Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Car doors locking

Recently, I have heard more than one black person mention that people lock their car doors when they approach. I also saw someone write that white people would lock their car doors when a group of eight black youths came at them in the middle of a street where they were parked. Racist.

Never thought much about it, and I don't know if this is germane, at all. We live in a suburban neighborhood, but it is somewhat transient due to the high number of military. But it is a nice neighborhood, well tended, etc., even though there are a lot of renters--rentals start at $1,500 per month. This is also a very homogeneous racial development, about 30% black? Lots of Asians, Hispanic, but in the eyes of the person looking for racism, "non-white" doesn't matter.

Another consequence of the transience is that neighbors don't really know each other. Last night, as is our custom for the last ten years, I took the dog for a walk. It wasn't late, maybe 6:30, but it was dark and a neighbor two houses down across the street had just pulled into her driveway when we approached. She saw us and I heard the locks engage. She waited until we were well past, got out of her car and went in.

Now, I am not the most intimidating guy on the street--old, white hair sticking out from under the ball cap and a nearly white beard, not in shape (evident although it was chilly and I had on a jacket), leading a golden retriever (not a pit bull) on a leash, wearing a hoodie (I said it was chilly!!) and carrying a doggie-poop bag. Plus, I limp.

It seemed like a prudent thing for her to do. She didn't know me. I guess I could have been an axe murderer. I didn't take it to be anything other than prudence, but then these comments about it being racist came to mind.

Not racially motivated that time. Maybe every other time, but not last night.

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