We don’t talk like that around here!!!

August 1, 2010

I try to blend in. Wherever I go I take the time to observe how others around me are behaving and if appropriately respond accordingly. But some people do not. Or they just like to tell bad stories. You make the call?

A friend of the 2 old crew loves to tell stories of how “hard” he responds to situations where he has to walk past people of color in what he percieves as less than desirable neighbors. Let me explain…

The first time, he told the story of how while walking through San Leandro on his way to a buddy’s pad he noticed a few “Mexican” punk kids hanging out on a corner. As if, fearing for his life he shouted out to the youths “Yo I’m strapped!”. I can’t begin to even tell you how stupid that would be wherever you are or whomever you are speaking to. The next time while traveling late to pick him up from newly renovated downtown Hayward he tells me he is being watched by some (once again) “Mexican” thugs, and that I should hurry. And, this last time he tells the story of how he ran out of gas in Oakland and while walking to a station he “stiffened-up” when he saw some “black” crack heads because he feared for his safety. Turned out these guys helped him get a gas can and find a gas station.

In all three stories, lets call him Mr. Snipes, makes it a point to mention the (lack of better word) race of the individuals. Mr. Snipes also describes all three situations as “life threatening”. And in at least two of the three he goes out of his way to speak to those he perceives as a threat. Keep in mind that Mr. Snipes is not from Beverly Hills. Far from it if you can believe. And keep in mind that all three neighborhoods are not Lebanon. In fact, far from it. Nor does Mr. Snipes tell stories like these about his own neighborhood which is not Greenwich Connecticut, once again far from it.

So my question is how does one tell him gently that “We don’t talk like that around here”? That the people of the Bay Area pride themselves on being as PC as possible when speaking about sensitive subject matter. And that, as one 2old crew member, put it “No is trying to shake you down for the 2 crumbled 1 dollar bills and half a Vicodin in your pocket”. Well, I tried but failed. No such luck. Mr. Snipes stormed off in a huff with charges of me calling him a racist.

Well, I’ll try again. The Bay area is a very unique place. I know this b/c much like the rest of the 2 old crew we have lived in many other parts of the country yet are from the Bay. Part of the charm of the Bay is how tolerant it is of other peoples and cultures. Not only do people go out of their way to not include race or origin in stories they tell unless absolutely necessary or out of a comedic value or b/c some “REAL SH-T” went down, but the local press (Chronicle News, SF Gate) does the same. Call it our own little heaven on earth. Why go out of our way to point out facts that are not relevant, scientifically disproven, or just plain wrong and insensitive. We know that Big Doodoo can happen anywhere and with anyone.  Threatening situations are never perceived b/c of the racial make up or the neighborhood. I think this is what bummed me out about Mr. Snipes’s story. His stories were built around the assumed threat he felt b/c of the neighborhood and race he encountered.

In New York and back East it’s a different story and down South more of the same… But in the Bay, we just don’t talk like that.

One Response to “We don’t talk like that around here!!!”

  1. Erik said

    Oh Mess-ley…what are we gonna do with you?

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