First, let me commend you on your choice of going to Cracker Barrel. ;>
I love the Cracker Barrel. Good shit there.
Second, while the South has its warts, I think all too often it has become a cheap scapegoat. The worst racism I have ever seen has been north of the Mason-Dixon line, without question.
Northerners love to pat themselves on the back and wag a sanctimonious finger at the caricatured Southerner, but my personal set of experiences - for what their worth - has consistently shown me that white Southerners legitimately befriend more black Southerners than white Northerners do of their black brethren.
I haven’t been in the South for more than a week or so at a time, so I can’t say for sure.
What I can say is that the Northern white working class seems to despise blacks (and moreso the Puerto Ricans).
I remember a woman who I had a class with saying that when she goes to a restuarant and they give her a shitty table, it unnerves her more now than it did when she lived in the South. She mentioned that at least in the South, you knew you were sitting by the kitchen or the pisser because you were black- in the North, no one talks about it, and that’s what pissed her off the most.
Talk is cheap. I think you have got the right idea - look at what people do, not what they tell you they think others should do.
What scared me was how fucking uncomfortable I was being in a restuarant that had more blacks than whites.
Maybe it’s because of the area I’m from, but generally, if you’re surrounded by blacks, you’re in Paterson or Newark or Camden or Trenton, and you’ve got to watch your fuckin ass there.
That probably comes off as incredibly racist, and I don’t think I’m articuating it nearly as well as I want to. [/quote]
I don’t think it’s racist if it’s real. My wife is black and we are - obviously - at a point where we can be real and call things as they are. If a ‘black area’ of town is a dangerous place to be then it is appropriate to say that you have to ‘watch your ass there’.
I think to NOT say that would be racist. That means you are ignoring the facts of a situation or distorting reality because of some misplaced racial sensitivity. One that should not be extended to potentially dangerous criminals, no matter their race.
I know exactly where you are coming from in terms of feeling uncomfortable with a room full blacks when you are not used to it. But you will get used to it if you live in the south for any period of time. And you’ll make black friends and you will learn a lot about black culture. Both good and bad. But you won’t learn a lot about the bad until you establish a good friendship with a few blacks.
When you all know each other well, trust each other, that’s when you will all cut the bullshit and tell it like it really is. You’ll hear about places that they won’t go because it’s dangerous. You’ll hear what they really think about black learders and about what needs to happen in the black community.
This is why I always say that the cure for racism is exposure. When you begin seeing people as individuals first then everything else takes care of itself.