This is actually an unscheduled blog and I did not intend to submit a blog on this subject so early in my blogdom but something interesting happened today where I felt compelled to create a short blog on it. As I was sitting at my desk this morning, busy doing some mundane task that I can’t remember, a gentlemen approached from an angle facing me and asked the young lady that was positioned behind me a question as to where someone was or something of the sort. Slightly curious I thought to myself, “That was odd. We made eye contact and yet he past me to ask the young lady behind me.” Now granted, the young women was much more attractive than me and I’m not sure if his motivation was to strike a conversation with her in hopes of getting a date or not. However, that moment passed without further thought and I went back to working at my desk. About 5 minutes later the gentlemen emerged from the office of which he had visited and this time his angle of approach was to my back. Approximately 8 feet in front of me was an elderly grey haired woman sitting at her desk working diligently on something of which I’m not privy to. I mention this because again I found it peculiar that the gentlemen by-passed me and yet made an overt effort to acknowledge, greet and wish the woman in front of me a nice day. Based on the brief conversation between the two it was obvious that they did not know each other. It was especially strange because I didn’t have my cloak of invisibility on as it was being dry cleaned today. You can’t just wash those things in the washer you know, and the way they ride up after being washed….but I digress.
My point is this. Though I was dressed in rather dapper business attire and was especially well groomed today, I am a six foot five bald black man of semi muscular build and the gentlemen and both ladies were Caucasian. I hate to use race as the basis for any action but I would be remise and a bit naive if I did not acknowledge the fact that race does play a role in our actions within society. It’s unfortunate in this day and age but it’s true. Could the gentlemen just not have seen me? Perhaps, but improbable because we actually made eye contact. Could I just be a bit paranoid in imagining he purposely didn’t want to speak to me? Perhaps, but human logic suggests that with all things being equal he would have spoken to all of us not just a selected group. Could the gentlemen have had some type of prejudice against African Americans? Perhaps, but there is no way of me ever knowing that and that is the main reason for this blog. The mere fact that the last question is a possibility, and by no means am I suggesting that the gentleman is prejudice, is disturbing. However, having to question a person’s motive on something other than merit is a reality that many African Americans are faced with every day. To be fair I should not limit this to just African Americans as there are other minorities that I’m sure face similar social situations. I’m African American and that’s why I chose this perspective. I welcome any and all mature comments as open dialogue is essential in eradicating stereotypes and discrimination within our society.
“Sometimes it’s what we see that makes us blind”