Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Not that I'm one to make predictions, but

if somebody makes the statement, "I'm not a racist, but..." the chance that the next part of the statement will contain varying degrees of racism. Tonight it was quite a bit. A colleague had to tell me a bit about a group of teen boys who were on the verge of being kicked out as I approached the desk to start a marathon bout of deskslavery. She had been in the middle of helping a patron when I approached and took a minute out of that transaction to point the boys out. Apparently, they were quite obnoxious and had had a run in with an adult patron a few minutes before. In other words, they were being teenaged boys.* Feeling the need to involve herself in our interaction, the patron helpfully added, "I'm no racist, but..." and launched into a mini-tirade about Hispanics, of which these boys appeared to be guilty. It was interesting, since their behavior hadn't been any different that the non-Hispanic boys I frequently have dealings with. It definitely put a chill on the rest of the reference interaction. Not that we didn't give her awesome, race-neutral customer service.

* I can say this because, believe it or not, a long, long time ago when when the Holocene era was young, the plains were dotted with mastodons and people knew nothing of such modern fripperies as computers or leveraged buyouts or even personal hygeine, the DeskSlave himself was a teenage boy.

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