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  1. #1

    Post your experiences with racism

    Today, Starbucks closed their stores for mandatory anti-bias training. This is only the start of their process. Tune in to MSNBC Tuesday May 29 at 9 p.m. ET or stream the event on Twitter @MSNBC. Join in the discussion using #EverydayRacism.

    I thought it would also be a good idea to start a thread here to keep the conversation going. Of course, I don't care who you are, White, Black, Latino, Asian, Muslim, Christian, Martian...please post experience you've had when you felt that bias was at play.

    I'll start:

    I am Black. Over the last year, I have gone to Target in three different cities. In each, I was followed by several employees and security while trying to shop, as i've done for years. They follow me around, yet don't follow any Whites around. (My sister was once the head of the security team in one of them). I shop at Target because I have liked their treatment of their employees more than at Walmart.

    Lately, since this has been happening, i've decided to shop more at Walmart because I don't feel like I am being watched because i'm Black. And, if they are watching me, I don't see it. I would rather shop where I do not feel like I am profiled, even if they have a less than stellar reputation. In my eyes, Target has fallen from grace with me.

  2. #2
    I've got a ton of them but most go way back. I'll post one now and more after others (hopefully) share.

    I've been stopped by the police six times since I've been driving, the most recent one being in 2011 and before that, not once since 1989 because I've been beyond cautious. Of the six times that I've been stopped, the worst was with a black cop and I'm convinced he stopped me because I'm black. One day I was driving with my cousin Tony in tow when I saw flashing lights. Pulled over and asked Tony if I missed a stop sign or a red light. "No, you stopped for everything," he told me.

    This brother pulled up beside me and looked like I pissed on his doughnut. Of all the times that I've been pulled over, this is the only cop who treated me with hostility and disrespect. After a few minutes of asking questions that he didn't need the answers to (including demanding that my passenger give him his ID, which is not required by Ohio law; Tony gave it to him, though) he took my license to call it in. Before he walked away, I asked him why he pulled me over.

    "You don't have a front tag on your car," he replied. He walked away. It took him five minutes to return and Tony and I spent the time counting the cars that we observed without front tags. Without even looking at the ones going in our direction, we counted 17 before he returned. There were only two lanes on that side of the street and it wasn't a busy time. My blood boiled and Tony saw it. Finally, he returned and let me know he was going to let me go with a warning if I put the tag on immediately. It was in my trunk, so I put it on. Before he left, I had a question.

    "So, are you stopping everybody who doesn't have a front tag?" I asked, knowing the answer. Tony smacked my arm and whispered "Jerry, don't do it..." because he knew I was about to give that cop a reason to take me to jail.

    "Yeah, I am. Why are you asking?" he said.

    "I just wanted to know," was my answer and I swear I was biting my lip. Dude took 20 minutes of my time because he was hoping to smell weed smoke or see something suspicious. Not having a tag is one of those rules that cops invoke just to pull people over. Things are much worse back then but I know full-well how incidents with police escalate because if my cousin had not cooled me down, I was close to being in a hell of a situation that day.

    The last time that I was stopped, a sheriff's deputy, Officer Fitzgerald he was proud to announce, was polite enough but asked where I was going and if I knew that I made a rolling stop a few blocks back. He asked what I did on my job and what time I had to be there. He was kind of passively aggressive. I didn't want to be late, so I kept both hands on the wheel, looked him in his eyes and spoke assertively but not aggressively. I'm not a rude guy typically, but it dawned on me that I went out of my way to make sure he knew that I wasn't rude. He let me go with a warning. He was a bit of a dick but he was professional. Unlike that bastard from the other time.

  3. #3
    My first experience was as a 5-year old when my brother and I had spent a week in DC before being retrieved by the parents for a continuing road trip to South Carolina. That was the first time my mom had ever worn pants. Later in the day, we walked in the front door of a Howard Johnsons in Virginia for dinner. I thought everyone was staring at my mom because she looked so good. Not the case. After sitting for a while and not getting service, 5-year old me got loud about being hungry and being ignored and then smacked by mom to quell the commotion. The waitress then informed us that we needed to go around to the back and sit in the kitchen if we wanted to eat. My parents were afraid for me and my brother while being embarrassed and unable to explain what had happened in a way we could understand.

    Sixty years later, I marvel that I can go other places on the planet as a professional and receive complete respect for and confidence in my capabilities, while in the US capabilities and experience are still constantly questioned. Every time I return to the US, the scene from Roots where Fiddler says to Toby (Kunta Kinte), "Nigger you in America, now" flashes through my mind while deplaning.

    Today's episode with Roseanne Barr calling Valerie Jarrett an ape is an indication of how little things have changed. Thanks the the lower body part at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue it's now fashionable to voice thoughts and execute actions that were previously better left in the closet for fear of being ostracized.
    Last edited by nabob; 05-29-2018 at 09:29 PM.

  4. #4
    One thing bothers me a bit about this whole Starbucks thing. I think it obscures the problem of racism as it effects all minorities. Where I live, we have a large (very large) Hispanic population, mostly first and second generation (now going into the third), with a large older white population that thinks of these residents as nothing more than apple pickers or farm labor.

    I'm sure other parts of the country with different minority populations (of whatever race they are) have similar problems, and as much as I feel for the problems presented by the Starbucks situation, I sort of feel like we're trying to treat the symptoms of the problem and not the problem itself.

    FYI, I come at this as a 69 year old white guy. I had a 40 year career in retail, and have, alas, seen my fair share of unfortunate treatment of Hispanics in the retail setting.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug-Morgan View Post
    One thing bothers me a bit about this whole Starbucks thing. I think it obscures the problem of racism as it effects all minorities. Where I live, we have a large (very large) Hispanic population, mostly first and second generation (now going into the third), with a large older white population that thinks of these residents as nothing more than apple pickers or farm labor.

    I'm sure other parts of the country with different minority populations (of whatever race they are) have similar problems, and as much as I feel for the problems presented by the Starbucks situation, I sort of feel like we're trying to treat the symptoms of the problem and not the problem itself.

    FYI, I come at this as a 69 year old white guy. I had a 40 year career in retail, and have, alas, seen my fair share of unfortunate treatment of Hispanics in the retail setting.
    But, do you have any personal experiences to relate to us? That's what this thread is about. No judging, no commentary, just posting your experiences.

  6. #6
    I had a negative experience a few months ago at a nightclub.

    I was chummy with a White a couple. They had met another couple earlier that night. At one point, I was standing with the couple I was acquainted with, and a White woman of the other couple. Her White husband had gone outside for a smoke or something. The four of us were having a good time talking until all of a sudden the woman's husband came back in. He marched right over to our little group, pulled his wife by the arm, and yelled at me, saying "We don't like Black people! Stay away from us!", and stormed out of the club. His wife liked me just fine.

  7. #7
    I'll never forget an early experience when I was training for a job that was integrating new equipment. I was buddies with a white woman named Robin who helped train me when I was first hired. I was always cool with her and she always seemed to be cool to me. One day as we arrived for work, I heard her telling a co-worker that the bank that she worked at on her other job had been robbed that day.

    The other guy asked what the robber looked like. Her expression changed from excitement to one of disgust and she replied "What do you think?" Then she turned to me and looked genuinely sorry that I heard her reply, which meant nothing to me at the time until she said "Oh, Jerry. I'm sorry!"

    I worked there for another four years and unless I had to for the job, I never talked to her again.

  8. #8
    I run into White people who like to tell me that they don't listen to rap music because it's for Black people.

    I have to deal with a guy at work who says racist stuff like how Song Of The South is a good movie for kids, and that it's wrong for some guy to have been suspended for using the word "coon" on a message board. he also mocks Asian people by making mock Chinese sounds. Why they don't fire him is beyond me.

  9. #9
    When I was last in America, somebody was talking about an "homi" (not sure if that is how it is spelt) but then she looked at me and said sorry about that.

    I had no idea what it meant so it went over my head. Can anyone explain please and why would she apologise to me?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    I run into White people who like to tell me that they don't listen to rap music because it's for Black people.

    I have to deal with a guy at work who says racist stuff like how Song Of The South is a good movie for kids, and that it's wrong for some guy to have been suspended for using the word "coon" on a message board. he also mocks Asian people by making mock Chinese sounds. Why they don't fire him is beyond me.
    Literally, the first complaint of that (mocking Asian people) where I used to work would have resulted in a three day suspension in accordance with the CBA. The second would result in termination. We didn't have a social media policy back then but I don't think that the contract afforded us the right to discipline someone who posted racist things away from the job.

    I'll never forget this one guy who worked for me when the place opened. He was productive but nearly got into fights every night. Nothing if not politically incorrect, he offended everybody but made sure to leave me alone. One day, my boss, who worked on first shift asked me to sit in on an investigation. Apparently he said something really disrespectful to a woman named Tina who also worked on second shift for me. One by one, my employees sat down and repeated the same account of what he said to her. Then each also reported something racist or misogynistic that he said or did to them. Made a rotten guy sound even worse, even though I knew that they all engaged in inappropriate behavior among themselves. My boss asked if I was in the room when it happened and each said that I wasn't. He was scum but they set him up.

    Well, we fired him although I went on record saying he was being framed. My boss reminded me that each already said that I wasn't around when it happened. "Let me tell you something," he said. "If you were in the room when he said what they allege, you'd be walking out of here first."

    He asked if I ate lunch in the breakroom. "I guess I will from now on," I replied.

    "No! Don't! Stay as far from these people on their time as you can."

    I ate lunch at my desk for the next 13 years. The easiest way to be fired was to say something racist or sexist. The kicker was when my boss told me the lies he said about me, trying to get me fired, not knowing that I was the only one who stood up for him. Dirty dog.

  11. #11
    I had a boss who used to go on for years about how OJ Simpson got away with murder for killing his White wife and her boyfriend.

    Years later, literally every time he saw me, he would go on and on about "my" president Obama, and how he hates White people.

  12. #12
    O.J. got away with murder. But I watched every day of that trial and the fact that the cops tried so hard to frame him when there was a ton of legitimate evidence that they could have used was on them. That case would be cut and dried if they did it by the book, but they didn't and it bit them in their asses. People who complain about the decision never mention evidence. The presumption is that if the prosecution brought charges against a black suspect then his conviction was automatic. It's not hard to understand. If you charge somebody with a crime, prove it.

    That whole situation f*cked me up so bad because I didn't want to see the pigs get away with an obvious set-up but it was messed up that Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman's murders would not have justice. In a sick way, watching White America twist itself into knots over an incomprehensible verdict was interesting on the ass end of four cops walking after beating the crap out of Rodney King on camera. And they've been walking after beating us on camera ever since then.

    I'm down for Take A Knee 100%. I'm not watching the NFL although I still am a fan of my teams. Between what I'm seeing daily (cops killing unarmed people for basically looking scary; white people calling police on black people for existing in "their" space; a president who is not called to task by the media for having literal Nazis and white supremacists in his advisory circle) and the rolling back of civil rights, I feel like America doesn't see me as a full citizen even as it demands I stand up and respect the flag. It's my fault for not seeing the signs that were always there, though.

  13. #13
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    On my first visit to USA in 1951 (Chicago Metro Area), I was with my parents and grandparents, touring the area. We had family in East Chicago, Indiana (Indiana Harbor). We were in Michiana, Indiana, on the Indiana side of the Michigan/Indiana border(Michiana Shores) on the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan. Michigan and Illinois are typical "Northern States", which were somewhat racist during the 1950s, but not to the extent of that of The Southern States. Indiana was another case, entirely. The southern half of that state is pretty much like Kentucky (like a standard southern state). We saw nice-looking beach, and headed for it. We parked the car and started to walk on the walkway. We saw a sign that stated: "NO JEWS, NO NIG.....S allowed on this beach". That sent chills down my spine. I had lived my whole life up 'til then with survivors from The Nazi death camps living in our house. Needless to say, we hung out more on the Illinois side after that. A decade later, we moved to Chicago, and my father bought a grocery store on The South Side. We STILL weren't allowed on certain beaches even at that later date.

    I didn't kill The Christians' God. Why am I blamed for that? I wouldn't have done it, anyway. He was a fellow Jew. Or, maybe not. Maybe I'm not really a Jew, but a false Jew, spawn of The Devil, Turk, descended from The Khazars. And, of course, I am a trillionaire, cousin of The Rothschilds, running The World's banking system, and World politics and communications and the media through Hollywood!

  14. #14
    It's worse since then, robb. Racists in the northern states were laying low, knowing that overt acts and words of racism would receive stiff societal rebuke. There were always towns in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and etc. where we were welcome to pass through but would have been stupid to stay after dark. It even existed in parts of metropolitan areas. A couple years ago, an apartment manager in Cincinnati told black residents they couldn't swim in the pool of the complex because chemicals in their hair clogged up the filtering equipment. Thanks to Moron Don, there's no compulsion to hide their true feelings, though. I think they believe it's their time at long last and they're saying and doing unthinkable things to Jews, Muslims, black and Hispanic people.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Oz View Post
    It's worse since then, robb. Racists in the northern states were laying low, knowing that overt acts and words of racism would receive stiff societal rebuke. There were always towns in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and etc. where we were welcome to pass through but would have been stupid to stay after dark. It even existed in parts of metropolitan areas. A couple years ago, an apartment manager in Cincinnati told black residents they couldn't swim in the pool of the complex because chemicals in their hair clogged up the filtering equipment. Thanks to Moron Don, there's no compulsion to hide their true feelings, though. I think they believe it's their time at long last and they're saying and doing unthinkable things to Jews, Muslims, black and Hispanic people.
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    Cincinnati, like southern Indiana, was always much more like Kentucky than like the "real North" (which was also racist-but not as much).

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    Cincinnati, like southern Indiana, was always much more like Kentucky than like the "real North" (which was also racist-but not as much).
    That's true. Dayton is like that too. I was always told to be careful of the Kentucky transplants - both black and white - in Dayton. There's a different sensibility once you get past the river and those folks have a low tolerance and quick (and often violent) response for perceived disrespect.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    When I was last in America, somebody was talking about an "homi" (not sure if that is how it is spelt) but then she looked at me and said sorry about that.

    I had no idea what it meant so it went over my head. Can anyone explain please and why would she apologise to me?
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    A "Homey" is a neighbourhood brother (pal), who is also a good friend. In the ghettos and barrios the neighbourhood "gang" sticks together like good friends and brothers, when it comes to dealing with outsiders. Maybe she apologized to you because she saw a look of "not understanding" on your face, and was afraid you might take it wrong, and think she said "Homo", which is derogatory slang for "homosexual"? Or, maybe she didn't want you to think she thought you looked "homely"?
    Last edited by robb_k; 06-03-2018 at 04:31 PM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Oz View Post
    That's true. Dayton is like that too. I was always told to be careful of the Kentucky transplants - both black and white - in Dayton. There's a different sensibility once you get past the river and those folks have a low tolerance and quick (and often violent) response for perceived disrespect.
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    You'd think that Black people who left racist Kentucky, and moved to Ohio, far enough north to be quite a bit less racist than from where they came, would be a little more mellow than being a powder keg ready to explode if someone looks at them the "wrong way".

    When I visit L.A. or Chicago, there are loads of people I've seen, that snap at you and threaten to "beat you to a pulp" just because what they are doing might catch your eye, especially when it looks a little suspicious. I've had several homeless drug-takers and winos, and would-be gang types stare at me, and then charge towards me pretending like they're going to attack, and yelling "What are YOU looking at?" As if I don't have the right to look ahead when I'm walking. They're paranoid that I don't "approve" of them, because they are setting up a makeshift tent under a freeway ramp, to sleep in that night, or they are sitting and smoking a joint, or drinking beer or spirits.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    A "Homey" is a neighbourhood brother (pal), who is also a good friend. In the ghettos and barrios the neighbourhood "gang" sticks together like good friends and brothers, when it comes to dealing with outsiders. Maybe she apologized to you because she saw a look of "not understanding" on your face, and was afraid you might take it wrong, and think she said "Homo", which is derogatory slang for "homosexual"? Or, maybe she didn't want you to think she thought you looked "homely"?
    "Homey" or Homie" is short for "homeboy", which as you say, describes somebody in a close group or gang (not necessarily a criminal gang).

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    You'd think that Black people who left racist Kentucky, and moved to Ohio, far enough north to be quite a bit less racist than from where they came, would be a little more mellow than being a powder keg ready to explode if someone looks at them the "wrong way".

    When I visit L.A. or Chicago, there are loads of people I've seen, that snap at you and threaten to "beat you to a pulp" just because what they are doing might catch your eye, especially when it looks a little suspicious. I've had several homeless drug-takers and winos, and would-be gang types stare at me, and then charge towards me pretending like they're going to attack, and yelling "What are YOU looking at?" As if I don't have the right to look ahead when I'm walking. They're paranoid that I don't "approve" of them, because they are setting up a makeshift tent under a freeway ramp, to sleep in that night, or they are sitting and smoking a joint, or drinking beer or spirits.
    The ego that pushes that attitude is interesting because it's not just seemingly out of place, it often pops up unexpectedly. I'll never forget being in a restaurant with one of my buddies when he brushed against a guy (or vice versa). The guy gave us both a stare down and told my friend "Excuse you". When my buddy asked what he was talking about, he said "I got something for both of y'all", presumably a gun under his coat. We both shrugged and ignored him, confident that he wouldn't pull it out in a crowded restaurant and that proved to be the best way to de-escalate the situation. I must have brushed against people thousands of times, sometimes much harder than my friend and that guy touched each other, and never has it nearly resulted in violence. I used to patronize some of the most crowded clubs in central Ohio and bumped and pushed hundreds of people in the course of a few hours without it being an issue.

  21. #21
    Here's an interesting article from my home town. If you thought that racism is primarily a southern problem, this should change that notion. Stay classy, Columbus. *sigh*

    https://abcnews.go.com/US/ohio-state...ry?id=55590710

  22. #22
    This video was shown as part of Starbucks' diversity training last week.

  23. #23
    Coppelia-Birdsong Guest
    Over the years I've realised I experience a very strange and specific form of racism, but it generally boils down to often not really feeling accepted by anyone.

    I'm white, but I am half italian, and for that reason a lot of people think I look exotic or ethnically ambiguous. People usually ask me "where are you from" or say that I look like I am half something. Point is I don't look full english as far as many are concerned.

    So when black people see me, they see white (i live in a very poor area and it's mostly working class black, white and indian/middle eastern folk where I live.) But when other groups see me, they see "mixed" or "foreigner" or "half breed". I guess it's strange because when I decided to research my own heritage (my maternal grandparents were very quick to sever links with Italy when they emigrated) some of the things I read about the treatment of Southern Italians such as myself... things people said and did, made my blood run cold. I would have been considered a half breed by everyone, as for a large part of American history, southern Italians such as myself were not considered white, and when I read about the number of italians lynched I felt so thankful I was not born in that era: reading about the New Orleans mass lynching and the things people like Teddy Roosevelt and the governer of Lousiana (who took part in it) said made me feel even more thankful.

    But the weird thing is, I get quite a bit of abuse thrown at me. People have told me to "go home dirty foreigner" and accused me of being a terrorist. On dating apps, I've had a ton of racist abuse thrown at me, by a lot of people who say I "don't look white".

    It's incredibly strange. I think it goes to show how insidious racism is, how there is both institutional racism and the unique specific to individuals kind. It also made me realise why I always identified with characters in fantasy or sci fi novels who were half human or something else.... that feeling of being a child of more then one world, but not being accepted by any of them. Or perhaps why I feel so scared for and protective of my goddaughter, who is biracial. I've seen so many disgusting things said about mixed race kids by both blacks and whites, and the thought of my baby getting that hate from both her heritages makes me so mad and sad.

    I hope what I wrote makes sense. I'm also experiencing the class struggle as my area is being gentrified, and the new order of the day is class: right now in my town, it doesn't matter the colour of your skin, but how much you have in your bank account. If you are poor, both the upper middle class interlopers and the shopkeepers that fawn upon them will treat you like you are less then human.
    Last edited by Coppelia-Birdsong; 06-08-2018 at 02:25 PM.

  24. #24
    Thanks for sharing. I'm always amazed when someone either latches onto being bi-racial or when people (especially black people) attack them because probably 95%+ of African-Americans are of mixed heritage. Many of us who have two "black" parents have more white blood than black. The whole concept of race is ridiculous. And when it's used to hold someone back, it's lazy at best and evil at worst.

    I wonder why history books don't put high incidents like the New Orleans lynchings, Rosewood, Black Wall Street and the killings and ostracizing of Irish people in New York City in more prominent historical focus? It's perhaps the least appreciated but most important aspect of American social history and most of us only learn about it when it's brought to our attention.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Oz View Post
    Thanks for sharing. I'm always amazed when someone either latches onto being bi-racial or when people (especially black people) attack them because probably 95%+ of African-Americans are of mixed heritage. Many of us who have two "black" parents have more white blood than black. The whole concept of race is ridiculous. And when it's used to hold someone back, it's lazy at best and evil at worst.

    I wonder why history books don't put high incidents like the New Orleans lynchings, Rosewood, Black Wall Street and the killings and ostracizing of Irish people in New York City in more prominent historical focus? It's perhaps the least appreciated but most important aspect of American social history and most of us only learn about it when it's brought to our attention.
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    Ha! Ha! ALL Americans are African-Americans, because ALL Humans trace their ancestry back to Africa. All Humans can also trace their ancestry back to green algae. So, why do we look down on people whose ancestors lived in one continent or another. I, myself, have NEVER spent one whole year of my life on the same continent all year long. Would my great grandchildren be discriminated against for being North American, South American, African or Asian. Or might they discriminate against them for coming from someone who never had a home country?

    We Humans, as a whole, are MUCH, MUCH more alike with each other, than our closest fellow species, Chimpanzees and Bonobos are with their fellow species members in their various breeding groups.

    Perhaps we're TOO alike. Which may be why we are effecting our planet's environment in a destructive way.

  26. #26
    robb, if people didn't hate each other because of race, then the tall would hate the short, fat would hate the skinny, awkward would hate the poised, blonde would hate brunette, happy would hate the sad, funny would hate the serious, and old would hate the young. There are no logical reasons for hate. Race is simply the laziest and easiest reason to treat others with disrespect.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Oz View Post
    robb, if people didn't hate each other because of race, then the tall would hate the short, fat would hate the skinny, awkward would hate the poised, blonde would hate brunette, happy would hate the sad, funny would hate the serious, and old would hate the young. There are no logical reasons for hate. Race is simply the laziest and easiest reason to treat others with disrespect.
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    Absolutely true! We're wired to compete - even with our own. That's why we've been able to flood The World with Humans, at the expense of most other life forms on our planet. Our being TOO "successful" is The Earth's only way to get rid of us, for once and for all. It's a shame, however, that we will take down most of the "advanced" life forms with us.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    Absolutely true! We're wired to compete - even with our own. That's why we've been able to flood The World with Humans, at the expense of most other life forms on our planet. Our being TOO "successful" is The Earth's only way to get rid of us, for once and for all. It's a shame, however, that we will take down most of the "advanced" life forms with us.
    The most maddening thing in the world is the fact that we have resources to seed the desert and desalinate the ocean for people who live in drought areas. But it won't happen because either (a) there's not enough money in feeding the world since it's demand that results in high prices (so why sate demand?) and (b) governments don't permit aid because it can either wreck the local economy or it benefits factions or tribes with whom they are at odds.

    In other words, simple human pettiness is the reason Earth is dying planet instead of a paradise. Collectively, we deserve our fate. But the dozen or so species that are going extinct each day certainly don't.

  29. #29
    Most of my direct experiences with racism happened in the realm of food service. Probably the worst examples were when I worked at a local Greek restaurant (small store, fast service-style, one cashier in the front [usually me], two delivery drivers, and two cooks in the back). I worked there for three years during college, and most of the people they hired couldn't be hired anywhere else. The tips for drivers and cashiers were top notch, but this location usually attracted questionable individuals with major personality problems since my boss was EXTREMELY lenient with his process and just wanted bodies.

    Even though we served Greek food and American food, we would have a large amount of international students from the Middle East and Africa who were fans of the menu variety. Frequently, many of these students from ASU would not tip the cashiers or the drivers, and that's when the racism would ensue. I had a spoiled 27-year old coworker who was the shamed son of some former Guinness exec who actually called a middle eastern woman a sand n** after she didn't tip. I've witnessed other trashy Caucasian coworkers also shame customers racially for not tipping them with similar words and prejudices used. There were a few times when I stepped in, but some of these employees definitely had that meth-addled look to them as if they would take me to the back if I insulted their favorite music. It was a great place to work due to lenience, great food, and I always smiled no matter if they tipped or not. The lack of general manager and vetting process truly made the selection of coworkers awful.

    Funniest part? We live in a freaken COLLEGE TOWN. It doesn't matter what race they are, STUDENTS DONT ALWAYS TIP. I would get annoyed when the tips suck, but I don't make it personal.

    On the flip side, I did witness racism from the customers toward our kitchen staff. The two Mexican cooks who worked in the back were the same individuals who have worked for the owner since it opened 15 years ago. While they aren't Greek by heritage, these two fellas knew the menu like the back of their hand, ran the kitchen as smooth as butter, and could do everything the owner's Greek mother could do when she needed the help prepping in the morning. I would get frequent concerns from bougie Arizona State students from richer areas (which is a laugh since upper middle class folk from out of state go to ASU in order to feel the "sweet life") implying the cooks' Hispanic race and Mexican heritage would affect the food quality.

    This would happen more frequently than you would think with Caucasian customers looking for some odd standard of authenticity which ends up amounting to unintentional racism. As a white dude myself, they would frequently ask me in that hushed voice as if I was some kind of "safety net" for racist suggestions just because I shared the same skin color as them. They were always surprised when I would rebuke them with a smile and some sarcasm about their comment, and remind them of the cooks' longevity at the restaurant, as if they expected me to "understand" their twisted point of view.

    Edit: I realized there could be some confusion with me claiming the tips were great, but the students in the college town we resided in didn't tip. While the second point is true, it was a pretty popular restaurant at the time, so tips were fantastic considering the diversity of customers. I should have clarified that students were only a portion of our customer demographic.
    Last edited by loganjlr; 06-11-2018 at 09:01 AM.

  30. #30
    Man, it irritates me when I'm in a grocery line and the cashier smiles and greets the white person in line in front of me, sometimes even carrying on a friendly conversation. When I step up, usually with a smile on my face, I'm typically greeted with "Did you find everything?" before he/she rings me up and hands me a receipt. Then, before I push my cart away I witness him/her smile and greet the white person in line behind me and begin a friendly conversation. What's really irritating is that I've had both black and white cashiers do this.

    Once, I went into a car dealership and waited a few minutes for a salesman to approach. I asked for a brochure for a car that I was interested in purchasing and he asked if I was going to buy it that day. I told him that I was doing my research and wasn't going to buy it before I was finished. His response was "If you're not buying today, then you don't need a brochure" and he turned and left me on the floor. That burned me up so much that I went back the next day and pointed him out to the manager, who apologized and offered me a car for wholesale. I had zero interest in their dealership at that point. I can't necessarily presume this was a racist incident but I attribute it as such. The disrespectful salesman was black as well, which made it doubly insulting because had I bought the car later, I would have made sure he got the sale.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Oz View Post
    Man, it irritates me when I'm in a grocery line and the cashier smiles and greets the white person in line in front of me, sometimes even carrying on a friendly conversation. When I step up, usually with a smile on my face, I'm typically greeted with "Did you find everything?" before he/she rings me up and hands me a receipt. Then, before I push my cart away I witness him/her smile and greet the white person in line behind me and begin a friendly conversation. What's really irritating is that I've had both black and white cashiers do this.
    What is wrong with some people Jerry!? So frustrating!! I work in a supermarket myself and why would you not just greet everyone in the same, friendly way? Do you think they are doing it on purpose or they do it without even realising?

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    What is wrong with some people Jerry!? So frustrating!! I work in a supermarket myself and why would you not just greet everyone in the same, friendly way? Do you think they are doing it on purpose or they do it without even realising?
    My wife and I moved back to Ohio from Memphis in 1994. We stayed in a suburb while we searched for an apartment and I was shocked almost to a heart attack when I went to a grocery store there and was treated as if they actually wanted me to return. Smiles. Conversation. Associates asking if we needed help finding anything. And you can generally tell when someone is being genuine and they gave that impression. It had been years since I've been treated with respect in a store and only a few times since then. When a young man asked me if I needed help finding something in the produce department at Krogers a year ago, I made a point to seek his manager and tell him that the help was appreciated. It might sound small but it's important to me.

  33. #33
    Store Manager at Ms. Fields Cookies in 30 Rock in the late 80s. One of my employees hadn't dropped a tray of cookies properly. Which caused them to come out of the oven misshapen & various sizes. An older "Karen" went ballistic! I was coincidentally retraining my Manager Trainee. (the very same one who wrongly dropped cookie dough) He was a young White fella, very likable guy. Old "Karen " demanded to see the store manager. Several times he weakly pointed to and said I was he! Needless to say, Old "Karen " refused to believe a baby-faced Black man could be the Store Manager! The highest grossing Ms. Fields in NYC at that time! I personally delivered batches to SNL! And David Letterman was a fan of my store too! His show was in 30 Rock then.

  34. #34
    I've been lucky to not having had to deal with racism much,growing up in d.c.in the [60's-70's]i was never told that i couldn't go into a store although my mom told me about before i was born when blacks couldn't go into certain downtown stores,i was grown before i dealt with it,a racist boss i had almost called me the[n-word]but when she saw the look on my face she saved herself a trip to the hospital and didn't say it..most of the places i've lived growing up were multi racial and everybody was cool,there have been times when something might be said which could've gone the other way but i was able to put it in check and move on.

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