Jun 12, 2003 7:52 PM
A year and a half ago I bought a small, regionally based company and retained the owner in a management position. When my branch manager assigned a Phillipino supervisor to a particular contract, this man phoned me to "advise" me that we would lose the account and all the white staff would quit if we put one of "those people" in a supervisory postion. I promptly fired the sonofabitch.

Earlier this Spring a Regional Sales Manager that I had recruited and hired at some expense told one of my branch managers to move out a contract manager who is of East Indian descent and replace him with a white manager. When I heard of this and several other issues I also fired this man.

My own personal understanding of racism is to deprive people of opportunities simply because of their race. In my company I don't tolerate it. We have lots of diversity, both in operations and in head office. At the same time I don't classify preferences as to who someone marries as racism. People are entitled to preferences and choices for crying out loud. However, in my acquaintances I know a number of people who have happily married spouses of differing races. Everyone gets along and no one seems to care. Just my personal experiences:)-
India not part of Middle East. Good story never the less nmkilimanjaro
Jun 12, 2003 9:39 PM
apologies (nm)sacheson
Jun 13, 2003 9:46 PM
re: spin off question re racial discriminationQubeley
Jun 12, 2003 7:40 PM
From what I can see, discrimination is less common among the Americans who grow up with American education.
But many immigrants who come from other countries keep "importing" more discrimination into this country. And discrimination of one minority group toward another is quite common. Living in a mixed neighbouthood, I see it ALL THE TIME..
re: spin off question re racial discriminationJon Billheimer
Jun 12, 2003 8:01 PM
A former controller of mine is from Sri Lanka. His father is Sri Lankan and his mother Australian. He said that this cross-cultural and cross-racial marriage caused a huge brouhaha in both his father's and mother's families at the time. Then when he married, he married a Chinese girl! This again resulted in a huge ruckus between both families. Then everyone got over it and settled down!

But one of the things that Lionel used to say is that North Americans don't have a clue about how universal and severe racism is around the world. Even with all our problems, his view was that we live in a tolerant, peaceful community quite in contrast with his experiences growing up in Asia. He said he wanted to take his kids to Sri Lanka and India at least once so they would appreciate the Canadian community in which they have been raised. Interesting, huh?
I lived in Australia briefly. . .czardonic
Jun 13, 2003 10:10 AM
. . .and prejudice and discrimination was expressed much more openly.
Perhaps semantics but there is more to thisNo_sprint
Jun 13, 2003 7:22 AM
To racially distinguish is not necessarily a bad thing.

I see racial discrimination virtually daily. I happen to work as a contractor at a gym where there is a large population of people of a particular ethnicity. These people display a wide variety of racially discriminatory practices often. It's very cliqueish. There are many women in this particular place that are simply not allowed to date those from not alone another race, but even ethnicity. Many by their own choice. Racial discrimination? You bet. I've walked into a market in this same area and was unable to get help because the person there spoke not one word of English. Hmmmm... I live in the United States by the way.

Now, as far as racial discrimination disallowing someone from one particular race to achieve something, anything tangible, based upon merit, that another race, simply due to race cannot, well, not in front of my own eyes if the television doesn't count. However, I believe it was last year that one or more students of a race I believe was caucasian sued the Univ. of Michigan Law School because their merit was higher than another of an unknown race who was chosen for acceptance simply due to race.

This goes on all the time, it is called Affirmative Action.
Good point, No Sprint...Jon Billheimer
Jun 13, 2003 7:40 AM
One form of discrimination does not correct a preceding form. It just perpetuates the evil, in my opinion.
When is not a bad thing to "racially distinguish"? (nm)czardonic
Jun 13, 2003 10:11 AM
When is not a bad thing to "racially distinguish"? (nm)Live Steam
Jun 13, 2003 10:27 AM
The Constitution provides for the free right of association. If one chooses not to associate with people of different anything - color, religion, sex, hair color, golf handicap, cycling ability, how much hair they have on their head, what flavor icecream they prefer, it is not "discrimination" or "racially distinguishing" in any manner of the sense. It's called the right to choose.
Right isn't always right.czardonic
Jun 13, 2003 10:48 AM
I didn't say it wasn't Constitutional. One can be a narrow minded bigot and remain will within the bounds of constitutionality. That does not make it morally or even logically defensible.

Anyway, I specifically asked about "racially distinguishing", and your answer specifically said that it does not refer to "racially distinguishing".
No discrimination among educated 40ish white males?!?retro
Jun 13, 2003 8:33 AM
Man, that's hard to believe...I figured you guys would hit the glass ceiling right out of law school.
Doug, I'm sorry, but this is one of those times when I can't tell if you're kidding or serious. I work for a progressive company, nationally recognized for its diverse hiring practices and promotions. Even here, once you get out of the boardroom, you hear comments about which ethnic group is lazy and which is stupid and who has a natural talent for music.
Outside, how can you miss it? Last week, a mechanic I've used for years laughed at how a roadside repair had been "(n-word)-rigged." My next door neighbor (OK, he's 80 and grew up in Georgia) calls rocks in his yard "(n-word)heads" (the board won't accept the epithet, so I have to write around it). A friend of mine, a third-generation Californian (lives in Fresno, in fact) is an engineer with a Ph.D. in Geology and a Hispanic surname. He says he's called a "spic" half a dozen times a year, and visitors to his job sites often assume he's a laborer. He's the son of a surgeon, he designs bridges and skyscraper foundations, and he's still a wetback to the white folks.
Another friend--this is in Modesto--married a Japanese-American woman in college, in the early '70s. Even in that area, where Asians are common, people talk down to her, or shout to make themselves understood. Their son, who's in his 30s now, got so tired of being called a "gook" or "slope" (often by Vietnam-era veterans) that when he went to Kansas to go to school, he stayed. He says things are better in McPherson than they were in Mo-town.
You don't see this in the conference rooms down at The Firm? Maybe you ought to get out more....
Because some people make racially derogatory remarks..No_sprint
Jun 13, 2003 8:41 AM
doesn't mean there is corporate racial discrimination in allowance of benefit based upon merit.

These two issues aren't even apples and oranges. It's apples and maybe cow liver.
Plausible deniability doesn't mean the problem is gone. (nm)czardonic
Jun 13, 2003 11:13 AM
Not sure if you would call it discrimination, but ...Live Steam
Jun 13, 2003 10:16 AM
when I first open my Laundromat, I needed to spend time in the store working it myself. It being a new business in every sense of the word, I need to see how it operated, where operation problems could develop, etc. Also, it being a new business, the customer base was small. I neede to keep the payroll down.

I had a young guy who live up the street from the shop working there. He was a nice kid, but somewhat gangly and impossing look in appearence - though he was totally harmless and unassuming. He was about 6'6" with coke bottle glasses (I think he may have been considered legally blind) and a bit deliberate in his movements.

Move forward to the events that unfolded. One of the first customers to patronize the shop was this pretty and congenial black girl. She would drop off laundry to be done by us. A good portion of the clothes were warm-up suits I guess you would call them - kind of like sweats, but they looked to be designer stuff. She always left instructions to have them washed inside out and hung dried. She said the material would pill if not washed in that manner. The receipt was always marked with those instructions.

Well move forward a few days and after the clothes were processed and picked up by the customer. I am in the shop alone and in walks the girl with an older, middle-aged black woman. She came storming to the counter with a claim that her clothes were ruined. She had a few items, that may or may not have been the same that we processed. I viewed them and did not see any damage, at least not perceivable to my eyes. She demanded payment for the clothes and then it started to get ugly. She started spouting off about "your boy", "your boy", "you know that tall white boy". How he ruined the clothes. On and on she went about "your boy". I tried to calm her down and express the fact that I would compensate her for what ever was damaged if she could show point out the damage to me. She was not willing to listen. She just kept up about "your boy" and many expletives that came in between. Her daughter? didn't say a word the entire time. The mother? seemed to get more agitated by the minute. I wasn't even sure what she wanted from me as I offered compensation, re-processing the clothes and to make sure the clothes were processed as prescribed in the future, but she just kept ranting. It was getting scary. At that point I asked her to leave the shop. This only further enraged her and she began to make threats that she would call the police and accuse me of some sort of improper behavior toward her and her daughter. She also made some racial references. No sooner did those words leave her mouth, I was on the phone with 911. The daughter saw me make the call and she quickly ushered the mother out the door and into their Mercedes Benz. Off they went, never to be seen again.

That is my first hand experience with racism or what ever you want to call it.
Jun 13, 2003 10:57 AM
You attribute the fact that she needlessly specified the race of your "boy" to racism. Yet you yourself specify the race of the woman, and for no apparent reason. If she were white, would here comment be any less offensive? If I hear a person refer to Blacks as lazy, ignorant or predisposed to criminality I consider it racism regardless of the race of the person making the comment, and I have heard Blacks espouse these exact sentiments.

Also, you seem to read some racial implication into the phrase "your boy"?
Obtuse?Jon Billheimer
Jun 13, 2003 11:21 AM

Are you willfully obtuse, or can't you read, or do you just like being argumentative when someone doesn't automatically line up with your utopian views? According to the account the woman used racial epithets and other abusive language. Also, in the context of American culture the term "boy" is a derogatory comment with racial overtones. With your exquisite sensitivity to all things PC even you should know that!

So there, Steam. Write this down in your diary. I defended you for once!:)-
Nah. Would the story read any differently. . .czardonic
Jun 13, 2003 11:45 AM
. . .if the race of the offender were omitted? As you point out, she used racial epithets and abusive language.

As for "boy", that it lives as an exclusively derogatory term in the White American lexicon means little in this context.
Duly noted :O) I don't think CZAR ...Live Steam
Jun 13, 2003 12:21 PM
actually believes much of the CRAPOLA he writes. I think your assessment of his desiring to be arguementative is on the mark. He leaps to conclusions without support for them and then uses them in defence of his position. Can he really need the attention that bad? That would be rather sad.

Let's see - Dear diary, it's Friday the 13th - oh my - June, 2003 and on this day ......... :O)
Steam, it speaks ill of your character. . .czardonic
Jun 13, 2003 1:40 PM
. . .that you so avidly engage in this kind of indirect insult. Address your disagreement (or insults) directly to me. I can take it.
The term "Boy"...94Nole
Jun 20, 2003 6:56 AM
only became offensive after full integration of the schools.
I knew you would respond in some foolish fashionLive Steam
Jun 13, 2003 11:24 AM
I as also stated, and you conveniently left it out, was that she used racial epithets laced with profanity. Her being black is a rather important piece of the story. It wouldn't make a lot of sense if she were white and made the same remarks. She said she was going to say to the police that I made some sexual advances or lewd remarks and also used racial slurs. I did no such thing. That is what prompted me to call the police.

I think my experience was way more relevant to the topic than your claim that people who chose a person of the same color and or ethnicity are discriminating. Well duh, anytime one makes a choice they are discriminating. You are one puzzling character. You accuse everyone here of making leaps of faith when responding to you, yet that is exactly what you do time and again. 53T was right. You certainly wouldn't fair well in an actual debate, nor in a courtroom as far as I am concerned. I sure hope your true desire isn't to be a lawyer.

CZAR I really think you have a problem. Maybe you need that beer now!
Your experience <i>is</i> more relevant. . .czardonic
Jun 13, 2003 11:50 AM
. . .in that it is a case of racial discrimination that was also racism. But it still would have obviously been so had you not mentioned the woman's race. It might not have made sense if a white person had said the same things that she said, but would it have been any less racist?
re: spin off question re racial discrimination4bykn
Jun 13, 2003 12:09 PM
I work for a company that has paid literally millions in lawsuit settlements for racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and sexual harrassment. Have I ever actually seen it happen? Nope. Do I believe it happens? Hell yeah.
Jun 15, 2003 3:28 PM
First one that pops to mind was several years ago I did a job on site which required six or seven temps. I went to the employment office at a nearby town looking for help.

This town (Vallejo CA) has a relatively substantial black population, and one of the workers I hired who showed up was black. He was tall and strong and worked well, but unfortunately one of the others was this red-necked white guy who behind my back was verbally abusive in a racially bigoted way to this black guy.

At the end of the day when the black guy told me he wasn't coming back the next day and wanted to be paid, I found out what happened. He was a good worker and not a slacker and I tried to convince him to return, but he'd had enough for the day and probably through his lifetime to not be persuaded by a strange white man (me) that things would be better tomorrow.

I did get rid of the bigot the next day, but too little too late for the hurt that that guy had done the day before.