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View Full Version : New Neighbor Problem: and I got called a racist!



Tycho
12-29-2002, 09:39 PM
I'm white. The guy I had a confrontation with is black. There are several black forum members here on SSG, surely more, and I'll want to hear their opinion on this, as well as - and possibly more than - everyone else's. I'll continue.

I'm a Star Trek fan. Consequently, that means I grew up hoping to see more of an evolved and colorblind society, and I have heroes like Captain Benjamin Sisko and Commander Tuvok. Star Wars fans have Lando Calrissian, Captain Panaka, Captain Typho, and most importantly Mace Windu - not to mention there's Blade the vampire hunter. I'm also a Democrat who understands that a colorblind society must be one in which further income equality between the races must be achieved to prevent crimes of relative deprivation (jealousy motivated). It would help prevent and abolish prejudice - which I think is different from racism.

As I continue, I found that I am guilty of being prejudiced - maybe. Your opinions will be of interest to me. The only thing blacks I admire have to do with this is that I don't believe I'm a racist, "Archie Bunker," or Trent Lott - who I think has increased the racial tensions in this country quite a bit this past month...

The situation.

Background.

This guy moved in to my apartment complex maybe about 9 months ago or sometime just slightly less than that.

I first met him when he approached me in the parking lot as I was leaving my carport. In a voice that stutters - an indication he either stutters, or he was nervous about talking to me - he informed me that he noticed someone peaking into my truck windows during the middle of the night - and wanted to warn me that somebody was looking around. I told him I had an alarm on my truck - and it does not operate with a remote. You must have the key in the ignition to turn it off, or it will beep my horn until the battery dies. It came stock and I don't want the convenience of a remote alarm that might be on somebody else's frequency. Meanwhile, I suggested that our complex's video cameras would also catch anyone actually doing something to the vehicles in the carports. He said that the cameras were just for show, and they don't actually have them turned on any more so that they save power - or paying someone to monitor or tape whatever the cameras capture. I asked him how he knew so much. He told me that he works in the crime prevention business and provides security. I thought this might mean he's a rent-a-cop security guard. I only see him at home in the complex, usually late at night, and he's wearing sweats or something of that nature. The point being I've never seen him in uniform.

He asked me for my phone numbers in case he saw anything else wrong in the parking lots. Having a public consulting business, I have no qualms about giving out business cards. I'm sure I provided him with one, thanked him, and was on my way.

I did find his stuttering to be a little unnerving, and his actions as well. I've lived here 5 years, and this is the first time something like this has ever come up - about the parking, meeting a neighbor under these circumstances, etc.

Why was he stuttering?

1) he stutters, and it is a speech disability he suffers from, or social confidence he may lack.

2) he has difficulty with strangers, or new white people he encounters if he is not used to that (there are parts of San Diego still pretty segregated, my immediate community is pretty mixed, but a white majority of college students is most predominant). This gentleman may be in his late 20's up to his 40's. It is hard for me to tell his age.

3) He is nervous because he or someone he knows, was up to something and were interested in my truck's security, having my phone numbers, etc. This might be because there was a criminal persuasion operating there, and I also considered that there might've been an alternative 'orientation' operating there. I'm also straight, and not interested, but can relate to the fact that I've been nervous before talking to someone I liked - that being a girl in my case - but I'm sure it works that way for anybody of any orientation. I don't think he is interested in alternative relationships by my first impression, but I don't know him, and don't know many people of alternative lifestyles.

I'm 100% sure he wanted to demostrate to me that he was being helpful and considerate of me as a neighbor, at the very least - no matter what the motivation.

End of the first part of the story.



The Confrontation:

I woke up very early Saturday morning, like 4am, and started doing my laundry in the public laundry room because no one was using it at that time. My goal was to finish before Wal*Mart opened at 7, and make a morning toy run - and from there to Target at 8am, and TRU at 9:30. All the collectors would be out shopping - generally 8 or more at each store here - and if Padme from the Droid Factory was shipped to my stores, they would be sold out after the first 5 minutes the doors were open.

I was leaving Target at 8:05 am when my cell phone rang. It was this neighbor. He said he found my phone in the laundry room.

I have a cordless Panasonic phone for my home line, which has great range, and I sometimes carry it with me to the laundry room if I'm expecting a call I don't want to miss (business, a girl, etc.) But when doing wash from 5-7 am or so, why would I be carrying my phone? Who was going to call me? I had my cell on me in a pocket, and most of my SW collecting buddies would call me on that line - and only if they found something at their stores they hit. I totally did not remember carrying my phone on me to the washing room THAT early on a Saturday morning - and couldn't fathom a reason for it.

My neighbor described the phone to me when we talked while I was leaving Target. It sounded like my phone by his description. I was concerned that this individual was involved in my affairs again, and I immediately thought of the security of my home - my cats and my Star Wars collection, which matter to me the most. I have little of value otherwise, plus my SW toys are loose, so they have no resale value anyway. Just the same, they are valuable to me - and my pets are irreplaceable! Yet I was wondering why this guy was nervously stuttering on the phone with me about this - how he knew it was MY phone left in the laundry room (it has a caller ID screen, but unlike a cell, it does not display my home number) and so I assume he had seen me doing laundry or leaving - and no body is really up that early on a Saturday around my place. I have insomnia problems - and a compulsive need to collect Star Wars toys at the only time in the morning you can get the new products before waiting into mid-February when the stores finally finish inventories and start receiving product again. I'd not thought about my neighbor much at all for some time now, but the worries I'd just related (pets and toys) were at the forefront of my mind, and so I told him I'd be home in 5 minutes and come and see the phone he'd found. On my way driving back, I'd remembered how he'd probably gotten my phone numbers (from me during that odd parking lot incident).

Upon arriving, I first checked my apartment (it was unlocked) but nothing was amiss, and I could not find my cordless phone.

Then I went down to my neighbors. He met me outside and gave me my phone and I thanked him, but asked him where he found it again - the laundry room. I told him that was impossible. I had no reason to take my phone down there.

Then I was direct - I am a direct person. I asked him if he'd been in my apartment.

He was miffed and asked "What?" I repeated the question. He exploded that it was such a racist thing to say and that he wanted nothing to do in my 'white-trash, stupid apartment.' He said he couldn't believe what a bigot I was, and that he was a cop and does not go around sneaking into people's apartments. He said I only thought that because he was black.

He was not stuttering at all now, but yelling quite coherently for my benefit, his, and a few neighbors who stepped out to look at what the commotion was. A lot of F-words, that sort of thing.

I said I was sorry I offended him, and that because he was black was not the reason - he continued to do most of the talking and told me to get out of his face - to get away from him - and that he'd never do me any favors again. He went back to his place and slammed his door.

I went home, slowly, dazed and miffed at what had just happened.

I didn't know if I looked out for my own interests. If I was prejudiced because he was black. If I would ever be able to repair the hurt feelings I caused - and I didn't like being called a racist, knowing (now hoping) that I was not. And I didn't know if I was going crazy or what?

Guess what? I DID TAKE MY PHONE TO THE LAUNDRY ROOM. Some stuff hadn't dried all the way, and between Walmart and Target's opening (one is north of me, the other, east) I could come home on my way to the next store and take in my clean, now-dried clothes. I wanted to find out what time (if any special time) Toys R Us was opening, so I'd called the store to listen to their operating hours recording while I was bringing up the laundry. I DID LEAVE MY PHONE IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM.

It is also possible that I left my door unlocked in my rush to put down towels, jeans, shirts - all in a bundle I couldn't see over - as fast as I could and get out the door again and over to Target before all the figures were bought out. I've done this before - just not too often - but I'd lost sleep (waking up at 4am) and was not operating at my best, to be sure.

Now do I appologize again to this guy? How and when? I'm likely to see him around the complex every once in a while. Should I not let him make me feel guilty? Maybe he was up to something, isn't totally trustworthy, or is interested in me in a way I cannot be appreciative of?

Finally, I am uncomfortable with the situation as other black guys have moved into my complex - maybe 5 - 7 in all - and because if I don't meet with any of them regularly, I can't recognize this neighbor for sure - and I know how that sounds: "all members of this or that race look alike." That's not true, but if I don't have more of a relationship built with someone, I can't recognize them - that's just me. Anyway, it is normal for me to say hello to people I come across - I think it's the correct way to treat strangers and not be so introverted or cold, and I'm especially sociable like that at home in the complex when you often see people one-on-one at the mailboxes, swimming pool, or the weightroom. I'm not especially looking forward to someone either ignoring me or grumbling "racist pig" or "Howdy Trent" when I pass. I don't need that on a good day, let alone a bad one.

Was I right? Was I wrong? Should I offer more of an appology? How?

What do you think? Am I prejudiced? Am I racist? What's up with this?

Darth Sidious
12-29-2002, 10:32 PM
You are not prejudiced or racist, in my opinion. I am not black, but I don't consider that racist. I would have asked the same question were I in your situation, no matter what the person's race was. I think you probably would have too, whether he was black or not. The man is simply overreacting, and it is VERY suspicious that he suddenly just...loses his stutter? Something was not right there. Here is my advice: Don't apologize to him unless he talks to you (In a civilized manner, of course. Don't even bother if he insults you more) Try not to make eye contact if you see him, just, as Han Solo would put it, "Fly casual". If you believe he has entered your room or if he shows signs of physical aggression, notify the police. You did nothing wrong, and I'm sure mostly everyone here will agree. :)

Dark Knight
12-29-2002, 10:51 PM
At the time you were right to question him. You didn't remember leaving the phone out and your door was unlocked.

You found out later you were wrong. I say the next time you see him try to explain and appoligize. If he doesn't accept. He is in the wrong.

I have pulled my gun out of the case when someone I don't know comes to the door. Not that anyone has seen the gun. It is human nature to expect the worst out of people no matter what race.

Just mine thoughts on the matter.

LTBasker
12-29-2002, 11:10 PM
From the sound of it, you would've said the same to anyone else. The evidence was there, and it's not like you really knew the guy, so don't try to apologize. If he starts in ever, set the record straight, if not just leave it be, it's likely to just start another comotion when you're trying to apologize.

Definitely not racist sounding, from the evidence shown he was the most likely suspect because he just happened to be there at those times and such, doesn't matter if he was black, asian, white, martian or whatever.

plasticfetish
12-30-2002, 01:51 AM
Hmmm ...

I think the most important thing here is not whether you are or aren't a racist. The term is in many ways fairly subjective ... in this case I would say, especially now, you are somewhat preoccupied with the "race" issue because of this incident. If you say your accusation wasn't racially motivated (you're the only one who truly knows that) then it has to be so. I would suggest that when you get a chance, you go over to his place, knock on the door and apologize just like you would for any other misunderstanding. Tell him that you're genuinely upset (as it seems you are) that he perceives you as a "racist" and though you may have been a little paranoid in general at the time ... you had no intention of coming off like a bigot. Just put it to him like you feel, say you're sorry if you seemed too blunt and if you offended him ... tell him you're genuinely concerned that he not feel uncomfortable around you. I would tell him that at the time you thought it more important to just come out and ask him ... rather than silently harbor any suspicions no matter how wrong they might have been.

I think the "race" thing should try and find its way out of your mind. Whether you're a Democrat, who your black heroes are and how much you love of Star Trek isn't going to fix this situation. Spending too much time focusing on the "race" thing will just get in the way. If he was a white guy and you felt like something odd was happening ... you would have done the same thing right? Well, just tell him that and if he doesn't want to understand then simply say you're sorry you couldn't work it out and move on.

And ... though I'm sure you know this and don't need anyone telling you ... next time take a few breaths before you accuse someone of ripping you off. If you didn't see it happen, then there's always the chance it didn't. Whether you accused him then or waited a half hour and asked him cautiously ... it would have made no difference.

Good luck. You're not a bad guy (a nut like us all perhaps) ... try not to let it eat at you.

Pendo
12-30-2002, 06:11 AM
Whoa, that was a looooooooong post. I don't usually do long posts, it took me about 20 minutes just to read all that :crazed:!

But don't wory about it Tycho. I don't think you are racist. If you were racist you'd probably know about it, and you even say yourself "I don't believe I'm a racist".

To me it just seems like your paranoid. You have one argument with a black guy and think everyone is going to think you're a racist.

If you thought he was being suspicious then you had a right to question him, he had no right to snap back at you like that. You probably would have questioned him no matter what his race was, it's got nothing to do with him being black.

If you are feeling guilty about the whole thing, then I'd go up to him and explain to him. That will probably be the only way to ease your guilt.

Hehehe, I don't mean to laugh but it all reminds me of a Father Ted episode. I don't know if you have it over there but it is funny. He puts a lampshade on his head and does an impression of a Chinese person, then discovers there are Chinese people standing at the window watching him. He then spends to entire episode trying to convince them that he is not a racist, but digs himself into a bigger hole.

If you want to fix it all, then all you have to do is appologise, thats really all you can do. If he is a half descent person then he will understand and forgive you. If he doesn't forgive you, then forget about it. He may even be the racist one.

Don't wory about it Tycho!
PENDO!

Jedi_Master_Guyute
12-30-2002, 07:09 AM
Eh, i got an idea. Just walk around your apartment complex eating a black and white cookie!!! Yet, the key to the black and white cookie, is to get the same amount of black and white in each bite. If people would just look to the cookie!!!

Yet, racial harmony still alludes us. :D

QLD
12-30-2002, 10:20 AM
Ebony....and Ivory...live together in perfect....harmony....

vulcantouch
12-30-2002, 10:22 AM
are you a racist? is he? who knows and who cares. i'm pretty much unconcerned, merely amused, by what others say, feel or think. what matters is what they Do. so let's focus on that.
you were decisive, made a choice and found out it was the wrong one. you cast aspersions on the guy. even if it was an honest mistake and you didn't intend to wrong anyone, soul-searchin about why you did it ain't gonna change much, cuz what matters is they turned out to be unfounded. all his crime-prevention rap and stuttering one minute & shouting coherently the next indicate nothing for certain other than that paranoia-loving, dale-gribble-style social misfits come in all colors ;)
so what next? it happened, it's in the past and you can't undo it. but you can make up for it. i can't speak for that guy, but apologies pretty much count for nothing in my book. it's the easiest, most convenient thing in the world to offer mere words of contrition After crossing someone. one should rightfully feel shame afterwards but whether it's expressed to the other person doesn't really help them. Actions are what make a difference. so whether you apologize to him is your call, but i'd certainly Do something to make it up to him. if you can't think of what you might do, ask him. if your persistence doesn't open a line of communication, print up this reply (don't forget to use printer-friendly version to save paper ;) ) & stick it on his door. it may not be entirely flattering but it is honest, and there ain't no fence-mending without trust. if there's still no response give it up, and endure your guilt & shame quietly like a man till it fades on its own :Pirate:
but from his actions as you've described them i'd judge him to be gutsy, sensitive and a tad lonely. so if you have the guts to reach out to him (and you should if you were able to take the risk of being direct), i bet he'd have the guts to at least listen.
let us know how it goes :) could this be the start of a bee-yoo-tee-ful friendship? well i don't know if you guys'd end up having any common interests or even Like each other much, but you'd certainly begin to trust one another. personally, trust is the foremost determinant of My friendships :)
vt

2-1B
12-30-2002, 11:30 AM
Why the hell did you leave your place unlocked?
I would have been more concerned with that question before asking people if they've been in there.

:crazed:

Rogue II
12-30-2002, 11:34 AM
I started reading this post, but I lost interest about 1/3rd of the way through. Mostly because of one thing you put in there...you slipped the word "Democrat" in there. Are you inferring that Republicans are racist? Or that all Democrats are not racists?

Tycho
12-30-2002, 11:49 AM
Edit: this is in response to Rogue II:

I'm not implying that all Democrats are exempt from racism at all. I believe the non-hypocritical ones will be strong proponents of taking real actions to create a colorblind society and solve some of the problems they elect representatives or themselves into office to solve now. There are certainly racists of all colors in all parties.

I also believe the general Republican platform that cries for a total equal preference platform, and ends programs designed to help specific races that show statistical, economic disadvantages in larger proportions than others, is questionable at best. On the surface it sounds how it reads - ok. Underneathe it, there obviously are people like Trent Lott sponsoring stuff like that, because they want to protect their own race's interests and don't like the others, nor do they think they can help them, or even accept their cultural differences. Trent Lott has completely reversed his opinion on Affirmative Action - a program I have always supported, but do find some faults with.

An overhall of this race-based-preference stuff would be to make it regional specific. That is, then a program can help disadvantaged whites (and there are some!) in specific areas (take the Married with Children family stereotype) and it can help blacks in areas like East L.A. and Detroit, while it doesn't necessarily have to blindly also cover blacks from Beverly Hills.

The idea (racial / immigrant / impoverished assistance) has its intentions in the right place, it just needs reform until it can be statistically demonstrated that it is no longer needed.

Are 1 out of every 10 black males still likely to serve prison time? Is that because:

1) it's still true? I read it in several newspapers and Time Magazine.
2) their hometown school systems were not up to the task?
3) their economic status did not let them afford O.J.'s lawyer?
4) other races afford legal representation better?
5) judges are 'old school' and prejudiced?

Keep in mind that O.J. is black, possibly killed white people, and possibly got away with it because people with money can. By the same token, David Westerfield's attorneys caused some pretty good doubts about how that crime was committed.

Now, O.J.'s kids don't need affirmative action to get them into colleges and careers (most likely). Someone growing up in the projects, needs a totally revolutionary type of care: they can't follow their parent's footsteps, or their actions (if not their values) unless they too want to stay living in housing projects. They need investment in their schools (paid by property taxes, so wealthier areas can afford to pay better teachers more, have more computers, counselors, career days, etc.) But poor people don't pay contributions to politicians, so they are not represented too well.

Not to say that Democrats in office WILL do what they say they are going to do, but they say they will do more than Republicans will - and what they say has testable, verifiable effects because Dems will make it laws. Republicans with voucher programs will make it more difficult to track kids from low income neighborhoods and evaluate their schooling, since they are being schooled all over the place - if the voucher system even works as well as they hope it will. It's good to suggest alternatives, like the Republicans are doing, but some of them do so to support everyone becoming schooled in Anglo-Protestant or Anglo-Catholic value systems designed to make them behave exactly the way elites want them to - and keep out of their way when they're about their business in the capital. It will be hard to take them seriously when George Bush attends the ground-breaking of a new Muslem private school he actively advocates sending Christian white kids from some low-income neighborhood to attend instruction at :rolleyes: That's Donald Rumsfield working....

anway...





Edit: this is in response to Caesar....

I'd been awake since 4am and not had enough sleep. I was forgetting what I was doing - on a lot of counts that day - like leaving my phone lying around, etc.

I think when you feel like your body and your mental faculties are weaker (because you're half-asleep), you are more likely to be trying (albeit unsuccessfully in my case) to be extra cautious (and possibly, unwittingly paranoid).

I couldn't go back to sleep (having tried) so I decided to get stuff done while I was hunting for new Star Wars, and the rest of the story is back at the top of this thread - but I appreciate everyone's advice.

To that end: my neighbor did not know this other information -

1) that he caused suspicion by learning details about my vehicle security and my phone numbers (which could tell him when or when not I was at home)

2) That his stuttering caused me to be concerned. It was suspicious like he was nervous about something.

3) that I did not believe I'd been using my phone at 6-7 in the morning and was 100% certain due to memory failure

4) that I'd checked my apartment and my door had been unlocked (which I may or may not have done - but probably did since I was in a hurry)

But I think explaining all that would just cause him to be more offended. It may turn from being racially offensive to him, to being offensive to him because he might have a confidence problem or a speech impediment, which I allowed no forgiveness for (in his eyes) and took to automatically trigger me being suspicious (coupled with the other information, though).

If he's guilty of anything, he won't take me for being stupid or unalert now.

If I don't go over to his place and appologize like I'm begging for forgiveness, he won't feel like he totally succeeded in using 'race' to make me totally defensive and elevate himself above ANY suspicion.

If he's totally innocent of everything, and I appologize when I run into him, he should know I'm totally sincere - since it still bothers me that I offended him, and I didn't mean (and never said) anything that was racially charged.

I'm still tossing around the "yay or nay" on leaving a note on his door saying:

"I'm sorry we had a misunderstanding.

Thank you for finding my phone for me.

If there's anything I can do to help you, please let me know."

QLD
12-30-2002, 12:04 PM
Well, Rogue II, everyone knows there is no such thing as a racist Democrat. :rolleyes:

Tycho
12-30-2002, 12:13 PM
I updated: please read my last post above this one, especially for my responses to Caesar and RogueII.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
12-30-2002, 12:51 PM
Just say you're sorry for accusing him whenever you see him next. The stutter suddenly disappearing is a bit suspicious, kind of like Quirrel in Harry Potter. So just apologize, and get it behind you.:)
(Even though I don't think you were wrong for accusing him at frst)

darthvyn
12-30-2002, 01:06 PM
i think the stutter is kinda inconsequential... i work with someone who stutters in casual parlance, but when agitated she doesn't stutter at all - actually the exact opposite of most stuttering behavior, but just to show you that it does exist...

other than that, i think the best route is just a "i'm sorry we had a misunderstanding" type of thing. you could go into more explanation if you sense it's necessary, but i most likely won't be. while i agree with vulcantouch that an apology is little more than words, it can be a good symbolic representation of remorse and go a long way.

i don't think you have to worry about it being a come-on just yet. if you do patch things up and it turns that way, just say you're not interested.

Jargo
12-30-2002, 04:00 PM
Another example of shooting from the hip. Guilty until proved innocent. I don't think Tycho is racist i just think he's plain dumb and lost his grip on reality sometime way back. Why else would this site be the love tycho club all of a sudden. Tycho's look at me everybody threads are really starting to grate with me now. Someone please please for the love of baby cheeses end this torture soon.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
12-30-2002, 05:11 PM
ooo Jargo that's not something I'd say about a moderator!:sur:


But as a side note, Tycho, don't wear your podracer shirt when apologizing.:D :p

Tycho
12-30-2002, 05:33 PM
I asked Emperor Jargo to explain his comment to me privately. I don't think what I post or don't post in other threads is relevant to this discussion here.

However, Jargo is free to express his opinion and I don't think I have a problem with him. Maybe there's another problem with me? I'll discuss that further with him unless somebody else needs to say something.

But these forums are in general for everything, from fun to serious discussions. If people need to exclaim something, they generally do it. If they need to create a fun 'character' behind their screen name that does some crazy stuff or has some off-the-wall traits, then that's what entertains them. When they post in a more serious topic, controversial, political, or religious topic, people should be aware they are probably serious and seeking advice. Why can't people here do all those things?

Finally, amongst other things, my being a moderator here has nothing to do with whether you should post an opinion that's favorable or disfavorable to me. Flaming means it goes on and on... and that's not acceptable. But I mostly have moderator abilities on this site by virtue that I need the access to the forums controls to do the front-page polls on this site, and handle the Twelve-Inch forum area with Derek. I've been a reporter, contributor, and loyal member of this site for 6 years - (in which time I've grown more immature as I got younger, of course ;) )

But I am not above fault or flaws, and I think I am the most lenient moderator around these boards and hardly have ever edited another's post, and handle most issues like this by private messages.

That being said, I tend to get bored with threads that say: "Ephont Mon is cool," and the next guy says "Yeah." I also get down on threads that say "Flying R2 sucks" (even if he does - which we don't know yet) and somebody else says, "Yeah, Star Wars collecting sucks. Our hobby is dying. There's no reason to collect any more. R2 was the last straw." - though they're back in another week to complain about Boba Fett?!?

Everyone's entitled to their opinions though, and I tend to just ignore that, rather than argue with it. The hobby's my escape, while political issues affect the reality I have to deal with, and they are much more worthwhile arguing over, because they are not settled when someone makes a decision and bubble-wraps them on a blue card, and mass-ships them.

In any event, I'm giving Emperor Jargo the benefit of the doubt, and I've always considered him an asset to this forum. Meanwhile I don't want anyone to treat me differently than anybody else. My moderator duties mean next to nothing here. I just hope to be a valuable contributor to the site and these forums, and be able to have some stupid fun now and then with whoever wants to regress back to age 4 with me. :D

This thread is not about that though.

plasticfetish
12-30-2002, 05:54 PM
Well ... maybe you should wear your podracer shirt when apologizing.

derek
12-30-2002, 06:37 PM
if everything happened as you posted, tycho, i don't think you owe anyone an apology. in my opinion, an apology would be necessary only if you intended to hurt the guy's feelings, and i don't think that was your motive.

i'd ask the guy to go have coffee at one of those 24 hour places like I-Hop/coffee shops or something similar that every college town has. explain your side of the story to the guy, and try to get an understanding of where he's coming from in regards to calling you a racist. i would guess he dosen't really know what it means to actualy be racist.

my bet is that this guy throws the race card down every chance he can if something dosen't go his way, and he'll probably turn your offer down.

bottom line, i don't think you owe him an apology, but since he is your neighbor, talking things out can't hurt. and if he's rude to you, just forget it, cause he's probably way to sensitive or irrational.:)

sith_killer_99
12-30-2002, 06:50 PM
Yeah, I like Dereks' idea invite the cop out for coffee and donuts.;)

JK

But seriously, I think this guy's just being oversensative.

I suggest you try to explain the situation to him from your POV (I wouldn't mention the stuttering). Little or no sleep, phone call out of the blue, don't remember taking the phone downstairs, apartment door unlocked. If this guy really is a cop he should be able to see where you might be coming from.

If all that fails tell him your a card carrying member of the ACLU and the NAACP.;)

Jedi_Master_Guyute
12-30-2002, 08:03 PM
I still gotta go with my idea bout eating the black and white cookie!!! Am i the ONLY Seinfeld fan on the boards?!?!?! :D

Vortex
12-30-2002, 08:27 PM
Tycho, don't let this get to you.

1st off the guy cannot be a law enforcement offical or security guard. The manner in which he handled himself is totally unprofessional, and IF he is in the law enforcement or securty field they instruct you how to handle disagreements and diffuse problems. Either you caught him on a bad day, or he's really bad at his job. I'd hate to have him step into and diffuse a fight or large problem. Even if he works security he still needs to know how to deal with people and situations. Its obivious he doen't know how to handle himself or tense situations.

2nd...we all know your political stance on matters...

I have a seasonal, second extra income job at a local community center as a gym monitor. And I get called a racist almost every other day. My job is to watch the basketball courts, diffuse problems, watch the locker room for theft, supervise the weight rooms and help out the members and non-members if they have questions or problems. I try to take and easy going nature when dealing with problems that arise...kids hanging on the rims, guys standing toe to toe after and iffy call, asking nicely that they pull their shorts up since its a family community center, ask them to move their jackets, bags, and drinks off the courts. And point out on the big board that they cannot play a full court game that night when its posted...NO FULL COURT TONIGHT, and have to stop their game. And it never fails, there's always one or two that don't want to acknowledge the posted rules or adhear to the posted visible rules and pull out the race card.

I've discovered that with certain individuals its a defense mechanism. It gets used when they don't want to accept, acknowledge or admit they were/are in the wrong. Younger guys use it to scam something or try and exert power or you, make you feel bad, make you back down, and make you to some degree scared. In your case it worked to a degree. Look how its affected you.

He's done nothing more that prove he too has a bias, or racial feelings. He's branded you as a racists since you're white and he assumes you see all blacks as the guilty party in all situations. He assums you're one of the white power guys. You jumped to conclusions on him, and he jumped to conclusions on you also. Its an ugly cycle. It shouldn't have anything to do with the color of your skin, but at times people, white, black, asian, latino use that as an excuse rather than deal with the true issue at hand.

I find it hard that this is the 1st time something like this has happened to you considering you work in the political realm. I wish I could say it was your 1st and last encounter, but I doubt that. You can't please everyone all the time, and sooner or later it will get used again to try and take advantage of you.

If I was you I'd let it go and if you run into him again, then just say sorry, you'd had time to reflect, and hopefully with time to cool down you two can talk rationally.

derek
12-30-2002, 08:50 PM
Originally posted by Jedi_Master_Guyute
I still gotta go with my idea bout eating the black and white cookie!!! Am i the ONLY Seinfeld fan on the boards?!?!?! :D

a true seinfeld fan would know the black and white (cookie) can't live in harmony. i seem to recall it giving jerry a stomach-ache!;)

JediTricks
12-30-2002, 09:09 PM
Tycho, on the "background" part of your tale, I think you are demonstrating part of the problem - you overthink too much and sometimes beyond a depth the subject even has making for a shaky basis to start upon, and you don't take many things at face value or even "face value with a grain of salt". When he told you about the truck, you probably should have simply said "thanks, I'll keep an eye out for that" instead of volunteering private info to this guy.

As for the "confrontation" part, I think you made a huge mistake confronting him like that since you made a LOT of thin assumptions, though you also make a huge mistake by not locking your apartment. I know within 2 seconds of opening my door whether something has bothered my cat recently, if someone had been in your apartment, don't you think you would have gotten that vibe off your cats? As for how your phone got into the laundry room, why assume you didn't accidentally drop it in the laundry basket and it fell on the floor when you came in or some other 3rd-situation plausible explanation? My Panasonic Gigarange doesn't have caller ID, but it does have my voice mail, cell phone, and other numbers related to me on the speed-dial settings - if I got a call from one of my neighbors saying they had my phone, my first instinct wouldn't be to assume they took it from my apartment.

BTW, people who regularly stutter commonly lose the stutter when they yell, it has something to do with sponinaity of the situation I think.


Here's my take on this, most of us who are raised in the US have been affected by racism and prejudice many times over the courses of our lives and it does seep in a little to most folks even if just in subtle ways. Having prejudice is a human thing, but just accepting it is not a healthy way to deal with it. Based on what you decribed, do I think you acted in a racist manner? No, not in an overt or deliberate way. Do I think you acted in a predjudiced manner? Yes, I think you based your current conclusions upon other conclusions which themselves were based upon stereotypes and likely-incorrect assumptions - thus creating a weak foundation to build actions upon and your actions sound like they were insulting and over the top.

How would I rectify this situation? Well, I might simply ignore him, which probably isn't the best way to handle it but I rarely care much about my neighbors anyway; or maybe on New Years day (a good day for "starting fresh" that's coming up real soon), just knock on his door at a normal hour and (if you feel this way, obviously) explain how you are sorry about the confusion and sorry that he was insulted, and you honestly believe your assumptions & questions about him were based on paranoia that would have occurred no matter what ethnicity he was because of OTHER circumstances. You might also let him know that the idea of your neighbors thinking incorrectly that you are a racist does concern you, but try not to make it seem like you are accusing him of acting in malice against you. Don't go over the top and keep your visit short, don't get into an argument over the issue if you can avoid it, and try to end on a good note if possible.


Oh, and Tycho... lock your damn door, you've lived in Southern California long enough to know better, you're making the rest of us look bad. :p

wedgeA
12-31-2002, 03:55 PM
I think the best thing to do, which would smooth everything over and make everyone feel warm and fuzzy, is when you see this guy again, grab him by the shirt, shake him violently and scream:

FILTHY THIEVES!!! STOLEN THE PRECIOUS!!!:sur:

plasticfetish
12-31-2002, 05:20 PM
Hahahahahahaha!

dr_evazan22
01-01-2003, 01:08 AM
First, I would say to you that you didn't (and don't) come off as a rascist in your post.

Next, i would say that when someone plays the race card like that either: 1. they are the racist, or 2. they play the race card to divert your attentoin from soemthing else.

Then, I would say, offer ONLY an apology for offending him. The reason why you offended him will mean little or nothing unless he asks you why. If he does ask, explain it to him. You may still have an uncomfortable relationship w/ him now, but as long as communication is open and honest, it could lead to less hurt feelings and understanding, which could lead to growth.

Jedi_Master_Guyute
01-01-2003, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by derek
a true seinfeld fan would know the black and white (cookie) can't live in harmony. i seem to recall it giving jerry a stomach-ache!;)

Oh, i am all too aware of this occurence!! If i recall correctly, it broke Jerry's 13 (or 14?) year vomit streak. Curse that cookie!! :D

Bobajames
01-01-2003, 09:33 PM
so we shouldn't look to the cookie?
THE MASTER.... HE LIED TO US! THE FILTHY THIEVES!

Darth Nihilus
01-03-2003, 10:53 AM
First off Tycho, it doesn't matter who your heroes are, listing them makes you look desperate and insincere. Likewise I wouldn't try saying anything like this to the individual for the same reasons. Usually the first protest a racist makes is "But I'm not a racist!" Only your deeds can prove otherwise.

And, you do owe the fellow an apology for the accusation even if he is not receptive to it, this is another mark of how big a person you are. But if you're neighbour doesn't want to hear you out after that then he is not worth your time, he also needs to be intelligent enough to realise that not everything is about race. On the flipside, he should apologise to you for making such an accusation, it was no better than your misunderstanding.

I also wouldn't be running over to your other new neighbour's apartments with casseroles for the same reasons I put in the first paragraph.

It also seemed to me that you weren't very receptive to this guy from the get-go simply because he stuttered-methinks you should be verboten from watching 'The Usual Suspects' ever again. Like many have said, people can lose their stutter in heightened emotional states. I work with a guy who can barely spit out a sentence within a minute but loses it when he is drunk. I think if you suffer from any form of discrimination it's against people with mild disabilities. :p

And if you want to talk about suspicious behaviour then put yourself in the shoes of someone who is watching a guy rooting around at 4am in the morning to do his 'laundry' so that he doesn't miss the shop opening times for a toy haul. Hell, I'd be accusing you.:D

In my experience, racists are more subtle than what your actions indicate, simply because a racist absolutely does not believe that they are racist. Though you don't believe it of yourself the fact that you are willing to consider that you could be racist speaks volumes to me and yes, I do speak from the perspective of someone who is from an ethnic minority.

Tycho
01-03-2003, 02:39 PM
Thank you all for a lot of the advice I've gotten.

On the update: I have not seen my neighbor around recently, so there's been no chance to communicate. I am going to try and appologize when I do see him - and like everyone says - just once. How he reacts is his decision.

I think I'm of the opinion that an appology in person looks more sincere than a note left "to throw away my conscience about the issue with a random piece of paper."

As to what Darth Nihlus was explaining, I'm not sure I understood.

I think that a person who is prejudiced, would suspect a person of a crime or something like this incident based on race. However, a prejudiced person might be acting in racist manners but be unaware that he is.

I think a racist is a person such like a Congressman who calls minorities ungrateful or impossible to assimilate into mainstream culture and uses this as his reasons for voting against affirmative action - or in the past, for supporting segregation and Jim Crow laws. The Neo-Nazi groups have to be racist if they openly declare themselves to be racist, right? Police racial-profiling suspects (I guess that means being more inclined to search minorities or immigrants) is another form of prejudice. In those circumstances though, even black cops are accused of racially profiling blacks, all the time. It's very unfair to the innocent. Like I discussed, if there are other reasons to be suspicious of someone, then you should be alert for a guilty party. But you don't have to be an active racist to be one. Being intentionally prejudiced, like the real-estate agent who won't show ethic minority couples any homes in "white neighborhoods," is being a racist, and condoning segregation anyway.

I don't care at all for the latter kinds of people, but I always know where they are coming from and that I don't fall into that kind of category.

As to the former point: prejudice? That's so much more difficult to change. In my case, I know it wasn't racial prejudice because it was his suspicious behavior and my own irresponsibility (with my phone and doorlock) that triggered my feelings of mistrust. However, as Darth Nihlus points out, and I knew all along, my neighbor's stuttering set me ill at ease with him. That could be prejudice, but I'm going to except that part of my personal decision as self-protective, and not incriminate myself for it. Of course I can become friends with people of any race or background who stutter, but under the circumstances, there were reasons a person stuttering could have been doing so because they were nervous. So yes, under certain circumstances I was prejudiced against someone that stutters, but I would not be in other situations - so it's not a personal problem with me.

As to anything else? Darth is right, actions will speak louder than words. Not actions that I can set out to take (other than another, final attempt to appologize), but just how I react during the course of life. I may or may not deal with more people of color, or people who stutter, or combinations of those factors with increasing frequency this month, this year, or even this decade. But likewise - if I keep track of my phone and lock my door, and learn from this incident some possibly more tactful alternatives to explore any suspicions about a person in an unsettling situation, I may be a better man for it.

El Chuxter
01-03-2003, 03:35 PM
Tycho, the way you described your situation doesn't come across as racist to me. Jumping to conclusions, perhaps, but not racist.

However, we all know you well enough to know that's not what happened. So you may as well just bite the bullet and tell your neighbor that you'd been holed up in the laundry room sniffing mouse droid all morning and didn't know what you were doing. :D:crazed::Pirate:

InsaneJediGirl
01-03-2003, 07:05 PM
First,Tycho you are not a racist.I would ask the same thing to anyone if they found my phone and I thought I left it somewhere else.However,I think you were a bit too quick to jump to conclusions,but that doesnt make anyone a racist.

Second-Lock your door unless you buy a large dog

Third-Be thankful you have the precious back;)

Tonysmo
01-04-2003, 03:09 AM
drama..

Im going to agree with everyone else and say I dont think your racist, but I do think ( like Jeditricks ) that you seriously overthink some things. Your intial post came off as a defense stance to prove you arent a racist. Sometimes that can work against you. I do think you owe the guy an apology, certainly in person. To think about it, you really dont need to bring up the race issue at all, yes, it hurts when someone tags you with such, but you'll get over it quickly if you know you arent. My suggestion is to simply say, hey dude, I was wrong to accuse you, my mind was a mess.. doing laundry at 4 in the morning might do that to a person. no hard feelings.. and walk away. In a perfect world, he'll stop you and maybe apologize for tagging you as a racist. Dont count on it. Not every one is as cool as those in these forums. All in all, this seems to have taken its toll on your mind. You seriously need to chill out some, and think things through.

good times.. good times...

Darth Nihilus
01-04-2003, 07:59 AM
Which part was unclear? That's what happens when you try to nut out a response at 4am.:crazed:

Tycho
01-04-2003, 12:49 PM
I'm not sure. But I think I answered my own question about whether I was prejudiced based on the circumstances, not race or disability.


But I think on this issue, I found it to be much more abiguous than your quote:

originally posted by Darth Nihilus:

In my experience, racists are more subtle than what your actions indicate, simply because a racist absolutely does not believe that they are racist.

Obviously there ARE open racists. There are also those who are intentionally prejudiced and don't understand that they are racists and that there is something illogical and morally wrong with that. Finally, there are those who are prejudiced and don't intend to treat others in an ill manner, but can't even see that they are doing just that. These racists are really subtle, if only because they are not conscious of being so - though they may not be so subtle to someone outside of themselves.

Therefore, in a matter of symantics, prejudice and racism can be two different things, though very often they are not. When they are caused by one in the same, there are various states of awareness that the perpetraitor may need being educated about.

This is how I came to the conclusion that I should post my story to see if I was first, racist - as that was my neighbor's accusation - and second, prejudiced, as I thought the latter might be likely. In the end I discovered that I did pre-judge, but on my own misunderstood set of facts and suspicious actions, and upon an individual with a disability and odd work hours, having nothing to do with the ethnic identity of this neighbor.

I am still guilty of using poor tact, but did attempt to be reasonable about self-protection of my private property, my home and pets. Others think I may have been too quick to jump to a conclusion, but do understand how I reached it - and I am thankful that I at least got there without any true, subconcious, maliciousness on my intent.

Darth Nihilus
01-05-2003, 07:56 AM
Originally posted by Tycho
Obviously there ARE open racists. There are also those who are intentionally prejudiced and don't understand that they are racists and that there is something illogical and morally wrong with that. Finally, there are those who are prejudiced and don't intend to treat others in an ill manner, but can't even see that they are doing just that. These racists are really subtle, if only because they are not conscious of being so - though they may not be so subtle to someone outside of themselves.

Therefore, in a matter of symantics, prejudice and racism can be two different things, though very often they are not. When they are caused by one in the same, there are various states of awareness that the perpetraitor may need being educated about.

This is how I came to the conclusion that I should post my story to see if I was first, racist - as that was my neighbor's accusation - and second, prejudiced, as I thought the latter might be likely. In the end I discovered that I did pre-judge, but on my own misunderstood set of facts and suspicious actions, and upon an individual with a disability and odd work hours, having nothing to do with the ethnic identity of this neighbor.

I am still guilty of using poor tact, but did attempt to be reasonable about self-protection of my private property, my home and pets. Others think I may have been too quick to jump to a conclusion, but do understand how I reached it - and I am thankful that I at least got there without any true, subconcious, maliciousness on my intent.

Well you did pretty much answer your own question there. Even people with views that are overtly racist do not believe themselves to be racists. They think of themselves as patriots, nationalists, or whatever misguided noun they like to use to refer to themselves. Also, like I said before they would never even contemplate the possibility of their views as uninformed or ignorant. Even Hitler never referred to his self as a racist.

kool-aid killer
10-08-2003, 10:41 AM
Heres my new neighbor problem, they moved in a couple of weeks ago and the first night i could hear everything they were talking about. To make matters worse it was (and still is) hard to determine how many people are living in the house. The problem is the kids, who are teens but im sure are a couple of years younger than me (i am 20) and their friend have a nasty habit of giving me a hostile stare. The reason im stared at is simply because my skin is brown. I am Mexican-American and know from experience that other Hispanic males who are involved in gangs or are wannabes tend to stare at one another in an attempt to intimidate. Now im not involved in any gangs myself but i do get bothered when someone does this to me. I always ask them if they have a problem and most of them back down. I believe my neighbors are from El Salvador and they dress like they think they are a bunch of G's so they may fancy themselves as some sort of thugs. On a Monday (the 29th of September) i was outside going after my trash can and green bin (the garbage men had just passed by) and one kid and his friend were sitting in a car listening to music. I look up and both were mad dogging me. I ignored them in hopes that they would look away. I put my can and bin away and went to my car because it was time to go to work and i open my door. I looked up and both were still staring. I got to saying things to them and asked them why they kept looking at me and one responded that he was doing it because he wanted to. I asked him if he wanted his (hint: rhymes with grass) beat and he looked away. I was so close to walking up to the car and dropping both of them but i figured i had scared them and they would leave me alone so i left after laughing at the clowns. I dont think my problem with them is over just yet though and i feel that i will have to beat one or two of them before they finally decide to leave me alone. What do you guys think? Should i swallow my pride and let them continue to stare at me thinking im scared of them or should i do what i feel is right and let them know im not having any of that and wont hesitate to whup on them if it continues?

plasticfetish
10-08-2003, 03:36 PM
The staring thing is weird. It would be one thing if they had a reason, but to be doing it just to be doing it ... I'm not sure I understand. But I do understand the idea of them trying to intimidate you.

I'd say, that what you really want in this situation is to let them know that you aren't going to play whatever game they're out to play. Let them know that you're not a part of whatever they're doing. They can stare all they want ... but it's got nothing to do with you.

I'm not sure that confronting them aggressively is the way to go, unless they do something more aggressive themselves. Otherwise, just give them a nod ... like you know that they're there, but you could care less. Once you start getting involved, then you're stuck. Unless they cross the line and get physical, act like you're both on different worlds ... which you are to a certain degree.

Just saying hello and being civil (not necessarily buddy-buddy) can't hurt either ... that way, they don't feel like you're a person that they have to watch out for. Mostly, It sounds like they're trying to size you up. Trying to see how you act around them, and what they can get away with. The trick is gonna be communicating that they can't "get away" with anything ... but it doesn't matter, because you're not interested in them.

Dr Zoltar
10-08-2003, 06:53 PM
Plasticfetish,

Very nicely said!

kool-aid killer
10-08-2003, 08:50 PM
Why did Derek delete his response?

I agree with almost everything you said Plasticfetish. The only thing i dont see myself doing is going up to them and saying hello. They dont seem like they would understand my attempts to be friendly. Now perhaps its wrong for me to assume that but due to my past experiences in similar situations i feel that is an accurate statement. Many thanks for the advice.

plasticfetish
10-08-2003, 09:04 PM
No problem.

The only thing i dont see myself doing is going up to them and saying hello.
Yeah, that's understandable. All it may require is for you to give them a nod and say, "Hey guys, what's up?" or something like that. Nothing big.

(And I don't know why Derek deletes his responses? Seems to happen a lot. :confused: )

stillakid
10-08-2003, 09:26 PM
(And I don't know why Derek deletes his responses? Seems to happen a lot. :confused: )

He's going to run for governor. The recall process has already started the day after the election, just like they did for Davis. :rolleyes:

Tycho
10-09-2003, 12:41 AM
Back when it was before you said ANYTHING to them, I would have walked over and brought a six-pack of beer, or along more legal lines, offered them your hand, your name, some small-talk, and maybe invited them over to watch a game, a movie, or BBQ.

True I don't know the situation, but I overcome suspected aggression or dislike, with almost assaulting offers of friendship. Anytime someone stares at me, I walk right up to them, say hello, and smile. It's easier to gauge what they think of me when I see how they act when I'm right in front of them.

"Hello" is much more friendly and acceptable social behavior than "what's your problem?"

Now the thing I would do with the way the cards have fallen for you after your confrontation, is to go back and say you were sorry you popped off, you were having a bad day, and say if you're going to be neighbors, that you'd like to be acquainted on a better basis.

Don't look down, or beaten when you do it. Look the part of the better man.

They don't have to become your best friends or anything, and maybe you'll never do more than say "hi" to them for the rest of the whole extent of your relationship with them.

But if they hit you, hit them back. Better yet, call the police and file an assault report and collect money, while teaching them a valuable lesson about the new laws they'll have to deal with in America. But that's the worst case scenerio, right?

I mean maybe its even worse if they do something to your house or car or other property when you are not around if they don't have the courage to confront you. Cowards can deal hard blows, too.

But I don't know what this cultural thing you're talking about means. Nor do I know what "mad dogging" means as well.

However, people will often treat you by how they judge the environment you come from. You're all in America now (no offense or implication that you yourself are not US-born or a citizen, I just mean that our cities are not a jungle). Show these guys that you come from a country that wants law and order and respects American ideals that protect the sovereign rights you have to keeping your body and your property from harm. Show them you've been taught to be friendly and respectful towards others. Don't try and behave like you're Ice Cube in some vigilante street rules cause. There is no cause in the streets but one: to get out of that kind of environment or reform it.

If there are rules to some other culture, about staring, respect, toughness, etc. - well I'm here to tell you that that culture sucks.

Life is complicated enough with figuring out what you're going to do to make a living and how to finance a retirement when you no longer can work - and what sort of standard for luxury can you make for yourself along the way.

That might sound kind of lonely, so complicate it by getting a girlfriend or wife if you want to drive yourself nuts. Making new enemies is trouble you don't need.

Old Fossil
10-09-2003, 12:43 AM
I never thought of the staring thing as being a cultural phenomenon, but it makes sense. There is a large house on the corner of my block which houses a number of Hispanic men. They only recently moved into the house last autumn (it is a rental property). Thing is, every time I drive by them, they stare at me, just like kool-aid killer describes. I tried glaring back at them a couple of times, but almost rammed into a parked car the second time, so I basically just give 'em a disapproving glance as I drive by nowadays.

Then again, there is another Hispanic household on my block, across the street from my house, and they don't engage in any of that staring foolishness; but there are a number of women living there, unlike at the other place. Maybe it's more a man thing, machismo and all that...

2-1B
10-09-2003, 02:05 AM
It's impolite to stare.
I wish that people who attempt to intimidate others (by any means) would realize how stupid they are.

kool-aid killer, I have to agree that asking "what's your problem" is NOT the best way to handle it. All it can do is lead to an escalation in mad dogging.

No, no, no, there is no need to beat anybody down over this. plasticfetish, Tycho, and the others are all offering good advice. Consider it. :)

Tycho
10-09-2003, 02:43 AM
What is mad dogging?

Why are we stereotyping Hispanic men as people who stare?

They might not speak English, feel confident, or might even just be sleepy.

Again, we want a culture where we talk to each other, so say "hello" to someone looking at you and engage them in FRIENDLY conversation, that reduces your threat to them, and lets them know they haven't intimidated you, nor have you done anything to make them dislike you.

Everything you DON'T KNOW about someone else can lead to wild speculating and your creating an enemy.

If you don't know me and I'm looking at you, surely I'm planning to eat your Star Wars figures with ketchup on them. :rolleyes:

Some people are just not taught how to socialize, or deal with strangers outside of their own clique groups. So from there, we get to shooting others as acceptable ways to deal with this?

plasticfetish
10-09-2003, 03:30 AM
Why are we stereotyping Hispanic men as people who stare?
Yeah! I mean hispanic women stare also don't they?!?

(Sorry. Kidding around.)

It's just a young guy thing ... maybe a "gang" thing, but not necessarily. Mostly it's a sign of insecurity, as hard as it is to believe ... this guys are probably just insecure, and that's how they put up a front.

Tycho ... "mad-dogging" (which is a funny, kind of out dated term I think) is like when you give someone a hard, sort of challenging stare. To glare at them with hostility. I always laugh when I hear the term, because I think about Mr. T on the A-Team for some reason. (But then again, when don't I?)

InsaneJediGirl
10-09-2003, 06:46 AM
Well,I'd say either ignore them or say "Hey,Whats up" or something along those lines.What is the old saying..Kindness kills?

Anyways,if that fails,sit on your front porch and stare back :D;)

chrisc
10-09-2003, 07:50 AM
In the south when I was young we would take care of our problems with our neighbors with paintball guns. If you have a problem with being called a racist try living in the lower part of South Carolina. They call you a racist for flyin the Confederate flag and wearing Dixe Outfiters T-shirts. Get a paintball gun.

kool-aid killer
10-09-2003, 09:24 AM
Tycho, my thinking that they stare because of what i am is coming from my belief that most crime is Hispanic on Hispanic, Black on Black etc. They dont stare at guy next door who is African American. They dont stare at the elderly white lady across the street. They do speak English because that is what i spoke to them and they responded in it. I do think staring is a young guy thing. Their parents dont stare at me in a hostile way. But i think its too late for any displays of friendship. Now im not going to come out of my house with my fists balled up and a wild look in my eye ready to rumble but as long as they leave me alone i will ignore them.

mabudonicus
10-09-2003, 10:40 AM
Yeah, ignoring them should be fine.... the last thing you need is to start something you don't want to finish.... I mean, look at the facts, they know where you live, know you don't have a big gang around you.... young guys who pride themselves on being tough usually don't look for scraps where they know they'll get beat....

I would deal with it by trying to be oblivious... they OBVIOUSLY wanted a response, and they sort of got it.... the fact that you're posting this here shows this....

Indeed, they are playing a game, DO NOT JOIN IN... you will lose, you have a sense of self worth, there's is still confused.... if staring you down makes them feel better, so be it, man, let 'em..... as long as you represent no real threat to them (or gain, which responding in kind will only enhance in their primitive world-view) then you should be fine, and the law would no doubt remain on your side.... I try to speak to neighbors I don't like on levels they understand.... might wanna toss the odd "nice day" type comment to 'em.... no need for anything like introductions if you wanna keep it detached-but-civil....
But to paraphrase MOST of what tycho said, keep it on the up-and-up and you should be cool..... if you're not a trophy in any way, there'll be no desire to even bother with you..... in my experience, the only people I've ever resonded to when they were "asking for it", GOT IT, else I'd just laugh it off

JEDIpartner
10-09-2003, 11:04 AM
Once upon a long ago, when I was working in retail, a kid came into the store and asked if I could help him find a particular cassette. I found it for him and left him to his own devices.

About an hour later, another person came in looking for the same cassette. We couldn't find it and we knew the kid didn't buy it. I didn't think he stole it so all of the employees searched the racks and the LP and CD bins for it. We couldn't find it.

A little while later the kid, his mum and siblings came walking past the store. I called out to the kid and asked him to come into the store. He asked me what I wanted so I asked him if he could tell me where he placed the cassette after he got done looking for it.

His mum started yelling, "You're accusing my child of stealing because he's black! You're a racist!!!"

I replied, "I never accused him of stealing it. I just wanted to know where in the store he put it after he got done looking at it. And don't play that race card with me because I'm Asian and G-aY and I'd love to climb into your head now to see what you think of me now that I threw those labels out there... so don't talk to me about discrimination and racism!"

After I got done with her, the kid came back up to the front of the store and gave me the cassette to which he said, "I put it over there; underneath that table with the tablecloth because I didn't know where to put it back."

I raised an eyebrow to the mother and she turned around and shrank away... :D

stillakid
10-09-2003, 11:13 AM
Once upon a long ago, when I was working in retail, a kid came into the store and asked if I could help him find a particular cassette. I found it for him and left him to his own devices.

About an hour later, another person came in looking for the same cassette. We couldn't find it and we knew the kid didn't buy it. I didn't think he stole it so all of the employees searched the racks and the LP and CD bins for it. We couldn't find it.

A little while later the kid, his mum and siblings came walking past the store. I called out to the kid and asked him to come into the store. He asked me what I wanted so I asked him if he could tell me where he placed the cassette after he got done looking for it.

His mum started yelling, "You're accusing my child of stealing because he's black! You're a racist!!!"

I replied, "I never accused him of stealing it. I just wanted to know where in the store he put it after he got done looking at it. And don't play that race card with me because I'm Asian and G-aY and I'd love to climb into your head now to see what you think of me now that I threw those labels out there... so don't talk to me about discrimination and racism!"

After I got done with her, the kid came back up to the front of the store and gave me the cassette to which he said, "I put it over there; underneath that table with the tablecloth because I didn't know where to put it back."

I raised an eyebrow to the mother and she turned around and shrank away... :D


It's episodes like that which muddy the waters for actual race problems. The mother probably had her share of problems, but playing that "minority" card whenever and whereever she ran into obstacles most likely did more harm than good, both for her and her kids. The cycle continues...

As a white-bread Mid-Westerner, I actually could care less about someone's race, religion, or sexuality. But as I go through life, it becomes very apparent that the only people who bring it up are the one's who are the "minorities" in the first place. If somebody is acting like a moron, I'll treat them that way no matter what they look like. The problem is that "those people" have been brought up to believe that "whitey" or whoever is just out to "keep 'em down" so instead of just seeing that they're behaving innappropriately, they take that easy route and blame "us" for being racist or whatever.

There will be no end to this sort of thing until we are all dead and gone.

Tycho
10-09-2003, 11:34 AM
Mabudon offered some pretty good advice.

The only reason I'm chiming in again is that I suddenly realized that A LOT OF YOUNG GUYS do this sort of thing. It's not necessarily a Hispanic thing.

Why? I think it's an "Alpha-male" type of thing.

I realized I may even do this myself without realizing it.

In my apartment complex by a major university, young people are always moving in and out.

When new girls move in, it's a cause for me to be friendly and say hello when I see them around the plex by the mailbox, BBQ, out by the parking lot or at the pool. I'm inspired to seek out new friendships.

When new guys move in, it's like competition's arrived. Because I'm slightly older, I'm definitely looked at with suspicion from them. They know we each have nothing the other needs, and if the girls like the older guy, they know they're screwed. What really happens is that I'm screwed, because I'm not the life of the party with beer bongs and drug paraphrenallia because that's not the way I have fun (risking the legal revocation of my licenses to conduct Federal and state financial transactions that might let me take a girlfriend to Hawaii versus what might get a girl over "to come party" but what could also lead the jealous to narc me out on. I had a very good friend go to jail over pot that he grew just to impress girls when we were in college. His girlfriend's ex narc'd him out and it gets a little more complicated from there, but my point is made.)

A new point is that I have my guy friends. They've been friends for years. I remember birthdays, annual road trips, favorite bars and restaurants. Who's good for political discussions, etc. Adding to the list of all the information my tiny brain has to store on my good guy pals makes the head ache. Right now I have buddies that I used to always hang with that I only get to speak to several times a year! Complicating that with new guy friends, plus remembering a lot about my business associates, clients, political acquaintances, etc. keeps a lot going on in my mind, not to mention that recalling names with faces gets hard with the ratios that I'm meeting people in.

So for peace or war, I don't usually try and make new guy friends.

I think that I am on auto-pilot to only meet or attempt to establish relationships with girlfriends, because I don't have that many, or have some sub-conscious desire to find "the one," mate, marry, and have kids or something. Gotta restrain that one, for sure (or I'll be in a world of new complications!).

But know what the flip side of that is? Girls have friends and seem to like safety-in-numbers sorts of group activities while many of them flirt. They want their friends to evaluate you because many of the ones I meet like trophy-boyfriends (and being envied by the other girls). Most of my best guyfriends are now engaged, married, or have girlfriends they've been with for so long that they act like it.

So when these parties happen, and these girls go out with their girlfriends looking for who they want to hook up with, their friends are going to think that the coolest guys are the ones who have friends for them to hook up with as well.

Now I hate being a fake person and most of these young guys bore me to tears: they are pre-programmed to drink constantly and yell and scream at sports programs on television, and think that's the time of their lives and as deep as friendship activities go. I don't like to "hang out," because if it only gets that shallow, I have much more interesting times posting here for deeper conversations, or reading books and considering what others that are more intellectual have wrote.

However, if you are the outsider, the other guys will almost surely voice their suspicion or prejudice against you to promote themselves for the ladies.

When the parties happen, do you want to be the one that is welcome and well-known by the hosts, or the one who walks by when you know they're going to talk bad about you? It's harder to talk bad about you behind your back, when the girls have just seen the little cretans yell "hello" to you by name, and invite you in and shake your hand.

Being bored with them for a little while seems a good trade-off to me for leaving the party with one of their girlfriends, and keeping the other ladies where they're at and entertained, and where they have no ammunition to put you down with.

The Hispanic guys next door to you might not have a lot of ladies over now (or ever), but it's pre-programmed into the human male to have that on their mind. You represent competition for them. Everyone is an enemy or an ally. Mind you, I think you said you were married? I didn't recall. Well, everyone young is considered a candidate for being a cheater. I'm not married, but trust me, I know about young women and fidelity, so it reasons to guess correctly about young men and fidelity. It doesn't matter.

If they don't have other women to show off for, the next thing is showing off for other men. They're new and want to be "cool." Well, they can't have a neighbor who is cooler than they are. Who here wants to live on Brad Pitt's street? Only if he wants to have me over for parties and dinners all the time would I feel grateful to have him as a neighbor.

I think it's the same thing here, and you touched on something that I subconciously "knew" but never really put my thoughts into words about before.

What do you all think?

2-1B
10-09-2003, 11:37 AM
But as I go through life, it becomes very apparent that the only people who bring it up are the one's who are the "minorities" in the first place.

Be careful, you're over-generalizing with "only."
While I agree with your post in many situations, there are PLENTY of white folks out there who bring it up (trust me, I know some of them :rolleyes: ). Funny thing is though, they're so cowardly that it's usually done under their breath or behind people's backs.

I basically believe that racism is less prevalent than some people believe, and more prevalent than what others will admit. Know what I mean ? :)

You're right though about it never ending until we're all dead and gone. The Onion sold a very cool T-Shirt several years ago which read:
"End racism. Kill everyone."

stillakid
10-09-2003, 11:48 AM
Be careful, you're over-generalizing with "only."
While I agree with your post in many situations, there are PLENTY of white folks out there who bring it up (trust me, I know some of them :rolleyes: ). Funny thing is though, they're so cowardly that it's usually done under their breath or behind people's backs.

I basically believe that racism is less prevalent than some people believe, and more prevalent than what others will admit. Know what I mean ? :)

You're right though about it never ending until we're all dead and gone. The Onion sold a very cool T-Shirt several years ago which read:
"End racism. Kill everyone."


You're right. I meant to change that "only" but forgot. Let's just say that in most cases that I've been privy to, there is no racism going on...only the accusation of such.

2-1B
10-09-2003, 11:57 AM
Cool. :)
I didn't want to sound like I was trying to discredit your post because I DO agree in many cases.
Well, if you're talking solely from your point of view, then it's a point well taken. :)

JEDIpartner
10-09-2003, 12:03 PM
The other thing I can't stand are people who live in rundown neighbourhoods. They say it is another racial group's (mainly "white") fault that they live in such conditions.

My response to that is "really?" I mean, I don't see gangs of people of different ethnicity charging into those neighbourhoods to paint graffitti all over the buildings or breaking windows and streetlamps, destroying bus shelters and pay phones or littering all over the place. Apparently caucasians have some amazing telepathy that "forces" other ethnic groups to do this to their own?

Interesting...

stillakid
10-09-2003, 12:05 PM
Cool. :)
I didn't want to sound like I was trying to discredit your post because I DO agree in many cases.
Well, if you're talking solely from your point of view, then it's a point well taken. :)


It is physically impossible for me to talk from anyone else's point of view. ;)

Tycho
10-09-2003, 12:51 PM
HEY, I HAD THIS GREAT IDEA and everybody skipped over it!



Mabudon offered some pretty good advice.

The only reason I'm chiming in again is that I suddenly realized that A LOT OF YOUNG GUYS do this sort of thing. It's not necessarily a Hispanic thing.

Why? I think it's an "Alpha-male" type of thing.

I realized I may even do this myself without realizing it.

In my apartment complex by a major university, young people are always moving in and out.

When new girls move in, it's a cause for me to be friendly and say hello when I see them around the plex by the mailbox, BBQ, out by the parking lot or at the pool. I'm inspired to seek out new friendships.

When new guys move in, it's like competition's arrived. Because I'm slightly older, I'm definitely looked at with suspicion from them. They know we each have nothing the other needs, and if the girls like the older guy, they know they're screwed. What really happens is that I'm screwed, because I'm not the life of the party with beer bongs and drug paraphrenallia because that's not the way I have fun (risking the legal revocation of my licenses to conduct Federal and state financial transactions that might let me take a girlfriend to Hawaii versus what might get a girl over "to come party" but what could also lead the jealous to narc me out on. I had a very good friend go to jail over pot that he grew just to impress girls when we were in college. His girlfriend's ex narc'd him out and it gets a little more complicated from there, but my point is made.)

A new point is that I have my guy friends. They've been friends for years. I remember birthdays, annual road trips, favorite bars and restaurants. Who's good for political discussions, etc. Adding to the list of all the information my tiny brain has to store on my good guy pals makes the head ache. Right now I have buddies that I used to always hang with that I only get to speak to several times a year! Complicating that with new guy friends, plus remembering a lot about my business associates, clients, political acquaintances, etc. keeps a lot going on in my mind, not to mention that recalling names with faces gets hard with the ratios that I'm meeting people in.

So for peace or war, I don't usually try and make new guy friends.

I think that I am on auto-pilot to only meet or attempt to establish relationships with girlfriends, because I don't have that many, or have some sub-conscious desire to find "the one," mate, marry, and have kids or something. Gotta restrain that one, for sure (or I'll be in a world of new complications!).

But know what the flip side of that is? Girls have friends and seem to like safety-in-numbers sorts of group activities while many of them flirt. They want their friends to evaluate you because many of the ones I meet like trophy-boyfriends (and being envied by the other girls). Most of my best guyfriends are now engaged, married, or have girlfriends they've been with for so long that they act like it.

So when these parties happen, and these girls go out with their girlfriends looking for who they want to hook up with, their friends are going to think that the coolest guys are the ones who have friends for them to hook up with as well.

Now I hate being a fake person and most of these young guys bore me to tears: they are pre-programmed to drink constantly and yell and scream at sports programs on television, and think that's the time of their lives and as deep as friendship activities go. I don't like to "hang out," because if it only gets that shallow, I have much more interesting times posting here for deeper conversations, or reading books and considering what others that are more intellectual have wrote.

However, if you are the outsider, the other guys will almost surely voice their suspicion or prejudice against you to promote themselves for the ladies.

When the parties happen, do you want to be the one that is welcome and well-known by the hosts, or the one who walks by when you know they're going to talk bad about you? It's harder to talk bad about you behind your back, when the girls have just seen the little cretans yell "hello" to you by name, and invite you in and shake your hand.

Being bored with them for a little while seems a good trade-off to me for leaving the party with one of their girlfriends, and keeping the other ladies where they're at and entertained, and where they have no ammunition to put you down with.

The Hispanic guys next door to you might not have a lot of ladies over now (or ever), but it's pre-programmed into the human male to have that on their mind. You represent competition for them. Everyone is an enemy or an ally. Mind you, I think you said you were married? I didn't recall. Well, everyone young is considered a candidate for being a cheater. I'm not married, but trust me, I know about young women and fidelity, so it reasons to guess correctly about young men and fidelity. It doesn't matter.

If they don't have other women to show off for, the next thing is showing off for other men. They're new and want to be "cool." Well, they can't have a neighbor who is cooler than they are. Who here wants to live on Brad Pitt's street? Only if he wants to have me over for parties and dinners all the time would I feel grateful to have him as a neighbor.

I think it's the same thing here, and you touched on something that I subconciously "knew" but never really put my thoughts into words about before.

What do you all think?

2-1B
10-09-2003, 01:10 PM
sorry Tycho, but it wasn't really a great idea . . . we've read your posts for several years now in which you shamelessly desire to get into girls' pants -- so why should we be so moved to discussion now ?

:D

bobafrett
10-09-2003, 02:10 PM
I try very hard not to be racist. Growing up my grandfather threw around the "N" word a lot. Now, I got a call the other day from my son's mom in Florida. It seems that there has been a lot of gang banging going on in the neighborhood she moved into after she got divorced. The neighborhood is primarily African American, and a mix of other minority groups. When I went to drop my son off after he spent the summer a year ago with me, I drove through this neighborhood, and I almost turned the car around and drove us both back home. I decided maybe it was this racial thing in me that made me afraid to drop my son off at his moms new residence. Now I'm trying to decide if I would have been better off going with my first instinct to not leave him there. My son has lived there with his mom on and off now for a little over a year. His mom say's that there have been people shot and she's terrified for my son as she works in the evening and my son is there alone. My son did make a bunch of friends with the boy's in the complex where he lives. But the other day, a group of gang bangers came knocking at her door at 3 am looking for her boyfriend. I'm going down this weekend to pick my son and his clothes up. In the meantime he is staying with his older sister.

Oh, and the staring thing, well I do it if I feel threatened. I mean I'm a pretty big guy who looks like he could stand up in a fight, but chances are I would be down in less than a minute. So if someone is staring at me, I'll eeither look down, or stare menacingly back like "You don't want a piece of me".

LTBasker
10-09-2003, 04:14 PM
And if all else fails you can raise your gaffi stick and scream like a Tusken Raider. :D

On the key issue, may just wanna ask'em what all the staring's about. And ya might wanna make sure your fly's up, that's always a possibility..

stillakid
10-09-2003, 04:26 PM
On the key issue, may just wanna ask'em what all the staring's about.


Maybe they think you're cute. :kiss: Just avoid bending over to pick up the newspaper in the morning.