This article I read on The Atlantic was supposed to be the fifth link of my new Midweek Link Love series. However, I think it’s such a heavy topic that it needs it’s own post.
When my husband and I moved to San Francisco, we had a mobile baby who prevented me from helping move. So we called up whatever company Uhaul recommended and hired movers to help us load our Uhaul.
The guys who showed up were 2 well-built African-American young men who brought gallons of their own water in preparation to get down and dirty. They were very gentle-mannered and polite, all yes mam, no mam, though they weren’t at all required to be. Upon small talk, I learned that they had already moved someone in the morning, and were gonna move someone else after us. Highly impressed with their work ethic and how speedy and efficient they were.
I was manning the Uhaul thinking about what to tip them and what raving review I was gonna give, when a patrol car pulled into my complex and a cop approached me. He questioned me about our truck and informed me that someone in our building was concerned about the black men moving stuff out of the building and had called the cops.
I was appalled. APPALLED. And incredibly embarrassed. The cop insisted that I bring him to my apartment, and had my husband prove that we lived there, ID, mail with our name and address on it, etc. Satisfied that we were not in fact robbing an apartment in broad daylight, he left, but not before another cop car pulled up as backup. Backup!! In case of what?!?!
Ashamed and mortified, I apologized profusely to the gentlemen, who absolutely did not deserve that kind of treatment. And to my even greater horror, they brushed it off and said it wasn’t the first time that’s happened, and it wouldn’t be the last.
What’s ironic is that after we arrived in SF, we hired 2 more guys to help us unload the truck. This time, the company sent over 2 Caucasian men, and I’ve gotta say, these guys were the laziest, whiniest little b*tches I’ve ever met. They moaned and complained the whole time, left our furniture and boxes littered and unattended all over our complex, and certainly took their sweet time, being paid by the hour and all. And no, no one called the cops.
I’m not saying one skin color is any more or less superior to another skin color. I’m saying you can be an honest, hard-working man, or you can be a lazy bum, and it has nothing to do with race. You hear about racism on TV shows or in the news, but it’s never been a part of my inner circle…and I’ve been living my life fairly oblivious to how cruel and unfair it is. And as Glanville says in the article, how does a parent of a minority race explain to their kids these differences?
It was the first time I came face to face with racial profiling. I wasn’t even the one who was profiled, yet I still get goosebumps thinking about it now. I can’t imagine living life having to deal with it every day.
This article by Doug Glanville is powerful and thought-provoking. If you only have time to click one link on my blog today, make it this one.