Monday, October 11, 2010
God Damn, America is Racist! We Do Live in a Bubble in San Francisco.
I was in Knoxville, TN this past weekend for a wedding. Saturday night after pre-wedding festivities (wedding was on Sunday), a group of us decided to venture out into the Knoxville night. We landed at what I'll kindly refer to as a more local establishment. Meaning, we were the only out of towners there and probably the only ones they'd entertained in a while.
We attracted a few locals who were intrigued by our crew and we got to talking. They really were incredibly friendly. What surprised me about their kindness is that if I saw them in a dark alley, I would have been nervous. Some of them were tatted up - all over. I mean, skull tattoos, and facial piercing in places I didn't know could be pierced.
But what seemed like really genuine kindness, quickly changed when they began talking about African Americans. It was not in a friendly manner. But it was like second nature to them. They didn't know us from a whole in the wall - but they had no problem spouting racial epithets left and right. This was not the first time I had experienced this in the South. I had experienced anti-Semitism in a bar in the middle of Louisiana in much the same way. Again, it was like second nature. They told me they had never met a Jewish person before when I, probably naively, challenged their views.
Damn. It's 2010. And racism is obviously still rampant in America. I always think our country is better than that and then I experience something like this.