12.28.2006

Guessing Game

I'm back. Still don't feel like writing yet. Instead, let's play a game.

Walking out of the Chipotle at 19th and M, I ran into an argument. A white man was accosting a black woman. It was clear that they weren't acquaintances. This was made even clearer when they stormed off in opposite directions.

All I heard the man say was, "That's another example of African-American entitlement!" This was, of course, what caused the storm off.

So, in what context is that statement not racist? I'd love to hear the best guesses in the comments. I highly doubt that two strangers decided to have a spirited debate on affirmative action on a street corner.

The best guess regarding what these two were yelling about wins the best prize I can afford: my hearty congratulations.

39 comments:

  1. I say: they were arguing about Dick Gregory's autobiography.

    To wit:

    White Guy: Well, I'm sorry! But I am just not comfortable saying that word!

    Black Woman: Well, you need to get over yourself! If you can't call it by name, people are going to think you're either dotty or spineless!

    White Guy: I just can't do it! I just won't do it! Why did he have to call it that, anyway?

    Black Woman: Read the book and find out for yourself! Lose your hangups!

    White Guy: I'm just saying he could have called it anything! He didn't have to use that word!

    Black Woman: Yeah? Hemingway could have called his book something other than THE SUN ALSO RISES! It's just an example of creative choice!

    White Guy: No! That's just another example of African-American entitlement!

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  2. What I don't get is what are the OTHER examples of "African American entitlement?" Equal rights? Access to education? Affordable housing? Voting? Equal opportunity employment? Respect? Geez... those blaks want it all.

    Besides everyone knows "Asian-American entitlement" is way more demanding. ;)

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  3. I see two possibilities:

    The man was Clarence Thomas who is commonly confused for white.

    OR

    The man was TV's Michael Richards (K-K-Kramer), who isn't really racist, but has a weakness for too much cocaine back stage before a show.

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  4. unless the black woman was Oprah Winfrey i can't think of too many circumstances where the phrase ``African American entitlement'' can be used in any rational conversation. On second thought, even oprah can't shop everywhere she wants too.

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  5. Stop being so PC and call things as they are. Is there racism in the world? YES! Is there also a sense of entitlement that certain African-Americans feel? YES! IS there also a sense of entitlement that certain white Americans feel? YES!

    The entitlement referred to in that context is probably something small and stupid- but very common. For instance, I tend to hold doors open for any woman (and actually, for the most part, men too). And about half of the African-Americans I hold the doors for don't say thank you or give any indication that I have done so. About 4 out of 5 whites thank me.

    At one point, I sarcastically said "you're welcome" to an African-American woman who hadn't thanked me. She responded (no lie- honest to God): "Don't you think you owe me a lot more than that, whitey?"

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  6. Why its the New Ballpark Sparky!!!

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  7. To anonymous...

    I understand why you might think this is an issue of political correctness. Ironically, it's very neo-PC these days to attack 1990's PC.

    I've been in that situation before too where a black guy at starbucks let two black customers behind me order first, but I'm not about one-up their bigontness by being a bigger bigot and labeling it "racial entitlement". Quite frankly, it's beneath me as an American and it should be beneath you too.

    Sometimes people are just assholes and not representative of a larger culture or race. It has nothing to do with race or polticial correctness.

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  8. To the "stop being so PC" commenter:

    Did you read what you just posted? Black people are ruder than white people? Good Lord.

    I like being thanked too, but charity for the purpose of recognition is just as bad as no charity at all. That's somewhere in The New Testament. Maybe Matthew?

    Anyways, even if the black lady did do something rude, wouldn't you agree that bringing up "African-American entitlement" is a disproportionate response?

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  9. They were obviously arguing about Rep Harold Ford's position on entitlement reform. You just didn't hear the "reform" part.

    He is after all, a member of the House Budget Committee.

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  10. can we talk about somethingelse? Even Wonkette can come up with SOMETHING this week....

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  11. Rusty,

    If you really think there is no difference between the white people and black people and the way they behave in DC I don't believe you actually live there.

    Yes racism is wrong but pretending that there are no differences between white people and black people especially in DC is being blind to reality.

    African american entitlement is not an actual thing like equal rights its an attitude. An attitude prevalent throughout the DC area. Such as when you go to a subway and the person gets pissed at your for ordering a sandwich because they are entitled to not have to do their job.

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  12. Don't you love the use of commas?

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  13. "If you really think there is no difference between the white people and black people and the way they behave in DC I don't believe you actually live there."

    If you beleive ALL black people behave the same exact way, and that ALL white people act thier own identical way, then I refuse to beleive you live on planet Earth. Everybody here is different.

    As they say: If you can judge a man by the color of his skin you are a better man than I.

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  14. damn that niggaz racist...

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  15. Rusty,

    You are in denial, my white guilt loving pal.

    If you want to make the claim that black DC residents (particularly under the age of 35) do not have an anger/attitude problem, you have your head up your ass. Either that, or you never leave Tenleytown.

    Not that it's exclusive. The congresscracker crowd is full of cocks, but black DC residents have their own special bad attitude flava. People are just, well, angry in this town. It's in the water. Goddamnit.

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  16. anonymous... since you're fluent in the so-called "black entitlement attitude," maybe you could "white entitlement"?

    no doubt you watch fox news... let's be "fair and balanced" about this.

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  17. I can't believe someone just quoted "Livin' on the Edge."

    Listen, ya'll. Obviously there are plenty of rude black people in this fair city. But if someone is rude to you, bringing up racial entitlement is out of the question, period. It was a racist thing to say.

    Hell, the black woman could have spit on him and peed on his dog and it still wouldn't be alright to bring race into it.

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  18. I think there are white people with entitlement attitudes in D.C. and also such attitudes in some African American and people of other races, too.

    It is very unpleasant to be on the receiving end of any attitude like that.

    It makes it worse if you call it a race thing because it will just feed the divisiveness, which we already have enough of.

    I am from Richmond, Virginia and I can say that D.C. has some of the worst attitudes, in general, (me first, I'm more important than you) I have seen.

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  19. You have to be f*cking kidding me...

    Here's the thing.

    There is a huge racial gap in DC, and that can't be denied.

    It is true, perhaps, that sometimes SOME black people appear to feel "entitlement" to make up for past treatment.

    And you know what? The white people are 100 times worse. The white people, in general, are part of the wealthy or middle class (is there a middle class left?) in DC. And they are the ones shoving you out of the way on the metro because they are going to their important jobs on Capitol Hill, and they are the ones who think they are better than you because they went to Georgetown, and they are the ones who think they deserved to get into Georgetown but were forced to go to AU (not saying you, Rusty, just others)... they are the ones who don't feel this entitlement because they were treated poorly in the past, or their family was treated poorly, or their ancestors were treated poorly... these are the people who feel they deserve things because they have ALWAYS deserved things and they are smart and special and deserve to be treated as such becuase their family has always been treated as special.

    Now, isn't that worse? It's more selfish, more rude, more pervasive, and more dangerous as these are the people who are in power.

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  20. How about this in a nutshell?

    White People from DC?

    Ass holes

    Black People from DC?

    Ass Holes

    Yup, that sums up my feeling about DC people.

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  21. I would say there are MORE assholes per capita in D.C. than most other places I have been, excluding perhaps New York. My ex-husband was from there and I spent some time there as well.

    I've worked in D.C. since 1997 and just moved into the District two months ago. (I'm the one from Richmond originally, where there are more friendly people of any race in general, than here, despite its controversial history).

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  22. There are definitely way more assholes per capita in DC than NYC. There are, however, way more rats per capita in NYC than DC.

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  23. Yes DC used to have a middle class. I don't know what happened, but I think it is related directly to the illicit and questionable money coming through the city. Everyone has figured out how to make a quick buck off the gov't these days.

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  24. For the record, I agree that there seems to be an anger/resentment problem among D.C.'s black community.

    Here's a perfect example. A white friend of mine once went into a Popeye's Chicken in a predominantly black neighborhood. When he placed his order, the cashier (who is black) turned around and yelled out, "White boy wants some chicken!"

    I've also been cursed at a few times for being white. Not a pleasant experience.

    I don't see what's wrong in pointing out an attitude that's painfully prevalent in D.C. The attitude is either there or it's not, and pretending like it isn't is lame.

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  25. That is pretty sad if you take your friend's experience in a Popeye's as evidence that the "black community" has an attitude problem.

    There are always some people in the world of any race that have racist tendencies.

    I don't take that to mean the whole community is hostile.

    I take that to mean the person working there was a jerk.

    It is harder to take a broader view and look beyond the color of someone's skin than to just make generalizations.

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  26. Attacking people for making a generalization is the easiest and lamest way to criticize a comment. Clearly no one saying these things thinks that it is that way all the time and that every black or white person is an asshole so pretending that that is what they are saying is disingenuous. It is also funny that the same people getting annoyed by generalizations say things like, "you must watch fox news" in response to someone that disagrees with them.

    You can have a racial awareness living in DC and be a liberal democrat. I don't think anyone on here is arguing for racial discrimination or segregation so don't attack people like they are.

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  27. Americans in general, and DC residents in particular, are spoiled assholes with an inflated sense of entitlement.

    Happy New Year.

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  28. What a bizarre thread. Some random sighting of 2 people arguing on the street turns into a diatribe about how black people are just a bunch of rude shiftless bigots who feel the world owes them something. Wow! I never knew ya'll felt this way about us. I never thought there was anything more prevalent about rudeness in the black community than there is in the white community. but hey, black lady didn't say thank you for holding the door, starbucks guy jumps over you in the line. I stand corrected, Black people must suck. Seriously though. The server at popeyes was rude to you? No shit. they're rude to everybody. Next you'll tell me the cvs cashier seemed disinterested in helping you. Lighten up people, life aint that serious.

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  29. best guess:
    john smith get's pissed as his maid asks for yet another holiday off with pay.

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  30. Rusty-
    You are a tool.
    Why do you write total crap like this?
    Who cares?
    Let's get to the real issues.
    Like DC sucking.
    and DC doesnt suck because of this.

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  31. But DC DOES SUCK also because of this!

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  32. everyone in DC is a boring unoriginal asshole, regardless of race.

    and why is it that only middle-class white kids who grew up in all-white neighborhoods are the first to cry racism? white and black kids who grew up in working class, mixed-race neighborhoods are the least touchy about this stuff. hmmm, i guess this means white guilt is very real after all.
    .

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  33. Rusty, you ignorant slut. Racism is the belief that one race is superior to another. There was nothing racist in the white guy's statement. That doesn't make it right, but it's not racist.

    Also, you shouldn't make a post when you don't know the whole story. You didn't know what was going on, but chose to put an out-of-context statement on your blog. For all you know, the black woman might have done something that deserved to be called out by the white guy. (Still, he doesn't sound like a really nice guy.)

    You're a liberal, so you suffer from white guilt, and just *have* to comment on stuff like this. But please don't make your readers suffer too.

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  34. Wow, I guess whoever said that it's easy to talk $#!t anonymously on the internet really knew their stuff.

    I am really disappointed/disgusted at the notion that folks on this board feel they know enough to leap to statements like "If you really think there is no difference between the white people and black people and the way they behave in DC I don't believe you actually live there."

    Really? You know a high enough percentage of black people in or out of DC to make that statement?

    It's absolute bullshit like this that makes me believe race relations haven't really improved in this country. Modern cowards just keep their predjudices and generalizations to themselves.

    This is why blacks feel pressure to have to be twice the professional and three times the academic that their white peers are. Because if we aren't, you people judge us to be just like some dumbass who offended you at Popeyes. This is why we can't ever relax. This is why I'm so driven to be better than you at sports, at business, at politics, at checkers and every other damn thing.

    This crap motivates people like me. Motivation, street smarts, a 150+ I.Q. and 4.5 speed. Attitudes like some of you have will ensure that along with my $130+k/year comp package, I'll become just a different flavor of those brats you hate so much on Late Night Shots.

    Because some of you assholes deserve nothing less.

    -Lone Black Guy

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  35. So in closing:
    1.) Rusty sucks
    2.) DC sucks
    3.) DC is full of sucky people (see lone black guy's comment)
    4.) NYC has more rats than DC.

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  36. So let me see, if you're insulted by a cashier at Popeye's for being white you're supposed to just pretend like it never happened? No one would think it funny if the cashier had said that about someone of another race. That's a pretty unfair double-standard.

    And to Lone Black Guy - I totally understand that the things you describe must really suck. I don't blame you for feeling the way you do. At the same time, being made to feel guilty for being white isn't very pleasant either, especially when complaining about that makes you "racist."

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  37. "The black community" is self-defined, in that leaders of that community call it that.

    Within that community, there is a subset of folks who've grown up blaming all their problems on white people, just as racist whites blame theirs on black people.

    It is undeniable that SOME folks blame me for actions of someone ELSE'S ancestors, and they make their hatred felt every bit as plainly as the KKK does.

    If a black person treats a white person poorly, and uses race as a reason why that's okay, then they are racist; if they do so and claim that they have a RIGHT to, then that's a claim of entitlement.

    Saying that there are assholes within the black community, as well as within every OTHER community, doesn't mean that someone thinks ALL people of a particular race are like that.

    But if you think that the attitude doesn't exist, you've never lived with it, and youv'e never read Boondocks or watched BET.

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  38. yeah...i'm just going to have to say that most people in DC are just assholes. It doesn't matter what race they are. If you live here, somewhere along the line (whether at birth, or three weeks ago), you've turned into a total dick. I've been trying to resist it, but just the other day I pushed an old lady down the escalator at the metro. Stand to the right, bitch! haha. just kidding. But seriously, most people who live here are pretentious and feel entitled...whether they are white or black.

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