"This is really bugging me and I wish I could've done something"
actually, I mean I wish I HAD done something. My priorities were messed up.
I had an 8:15 AM appt this morning downtown in a 6-floor building. Some of the floors require sign-in before 9. The floor I was going to is opened at 7.
Okay. So, as it happens, the security guard is Asian. As I came into the building today, two people who were also evidently involved in building management and were also Asian were getting on the elevator, and a young Black man was also getting on the elevator. I got on the elevator.
The two building people watched the young man try to punch two different floor numbers and then asked him where he was going. He didn't understand them and when he finally understood what was being asked, he replied and they didn't understand him. They finally made it clear to him that he needed to register at the front desk before the floor he wanted would be unlocked.
This young man looked at the white woman who could punch the floor she wanted and at the two Asian people who were telling him to get off the elevator and sign in, and he said, in real distress, "that's as racist as FUCK."
I didn't think quickly enough. I should have gotten off the elevator right then and given him a better explanation -- that it has to do with when certain floors open and not anything to do with who's trying to get to those floors.
I was late for my appointment and I thought I couldn't help. I still don't know if I could have helped in any way but it really bothers me that I thought more about being late than I thought about his distress.
And you know, it's not that I'm trying to argue that there isn't plenty of racism here. I'm not. But this wasn't an example of it, and I hate for him to think that every single interaction he has is driven by racism.
I just had to get this off my chest. I feel so bad for that young man.
~ ~ ~ All meetings end in separation All acquisition ends in dispersion All life ends in death - The Buddha