succumbing to peer pressure

Monday, April 03, 2006


In the MARTA station yesterday a nice young black man stopped at the foot of the escalator and gestured that I should go ahead of him. My first thought: I wonder if he just wants to stand behind me so as to have better access to my luggage for pick-pocketing? I could try to justify this knee-jerk reaction by contextualizing - as someone loaded down with suitcases on public transportation in a major city I did make a nice target for petty thievery, and therefore it is reasonable to be aware of one's surroundings. But I know my brain was reacting to the color of his skin.

This, and something my brother said over the weekend, will eventually lead up to a larger post on -isms and the subtle and insidious ways they get expressed everyday.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I look forward to the post on -isms. I've run into the situation you've described a number of times, but always on the other end of things where, because I'm young, male, and brown, people respond to me as though I'm going to mug them and kill them at a moment's notice.

Damn crackers.


7:01 AM  
Blogger Phutatorius' Chestnut said...

I have run into a similar problem. Brown people I know (Sid, specifically) keep trying to kill and mug me. I evade them because I'm a wiley cracker, but I'm affraid how this might impact how I interact with strangers.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry about that, P.C.

However, having had your coffee, you can't say you didn't have it coming to you.


10:54 AM  

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