Do some people feel prjudiced against when in fact no prejudism has occured?

I am selling a car and the asking price is $3500.
A woman came to see the car today, she tells me she likes the car, and this is the conversation that we had:

Her: Would you take a check for $3000 for the car?
Me: A check is no problem as longer as we can go to your bank
for me to cash it.
Her: My bank is already closed, but I drive a BMW, you know my
check is good.
Me: I’m sorry, but I can’t take a check for $3000, but I can take
a check for $100 to hold the car, and we can meet at your
bank tomorrow.
Her: I don’t have time for this, just take the check and lets finish
Me: I’m sorry, but I can’t take a check for $3000 from anyone.
Her: Your racist! The only reason you won’t take a check is
because I’m a black woman!
Me: No, I’m sorry, but I just can’t accept a check for a car.
Would you accept a $3000 check from me, a person that
you have never met before?
Her: Your a racist piece of sh…!! You can just go to hell!

I just walked into my house after that. Who would take a $3000 check from a stranger? I wasn’t being racist, I was just trying
to be practical about things.
Could she have really thought I was being racist?

Possibly. It’s possible for a person to believe that another person is prejudiced against them when the first person in fact is not. It’s a limitation of not being able to read minds and understand intentions with 100% accuracy.

Sounds like she was trying to exploit the suffering of millions so she wouldn’t be inconvenienced. Fuck her and her BMW.

It sounds to me like no, she didn’t seriously think you were a “racist”–she was just trying to buffalo you into taking the check. You were more than reasonable, IMO, and an honest buyer wouldn’t have had any problem with the arrangement (s) you suggested. The fact she wasn’t willing to wait makes me suspicious, and she already had a BMW, it wasn’t like she was having a “car emergency” and needed the car RIGHT NOW…

You don’t have to actually go down to the bank with a potential buyer to make sure the check is good–just call the bank from your house while the potential buyer sits there on your couch. An honest buyer won’t have any problem if you say, “I hope you won’t be offended if I call your bank to make sure there’s money to cover this.”

Then you just call the bank and they’ll ask you for the account number, and you tell them how much the check is for, and they’ll tell you either “yes, there’s money to cover it” or “no, there isn’t”. But then you do have to hustle down to your own bank and deposit it, because there’s no telling what other checks may be still out there in the pipeline, and you wanna be first in line for “dibs” on the account’s money. :smiley:

I don’t think she could possibly have concluded you were a racist by that exchange. This coming from someone who believes racism is still quite common today.

Unless Bill Gates wants to buy my car, everyone’s $3000 check is going to be checked against available funds before they get the keys.

Simple Q, homer: Do you do this to everyone in the same situation?

You should have told the woman you’re blind. :cool: [That’s a blind smilie face.]

It’s possible she was just having a bad day.
It’s possible she was trying to scam you.
It’s possible she was just a bitch.
Either way, the problem isn’t yours.

Capacitor wrote: “Simple Q, homer: Do you do this to everyone in the same situation?”

Simple Q, capacitor: Would you take a $3000 check from me?

A: Of course, I wouldn’t take a $3000 check from anyone.
People are now forging money orders and cashiers checks, I wouldn’t accept any of those either. It’s even possible to stop payment on a cashiers check. The only thing I would accept from anyone is cash, and I would prefer to do the transaction at their bank, if possible.

I think it is quite possible that she thought you were racist. IMHO many black people have an unrealistic sense of the true magnitude of racism, and tend to think that in a non-racist world they would suffer a whole lot less than they actually would. So I think it is very possible that this person assumes that a white person would trust another white person with a BMW, and that you didn’t trust her because she was black.

It’s also possible that in this particular instance she was not genuinely assuming that. But it’s very possible that she was, IMHO.

In general, people frequently make bizarre assumptions about how members of other cultures operate between themselves. When I was building my house, the painter - a sweet guy, BTW - asked in all innocence if I had to get a mortgage to build (or buy) a house. He had heard that these Orthodox Jewish guys go to the synagogue where they just give out the money for free. And the plumber had heard that whenever a male child was born “the synagogue” gives the parents $10,000, which is why OJ families tend to have a lot of children - they keep trying to hit the baby-boy jackpot again.

I once saw a great SNL Eddie Murphy skit on this subject. In an effort to test how much true progress was being made in the fight against racism, he went “undercover” with the help of a lot of white make-up. And he “discovered” that when there were no black people around, white people just give each other things. The newspaper vendor refused to accept payment (“there’s none of them around”), the loan officer at the bank gave him a mortgage on generous terms (“pay back whenever you want…or don’t pay back if you don’t feel like it”) etc. etc. As Murphy ended off “so we see there’s a lot of progress still to be made. But in the meantime - we have a lot of make-up”.

Despite the humerous aspects to the issue, it is a very serious issue, as it makes racial resentment that much harder to overcome.

Yeah, the sad part about it is that for many people in the affected groups, exposed to many instances of real racism, will grow to believe that racism explains every single inconvenient hurdle in life. OTOH they may not be able to detect subtler, more pernicious instances (e.g. targeted marketing of malt liquor)

In the OPs particular case, however, the purchaser was just not being reasonable. (And WTH does having a BMW have to do with your bank account having funds? I’ve met plenty of people with beemers who kite their checks.)

This has nothing to do with racism. It’s just common sense. You absoutely, positively did the right thing. Racial issues aside, taking a $ 3000.00 check from anyone you don’t know personally (and even then it’s sometimes dicey) and transferring merchandise on the promise of the check being good is a very bad idea for an individual. If was in retail for 5 years and chasing bad checks given by well dressed people in nice cars was a fairly regular occurance. The two times the race card was pulled out when we would not accept a questionable check for a large ticket sale was by a male/female pair of con artists (they got another store in the chain) and a girl playing with her mother’s check book.

If she wanted the car she would have waited until the bank opened. Pressuring someone to take a check is a classic con and throwing down the race card is indicative of some major BS being afoot. Someone who can afford a BMW should have enough financial acumen to know that a strangers $ 3000.00 check is likely to be subject to verification.

She might have been legit but the odds are against it given the way she handled the transaction. I’d look on it more as a close escape from being scammed than a lost deal.

My guess is the check was probably bad :slight_smile:

Nobody honest would have had a problem with your request.

There are times when I have lost it when someone does something that calls into question my economic and/or criminal status.

It is something that happens frequently - and there are times when it is obvious that it is store policy across the board. But, then there are times when I’m going through “special checks” that I have never had to do in that chain before (and it’s a clerk I’ve never seen before), or when the clerk (whom I’ve just observed not check ID or anything else for the past few customers) insists on examining and comparing my signature closely and carefully with everything else I have in my wallet, or some other thing - and yes, I’m the only non-white person there. And it builds up over time… and every so often, I do lose it - and insist on complaining to the manager right then or I’ll become nasty and sarcastic and bitchy to the person on the other side of the counter. And, to be honest, sometimes it is less than completely justified and there is some doubt to the person’s intentions (of course, sometimes I’m right. They are really hassling me because I’m black).

It is very stressful to be frequently treated like you are an impoverished criminal and to have to prove that you’re not. And while that woman misread your intent - I can understand why she did.

All she said was, “My bank is already closed, but I drive a BMW, you know my check is good.”

  1. Did she drive up in the BMW?
  2. If she did, did she show proof of ownership?
  3. Is it really her BMW, her name?
  4. Does she still make payments on the BMW or is it really bought and paid for by her?

Driving a flashy car does not equate to owning it.

She was a con artist, or really stupid, or both.

I might take a check for that much, but I would keep the pink slip.

Also, simple, how would she get it home? She could come the next day when the bank is open with a driver? Hmm.

I’m sorry, but this is a dumb OP. Where’s the debate?

Of course there are people who cry racism/prejudice when it was not intended. Just like there are people complain about meanness/injustice/sarcasm/ignorance/flirtation/teasing/arrogance/silliness/craziness/stupidity when none was intended.

But this doesn’t mean racism or any other thing doesn’t exist. It just means we live in an imperfect world full of imperfect people.

I agree with amarinth’s post. Sometimes the accumulation of little things makes a person hyper-sensitive to the point of being hyper-stupid.

For instance, one day I went to the Home Depot and I trailed behind a service representative for ten minutes, trying to get his attention. I watched him ask several different people “can I help you?” but he couldn’t see fit to attend to the person standing behind him politely saying “excuse me, sir?” It wasn’t like he didn’t see me either. Several times our eyes met and he just ignored me.

It pissed me off. Maybe it wouldn’t piss me off if things like this were unusual for me, but they aren’t. I didn’t say anything negative to the guy, but when he finally did get around to not ignoring me, I had tears in my eyes.

I couldn’t help but think that things would be different if 1) I was a guy, 2)I was white. I may be wrong…things may not have been any different. But the thing about prejudice is that you can never be sure. It’s enough to make you crazy. So even though I agree that the woman in the OP was way wrong, I understand her neurosis. It’s a by-product of living in a hateful society.

Well, here’s a story for you.

I, a white guy, was working as an assistant manager in a pizza joint. The nieghborhood was very ethnically diverse. Anyway, at the time we were selling a hugh and cheap pizza that had 18 slices. The pizza wasn’t that great but if you needed alot of food for cheap it worked well. I was working with a waitress and doing the cooking myself because it was slow. My manager, a Native American lady, was in the back doing paperwork. So an order comes in for the pizza. I make it, run it through the oven, cut it and give it to the waitress to take out to the table. About 2 minutes later a guy was standing at the counter demanding to speak to a manager, which was me. I walked up and asked the gentleman what the problem was. He said:

“You are trying to rip me off”
Me:“I’m sorry sir, I don’t know what you mean.”
“You’re ripping me off, there are supposed to be 21 slices of pizza but this only has 18.”
Me: pointing to a sign that states the pizza has 18 slices,“Sir, the pizza has 18 slices.”
“You are a racist bastard! You are trying to rip me OFF!”
Me:“Sir, uh, the pizza…”
“You are a bleeping racist”

At this point my boss, Priscilla, walks up and asks “Sir, what is the problem?”
“This white boy is trying to rip me OFF! I am supposed to get 21 slices of pizza but this only has 18. He’s a racist little Bleep.”
Priscilla:“Sir, he is not a racist but I will fix your problem.”

Priscilla then took the pizza and cut it again to up the slice count to 21 and handed it back to the man. (I was so flustered by the whole racist thing that I never thought about just cutting the pie again) She then asked “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
He said no and went back to his table.

I asked Priscilla about the incident later and she said the guy was well known in the area for playing any card he could to get stuff for free. The same guy was later banned from the restaurant because he was caught placing hair in a pie and trying to get a free meal.

So, there are those who will play the race card if they think it is going to help their cause.

Too those who have actually been descriminated against, I feel for you and hope that discrimination will be elimeinated soon.


For what it’s worth, I think that there’s still a lot of discrimination against black (and hispanic) people in the United States, especially on a personal level.

The thing is, it’s hard to tell, in any given instance, whether you’re being discriminated against or whether it’s a general policy you’re dealing with.

So it’s not surprising that many blacks get very sensitive.