Discrimination

4 09 2008

I had an interesting experience last night walking back from the library. I wanted to share it with you guys to see what you think.

As I was getting back to my dorm, these two girls were in front of me. They were headed to the same building I lived in at Tom Brown/Pete Wright. They were a few steps ahead of me and as they entered, they noticed I was walking towards them and immediately shut the door on me. They literally grabbed the door and closed it. There wasn’t any doubt that they were scared by me. Then I walked up to the door, swiped my card and entered. They lived on the first floor and as I walked by them you could tell they were visibly scared by me and watched me very cautiously. I just walked on by.

I could tell that they were scared of me. Be it my hair or that I’m kind of big or that I’m just a guy and it’s late at night. But, I wasn’t upset about them discriminating against me and this was striking to me. The fact that I was discriminated against, for whatever reason, should be offensive. That’s what we are taught in our society. Discrimination is wrong, no matter the circumstances. But after this happened, I didn’t feel like that. I felt like they had a right to discriminate against me right then. I feel like I should be upset. I feel like should feel something that I am not.

I’m still very puzzled about the whole experience. Isn’t there something wrong with America if we can’t even give someone the benefit of the doubt and trust each other? Isn’t there something wrong when anyone is discriminated against? Yet I can’t bring myself to be angry with them for discriminating against me.

Honestly, I’d rather hear what others have to say. You can’t blame a woman, or anyone really, for being cautious, but at the same time, does it ever reach a point where one’s caution breaches on the freedoms of others?

Think about it.

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3 responses

4 09 2008
Danielle

Maybe you shouldn’t be offended. I’m glad you are not. Like you touched on, there’s a difference between discrimination and caution. Maybe their past has taught them to be more cautious around people. They probably would have acted differently during the day…

The reason I feel you shouldn’t be offended is they didn’t intrude on your rights at all. I live in Hawaii, and here, white people are a vast minority in town… Not the main areas or anything… but the area’s away from military and tourists. This is the first place where I have been a minority. Military, especially white military, is hated a lot out here. We took their land not that many years ago, over threw their sovereign government and turned this place into a commercial zone–thus hurting the nature that was much more prominent. I went to a Savers– thrift shop– out in town, and I was stared at the whole time. Partially I wanted to shout HEY I DIDN’T TAKE YOUR LAND! I DIDN’T WANT TO BE STATIONED HERE! But what good would it do?

You can’t change the past. Their bigotry towards me is useless, but honestly, it doesn’t take away any rights or anything so far. It just makes me feel uncomfortable. It’s not a right to feel comfortable all the time…. People have the freedom to hate me all they want. Until I am refused service or harmed or something, they are within their legal rights under this government. I just do my part to be nice to everyone, even when they aren’t nice to me….

Most military are decent, but there are PLENTY of bad apples. Bitchy catty wives, racist rednecks, aggressive greedy people… It’s sad, really… They give those of us who are decent a bad name…. Which, of course, makes it harder…

But then you deal with reverse racism… Decent white military who won’t give Samoans and Hawaiian a chance because of what they’ve run into… It’s sad… but understandable.

I’m glad to be the minority for once.. To understand to an extent.

And I really don’t think its America… My friend is from Ukraine and is now a citizen, and she says its like this everywhere she’s been… We just feel we should be above human nature… We never really will be. America’s biggest problem is elitism and pride. We don’t really know what goes on in the rest of the world. We assume we’ve got stuff figured out… She says she’s always found it odd to see Americans give so much to poor and needy in third world countries, but still have poor on our own streets. Its an odd thought…

Sorry for the tangents.

16 09 2008
Joy

I think it’s very admirable of you, as a man, to not be offended. I love that you understand that these young women have good reason to be cautious. I know that you are not someone they need to fear, but they had no clue who you were. As a woman I’ve been in their shoes many times, and I always keep an eye out for men at night. You can’t ever be too careful, and until we get to a place in society where women don’t have to fear any man, all women should constantly be aware of their surroundings and notice men following them (whether it’s intentional following or not). I think they did the right thing, and I am so thankful that you are an understanding man. Talk to your male friends about your experience, see what they say, help them understand why women have to be so careful, especially on college campuses!

22 09 2008
Travis

In that situation, I think its perfectly natural not to be offended. I believe they were being cautious as you said.
Concerning final query, I’ll have to do some more thinking on that.

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