||[Dec. 9th, 2003|01:18 am]
The Question Club
"As I said, I am conflicted about my growing instinct for spotting dirtbags. I think I’m an equal-opportunity spotter. I’m pretty sure that I base it on shiftiness rather than any other factors, but I worry. My friend Eric, a six-foot-something black man, was once telling me about his frequent trips to Canada. His favorite thing about Canada, he said, is that white women who see him coming down the street don’t clutch their purses like they do here. Gah. Spotting dirtbags always brings up the worry that I have prejudices that I don’t know about. We did used to have a clerk that, some of us noticed, only kept an eye on our black customers. An old manager had a problem with people who didn’t speak English like a native. One of our local policemen once warned me that I need to be especially careful of my register when "fags" are in the store. Me, I used to feel happy for elderly gay men who rent porn because they finally have an outlet after all these years, but completely creeped out by elderly straight men. Now that I’ve been at the store for awhile, I’ve progressed. I’m creeped out by both."
That quote comes from a "True Porn Clerk Stories" board. I'm mostly referring to the clutching of the purse, but I kept the paragraph intact for context.
I get that even here in Lincoln, Nebraska. The catch, though - I'm white. I get it with or without my leather jacket. I get it with or without shorts in -10 F and two feet of snow. (By without, I mean wearing pants instead.) I get it with or without my goatee. I can dress as preppy as you can imagine, and be having a day where I'm not angry or depressed at all, and I can still get it. Granted, it's kind of rare (I've heard from black friends from out of town that said how surprised they are how little they get it here), but I hardly believe it's racism as much as all-out paranoia. Maybe I'm just in the wrong city...
Hmm, an actual question... For minority people - do you see this ever? For whatever-your-local-majority-is people - do you get this too?