Essay: People are People so why should it be…

Black people – what gives? Why you gotta be like that?
I don’t like the way a lot of blacks act. That’s the crux of it. And I don’t dislike a group of people because of their “skin color”. ‘Tis their behaviour more than anything else. And no, I’m not down on them because of their “position in society”, or for ethnic competition, or because they’ve cornered the economy like another group I can think of who some people dislike (or profess to dislike but as often, merely envy). Some say class trumps race – well, I fancy myself a socialist, and I would never hold a grudge on the basis of supposed class or poverty. I am poor myself; unemployed (how do you think I have the time to write all these obscure blogs?)
No, sadly it oftentimes seems to me that these people have a monopoly on the worst of human impulses and behavior ¬– and it really comes down to behavior. Put it this way: why must you consistently disappoint me so? ; )
I don’t want to be “disgusted” with people who are otherwise frankly endearing in other ways, who have any number of wonderful qualities. The closest friend I ever had post-adolescence was African-American; from the most caring, nicest, functional family one could imagine. Christians – but very tolerant and educated. My friend was the most sensitive soul. An artist – an exceptionally talented musician, composer, and photographer – and a whiz with graphics and illustration computer programs. I always felt that due to his humble nature that he sold himself short. He was not one to self-advertise. Not ambitious at all, though became a lead moderator, beta tester, and guru of sorts for (under the screen name Distances2)
I sometimes thought, “This guy, my friend, must be in my life to remind me not to judge.” Or pre-judge. Not to discriminate.
But sadly, the shear numbers of others swamp such a one; the others who, day-to-day, comprise the bulk of one’s experience with a group. And herein lies the origin of stereotypes and racial-friction and the like. There are unique people in the world indeed, but experience over time and space functions to fix an overall impression. And that impression can be revolting to me. Or more often just frustrating, saddening.
Like the other day: I’m in a cafeteria in a large public building. I’m waiting for my sandwich to be made by the lady behind the counter. She’s taking her time and a large, very dark black man rears up, and hovers over my shoulder. He quips jokingly, “No no, you’re making it all wrong!” And this about three inches from my left ear.
I was with a woman also, and I have enough experience to understand the subtle sexual [incantation, innuendo, derivation] of the guy’s behavior. He was only being friendly, right? Yes. Yet I am frustrated and annoyed by an innocent encounter. Why? I don’t really know. I suspect that he saw three people, noticed that the two of us on his side seemed perhaps nervous, or just a little auspicious (or hungry) waiting there. And he intuitively saw an opportunity to liven up the scene – by making first the sandwich lady and then myself laugh at his quip. It sort of worked, too. It would have, that is, if I were your typical person, I suppose. I don’t know. Here is the nexus of two cultures. Very honestly like two different instruments trying to reach the same note at exactly the same pitch. It just won’t work unless one party gives a bit, gives an allowance.
And so it goes. Repeated across the country in countless social interactions one or the other, or both, parties must be constantly attuned to granting this or that adjustment; to granting the needed allowance in order to keep peace of mind in a landscape strewn with potential pitfalls, or even landmines. And luckily most people can do it, have no problem.
But I wonder: what is the amalgam, the aggregate of all of the necessary adjustment? For a society. A million small misunderstandings. Do they build? Do they accrue as a fine leaven over us, as a fine pollution in the air? Or does humanity allow for some entropy; some wiggle room?


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