In the comments on ABL’s post yesterday, a lot of people were trying to explain her experience at her friend’s DC apartment as the work of jackasses, not bigots. That’s an interesting game, but really, it’s ultimately fruitless. I know, because I used to play it.
My business partner is black, and we traveled together for business a fair amount a few years ago. He was often the only black person in the room, or in the hotel lobby. Sometimes, we were treated poorly. After each unpleasant interaction, I often wondered if we encountered a run-of-the-mill jackass, or if we had gotten worse than average treatment because the desk clerk or receptionist was uncomfortable dealing with a black man.
Most of the time I couldn’t really tell. People are generally fairly subtle about the hate, fear or whatever drives them to treat black people poorly. Some people are equal-opportunity jerks, so their behavior had more to do with the fight they had with the wife last night than with the color of my friend’s skin.
Even so, I’m pretty sure we got some shitty treatment based mainly on skin color. It’s also true that corporate America is still a sea of white faces with a few, rare dots of color.
So, yeah, this shit does happen every day. I was only a spectator, but even watching it got pretty fucking tiring after a while.