Uh Oh. Could I be a Racist?

Most definitely NOT but I admit to catching myself today in a situation where I left the conversation doubting myself.

The ONLY image I could even think of using for this post had to be something funny, and who’s funnier than Peter Griffin? No one.


Here’s what happened. I report, You decide.

I was at the gas station buying window washer fluid and a couple of lottery tickets. There was a man outside, leaning up against the store window. As I walked by, he said hello, then said he could use a few dollars.

I didn’t answer him but when I got inside to the cashier, a young black woman, I asked her if she knew the man outside (also black, but in this context, not relevant). I further asked if her if she thought the man was hungry.

The cashier, as I said, is young and black. Extra long painted clickety fingernails, an unusual hairdo, but always pleasant to me.

I immediately regretted asking her the question because quite honestly I expected a little lecture back. Here’s where I began the worry that I am racist.

She lectured me alright, but she said: This is America and there are plenty of jobs. He needs to go out and find one.

She added: He only spends his money on beer and if he thinks I’m going to let customers give him money to waste on beer, he’s got another thing coming.

She finished  This is America and he won’t go hungry. 

Okay, she said totally the opposite of what I expected to come out of her mouth and that is why I feel like shit. I guess I assumed because she was young and black and the man asking for money was black, she’d see me as Miss White Privilege, doling out some White Privilege money.

I’ve never questioned my feelings. I KNOW I am not a racist but gosh, it was so wrong of me to presume what a young black woman behind the cash register was going to say.

The End.


16 thoughts on “Uh Oh. Could I be a Racist?

  1. I think you are mainstream media conditioned to think you are a racist, but the EOS I know from here is not. If you were a racist you wouldn’t have even asked the cashier if you could help the man. I also don’t think it’s irrelevant that the man asking for money is black (you thought it was irrelevant).

    I’m leaving tomorrow for California even though my son said the temps are well over 100. I’m hoping to melt off 25 pounds in the sauna-like California sunshine.

  2. I don’t see how color enters into this. You saw a man asking for $ outside a store where you shop and asked the cashier if she knew him and if she thought he was hungry. Whatever race either one happened to be, you’d still ask the same question. I would have expected her to say something like he hangs out here all the time or I’ve never seen him before.
    Absolutely no reason to feel guilty about anything.

    1. Well, maybe, but my point is I EXPECTED to be sassed by the young black cashier. I profiled her in some way, conditioned, as Jane said, to expect the way she looked and her age, to give me a different answer.

      1. I find myself pondering these things often. My dad was a bit of a racist, but he overcame it in his latter years after a trip to The Wailing Wall. I don’t think making an assumption is necessarily racist. You have experienced X amount of things and most times Y happened, so you naturally would begin to expect Y to happen when you come into an X situation.

        You went into this situation projecting love and concern for a brother (a fellow child of God), and she returned love to you, in the form of an agreement. Had you been racist, you would have projected hate and/or fear and had that reflected back at you.

        I home that makes a smattering of sense, I’ve been deep in my book today!

      2. I’m not convinced you truly expected to be sassed or you would have thought twice about asking the questions. As far as being profiled, I think we all are from time to time. I know I am and I get a kick out of it.
        How about some important blogging like ginger beer comparisons with and without added rum.

        1. I went three places today in search of ginger beer brands and came up empty except what I already have, Gosling.
          Tomorrow I’ll run into Greenwich Whole Foods and the PortChester beer store. The comparison will happen, just not today, or tomorrow.

  3. Asking the question begs the answer.

    Your basic goodness is seen in your concern for all three parties in the transaction. Each day gives us opportunities to show concern for and take action to improve the lives and conditions of those suffering. Not to go all Mr T on you, but “pity the fool.”

    We live in a culture and society deeply rooted in a racist past.

    Police shootings of blacks cannot be overlooked:


    Police Dashcam Footage Of Philando Castile Fatal Shooting:

    1. I like to think I ahve basic goodness so everyone who has commented in this thread seems to agree that my concern was for everyone, hence, it’s only in my mind that I worried. Thanks for th affirmation.

      As for the verdict in the Castile shooting, there is NO DOUBT that the officer was wrong, dead wrong, and how a jury acquitted him is incomprehensible. The shooting was definitely motivated by race.

    1. While I agree that the Castile murder was a huge miscarriage of justice, The New Yorker article took it a couple of notches off for me. Why is it that the jury didn’t see the video, or did they and still come back with not-guilty?

      I’ve noticed that the last few cases where an officer shoots someone, the officer has been acquitted. I don’t know if it’s because the jury really believes the officer is innocent or it’s some unconscious reaction to so many innocent officers railroaded (think Baltimore). Bottom line, Castile should be alive and the officer in jail.

  4. la signora nella foto appare come la mia nonna da Siracusa.

    le mie scuse per il commento Calabria. Sono conosciuto per offensivamente mettere il mio piede nella mia bocca abbastanza spesso.

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