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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Fri Jul 5, 2013, 05:30 PM

21. I've seen that fear.

I'm white and female, but wasn't raised to fear. I don't fear much. I WAS raised to respect and enjoy people.

Back in 1988, I got a call from my ex-SIL. We went to high school together, and after I divorced her brother, we were single moms together. It was a Wednesday, about 8:30, and she'd just gotten home to find a message on her answering machine from HER ex in another state, telling her that he'd put their 7 yo daughter on a plane by herself to send her home. A week early.

She was in a panic and asked me to head to LAX with her. We knew we'd be late; there was no way to get there in time for the plane's landing. She was in such a panic that she got off at the wrong off-ramp and got lost, even though she'd made this trip many times before.

We found ourself in a not-so-white middle-class-suburban neighborhood. It was 9:30ish by this time, we were already 45 minutes late, and she didn't know where she was. She was also terrified of the neighborhood. She was looking at places of business with bars on the windows and watching the locals out on side walks, and I knew it was their blackness that scared her. She was raised that way. She wasn't afraid of black people when they were middle class suburbanites, but...

She got more and more panicked. Finally I spotted a gas station up ahead. I told her to pull in and we'd ask for directions. I didn't notice that the gas station was closed, because it was lit up. When we pulled up, we looked over at the booth where the employee taking payment was supposed to be, and that's when we realized that the station was closed. How'd we know? There was a black man trying to get the cash drawer out with a crowbar.

She just about had a stroke right there. The guy looked up, saw us, walked over, and leaned down into the window. I told him we were lost and late for a flight at LAX, and he casually gave us directions. I thanked him. She, shaking, pale, and barely breathing, pulled out of the station, gently, rolled up her windows, locked her door, and I repeated the directions. They were good. We were there in about 6 minutes.

That incident, interestingly enough, solidly cemented her pre-conceived notions about black men, and also reinforced mine. Yes, he was attempting theft. But he did not reach into the car to pull out one or both of the young, attractive white women and rape and murder them, then steal their car. He offered up what help he could, and then went about his business.

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MrScorpio Jul 2013 OP
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LineReply I've seen that fear.
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