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Thu Jul 9, 2020, 12:56 PM

Eating a lunchable while black

(I posted this in another thread. Added a little additional info at the bottom)


I live in a fairly upscale neighborhood. It's pretty diverse (Bay Area). There's a black family a few doors down whom I know well. Awesome people.

Once a day, I go jogging around. There's a little enclave of expensive townhomes not far from me. They're built in a circle around a children's park. There's one entrance into the circle. It's a very closed off little island. I like going in and jogging around the circle. It's quiet, no traffic, and I know the distance, so I know how far I'm jogging.

I have never, not once, been bothered in the past year when doing this. I'm white.

Cue yesterday. I finished work and did my thing. The 15 year old black son of my neighbors was wandering around inside the circle of homes. He sat on a bench in the park and was eating a lunchable, just chilling. I noticed a guy in a fluorescent yellow work vest walk over and start talking to him. It seemed a little weird, so I stopped and walked over to say hey to the neighbor's kid.

The vest guy claims to be a security guard. He was telling the kid that this was all private property and he needed to move along. I interjected, no it's not. It's a public street and park. The guard insisted it was private. I asked where the signs are saying that. I walked over to the entrance of the enclave and looked all over. No signs. Nothing saying no one can be in that park unless they live there. I asked him to show me.

Then he says, "You should know. You live here."

Uh. No. I don't. For a year I have been in there almost daily. I have never seen any security, and I have never been hassled. I've even made small talk with people who live there when cooling down in the park.

No one was around that I knew. But, I plan to go back the same as always and see if I can get to the bottom of that one.

Neighbor kid and I walked back together. His whole posture was one of dejection. I was just pissed. Still am. We didn't talk directly to what happened. I just kept telling him that guy was full of shit. But I want to find out what the deal is there, and I want to make it known to the people I know who live there just what went down. Unfortunately, I didn't think to film it. I probably should have.

Added: A poster asked if I'd spoken to his mother. I haven't. I was thinking about texting her later today. I wanted to give him a chance to talk with his parents if he wanted/needed to first. Not sure if I should. She has my number because we text about various things sometimes. I'm going to go jogging there again this evening and hopefully see someone I know. I have no idea if that's private property or not. Nothing I've ever seen says so, and no one's ever said anything to me about it. It's just some streets and a park. And I'm wondering if that guy was even security, or if it was just someone who lives there being a racist asshole. I've never seen him before.

My street is pretty diverse. White, Asian, Latino, and Black. Now that I'm thinking on it, I've only ever seen white and East Asian people in that enclave. Given all the videos being posted online of bad behavior by some whites in their neighborhoods, seeing the guy walk over to the kid got my spidey sense tingling. I'm glad I went over. Pissed a child has to deal with that merely for existing. The kid was eating a snack on a bench. This society, I swear.

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Eating a lunchable while black (Original post)
Sympthsical Jul 2020 OP
Phoenix61 Jul 2020 #1
FM123 Jul 2020 #2
Sogo Jul 2020 #3
underpants Jul 2020 #7
KY_EnviroGuy Jul 2020 #4
irisblue Jul 2020 #5
oasis Jul 2020 #6
Mosby Jul 2020 #8
essme Jul 2020 #11
Mosby Jul 2020 #12
essme Jul 2020 #13
abqtommy Jul 2020 #9
Mister Ed Jul 2020 #10
StarfishSaver Jul 2020 #15
Mister Ed Jul 2020 #18
StarfishSaver Jul 2020 #14
Warpy Jul 2020 #16
cp Jul 2020 #17
ConstanceCee Jul 2020 #19
Evolve Dammit Jul 2020 #20
niyad Jul 2020 #21
llashram Jul 2020 #22
TomSlick Jul 2020 #23
demigoddess Jul 2020 #24
NurseJackie Jul 2020 #25

Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 01:08 PM

1. Thank you so much for stepping in.

Itís so disappointing that someone would treat a child that way. What a POS.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 01:14 PM

2. Good on you!

While you say wish you could have done more, what you did - to stick up for that kid - may mean more to him than you realize. In that one moment when it was him against the world, you were there, win or lose he wasn't alone.

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Response to FM123 (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 01:19 PM

3. This.

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Response to FM123 (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 01:25 PM

7. Exactly

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 01:21 PM

4. Did you get an ID on that so-called "guard"?

If so, you should have a chat with the property managers and tell them about this event. Be sure to keep notes.

That fellow should be disciplined and sent for anti-racism training at a minimum.

Thanks for posting your summary.

KY

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 01:21 PM

5. Thanks for this.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 01:25 PM

6. Good on your part. You definitely did the right thing in comforting the kid.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 01:26 PM

8. Is the street a private drive?

If it is the little park is probably part of the development.

Still doesn't change the fact that the guy was a racist asshole.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #8)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 02:13 PM

11. The OP states it's not a private drive

nt

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Response to essme (Reply #11)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 02:35 PM

12. The OP said there were no signs. nt

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Response to Mosby (Reply #12)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 03:10 PM

13. Well, that's a ginormous clue

down here in NC.

I have never seen an unmarked private cul de sac.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 01:34 PM

9. It sounds like you being there was a positive for you and your neighbor kid. Keep making a

difference!

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 02:11 PM

10. And the sting is still for there for him, even when you do the good thing and the right thing.

The message is clear to the young man: in this society, you are only legitimate IF you have a white person to vouch for you.

I've seen the situation before, been in the situation before. It's much, much better, of course, for the white person to intercede and leverage their white privilege on behalf of the black person than to do nothing. But the message remains clear: if you are black, you must have a white person to vouch for you.

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Response to Mister Ed (Reply #10)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 03:16 PM

15. True. But ...

 

having even one person stand with you and let you know you're not alone and that it's the other guy who's in the wrong can make a the difference in the world. There is little more sad and isolating than being left alone on these situations.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #15)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 04:14 PM

18. Thank you. That must make a world of difference.

The difference between having one supporter and having zero supporters is infinite.

This is very much in keeping with the advice I've received in the past from African-American DU'ers when I've asked what their wishes would be in these situations: that what I do is not so important, so long as I make sure to do or say something, and never become complicit through silence or inaction.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 03:13 PM

14. You stepped up and stepped in

 

That's what allies do. You're a wonderful example. Thanks for sharing this.

I love how you told the guy you don't live there either and no one ever questioned your right to be there. Good job!

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 04:00 PM

16. A call to City Hall might clear up the status of the road and park

It could very well be a private road, maintained by HOA fees. Ditto the park. This is unlikely, but it has been known to happen. And sometimes, even if it is city property, it doesn't make much of a difference, especially if the surrounding houses are expensive enough, police will kiss their racist butts.

That poor kid, I hate that he's having to learn that the world is full of morons who see him as a threat. You might want to talk a few things over with his parents, find out whether or not your intervention did much good and if they have any tips for the future. In any case, you got their son out of that situation alive. Mr. Neighborhood Watch Yellow Vest might have been packing and it could have been tragic.

So do find out about the status of the park, just for your own peace of mind. I doubt the kid will find it a particularly attractive place to be from now on, no matter what.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 04:00 PM

17. Power of witnessing

Thank you.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 02:04 PM

19. Vests

It's easy to put on a fluorescent vest and look like you have some authority. Also, a clipboard can help.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 02:49 PM

20. That really is disturbing. Either the rich folks hired somebody, or he was a racist asshole. This is

happening all over and it comes from the rancid top. I would definately let his mom know, as the lad might be really struggling with it and she can at least be aware. A call to the city to see about public vs. private for that area might be helpful. Take care and thanks for your Spidey-Sense! I have that too. Sometimes I call it my "bullshit meter."

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 03:28 PM

21. You did a very good thing, and thank goodness you were there. Filming is good, if one

can think of it quickly enough.

Having dealt with some pretty arrogant security bullies before, I would have demanded to see his Company ID. I hate having to explain the laws to them. Brownshirts in training, many of them.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 05:41 PM

22. well trump has said

white is right. Black? Get back And he's told all his followers this. The kid learned about the real world. Yet hope is there also. He'll know some people mean him no good, others have his back.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 10:07 PM

23. Good on you!

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sat Jul 11, 2020, 02:14 PM

24. glad you did what you did. we all should do this. often.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sat Jul 11, 2020, 02:16 PM

25. ...

... and if you speak to him again, tell you neighbor that I'm sending 's

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