I Hate People That Hate
Prejudice is such an ugly thing.
And it matters little who that prejudice is directed towards; skin color, gender, age, sexual orientation, it's pretty much all the same.
I tend to get more of the skin-color varity than any other.
I don't hear "faggot!" yelled at me -- I get "Hey, whitey!" which comes from the neighborhood I live in. I've been called every derogatory name for a white person you can think of: the aformentioned "whitey", "cracker", "whitebread", among others -- and even "honky" which, God help me, reminds me of The Jeffersons every time I hear it.
(By the way, isn't "honky" a little outdated? It's kind of like saying "groovy". Do people still say "groovy"? I guess somebody somewhere does. It's just a little odd, that's all.)
Anyway, if Baltimore City is 70% black, that makes me the minority. If you're walking down Lexington Market and you see a white boy, it just might be me, so say Hello.
Anyway, I've come to terms with it. Don't like it much, but what can I do?
Choose your battles wisely, as my grandpappy used to tell me.
Which brings me to the incident that happened just last night. I worked a long tiresome day and I was looking forward to getting home and soaking my aching feet (along with the rest of me) in a long hot bath. G.'s got the car and he was helping a friend of his with something, so he couldn't pick me up. I whip out my handy-dandy cell phone and call for a taxi, The Green Sedan Service, which is the one I always use. Normally, they're very efficient and I get picked up within ten minutes, but the dispatcher told me that half the drivers called out and the wait would be at least an hour, if not more. Hell, I could walk home in that amount of time, not that I was prepared to.
So I call a another taxi, and they said they be right there as long as I didn't mind sharing the taxi with someone else who was going in the same direction. No problem as long as I get home, you know?
So the taxi arrives and I get in and I'm sharing it with another white guy and the driver is also white.
Anyway, I tell him where I'm going and he says, "You live there?" and I'm like, "Uh, yeah."
"Awful dark around there, isn't it?"
ding ding ding The red flag goes up.
"What do you mean 'dark'?" I ask, hoping against hope that he means they need more streetlights and lampposts around there. No such luck.
"Lotsa darkies 'round there. Useta be it was a good neighboorhood, years ago, then the negroes came and took it over."
And there it was. Prejudice right there in my face. I guess he thought that because eveyone in the taxi was white, he could say whatever he wanted.
No way, not on my watch.
"People are people," I said, "I don't look at people as colors. It's not the color of your skin that makes you good or bad, it's the things that you do." He realized right quick that I wasn't going to stand for any more of that kind of talk, because he didn't say anything else the enire trip home.
I walked through the door with a heavy heart, thinking how horrible this world is, and how most people delight in their hate and their inhumanity to one another so much that peace and harmony will never, ever be possible.
I've said, "My faith in human nature has taken such a beating, I'm surprised it still exists" before. Yes, it still exists, but it seems to diminish with every passing day.
I will not give up hope, though.