Wednesday, March 09, 2011

"You're not scared of black people"

After my lunch meeting, I parked my car in the CityWalk@Akard parking lot and began walking to the front door. A guy at the bus stop hollered out at me that I looked good. Humored and ego a little bit inflated, I smiled, said thanks, and kept walking. He asked me where I was going. I slowed my pace and said I was going into the building. He asked about the building. I stopped and walked closer to him so I could explain.

"It's an apartment complex," I told him.

"For homeless people?" he asked.

Though I wasn't sure where he got that idea, I explained that CityWalk@Akard offers housing to people who are formerly homeless and people with lower incomes.

He asked what my job was. I explained that I am the Director of Community Life and told him that I am supposed to help create activities and services in the building in order to create a vertical community.

By this point, he asked me if I was from here.

"Here?" I asked, wondering if he was talking about my current physical location, my neighborhood, Dallas, or Texas, in general. "No, where are you from?" he continued.

While I was still trying to figure out what location he was referring to, he continued, "Because you must like black people. ...I mean, you didn't keep on walking, gripping your purse close to your side," he demonstrated.

I laughed with him over that comment.

But six hours later, I'm still bothered by it.

From what I can tell, he was a friendly guy who was interested in having a conversation. I'm glad that I had the opportunity to talk to him. However, I'm disturbed by the fact that Q knows the society he lives in is not always friendly toward him. In less than 30-seconds, Q is able to pick up on how someone feels about him and others who look like him. I would like to believe that there's no need for him to make that judgment call on whether or not a certain ethnicity is friendly to people of his skin color. The reality is, it *is* reality. Q was just pointing out the obvious. That's a wake up call.

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