The raw and sickening racism I witnessed today.

Cold day. Parking lot crammed with cars. One attendant, a clearly stressed out, angry and tired African-American man. He couldn’t manage the few moments to run over to the entrance to plop down a cone, so people would know he was filled up.

I stood third in line to pay for my parking. The man who was closest to the door of the small attendant’s hut was irritated but not overly so. The second man seemed ok. The woman who came in behind me, fourth, wasn’t fazed. The first man said he’d been waiting to get his car for 30 minutes. ( Possible, but not likely )

The First Man started to berate the attendant verbally because it was taking so long to get his car. The attendant was trying to maneuver a woman out by directing her with is hand, as he stood in the lot. Finally the first guy really became abusive and said, look I’m going to go in there and get my key. ( the attendant wisely locked the door any time he had to step away from it. )

The attendant came back over to the door, and basically told the guy that he would do no such thing, that the attendant would get the key. The man watched the guy unlock the door and then tried to step inside, saying, " give me my fucking key". The attendant also started cursing, and I was sure there’d be physical violence.

The man suddenly said ( to the attendant ), " So what, you’re pulling a knife on me now? Just gimme my fucking keys before I come in there and get them". The attendant said, " you’re threatening me". And so, back and forth, angrier and more hateful.

Finally the man said, " just give me my keys please". The attendant took the $ 20, gave him change and handed him his keys. To his car. Which was blocked by another car. Which the attendant immediately went to move. He was struggling to regain some composure, but he was still cursing up a storm. The rest of us stood still, watching all of this. The man said, " You gonna be here tomorrow? I’m going to come looking for you." The attendant swore at him, saying yeah I’ll be here, bring it on.

The blocking car was moved. The man sitting in his car rolled down his windows and in a blazingly loud voice yelled out, " you know what the problem is ? It’s with niggers like him, the goddamned niggers are ruining the whole city. Makes me fucking sick. Oh, I’ll be back tomorrow". And with that, he drove out.

I’m not an idiot, I am well aware that plenty of people harbor deep and violent racist feelings. However, I do not know the last time I had to witness such a barefaced display or irrational and threatening hatred like that. I felt ill. The other people were shaking their head, horrified.

I can’t stop thinking about the look on that guy’s face. Pure hatred. Pure loathing that made him shake, made his fists clench the steering wheel. It was appalling. I wonder- can he sustain that level of loathing? Will he come back? Clearly he thought he saw a knife, he will return with a knife? A gun? His hatred feeds on itself?

It’s 2006. Nothing changes? Nothing? :frowning:


Yes, what has changed is that you and all the other witnesses were horrified by this. Yes, it was worthy of horror. And yes, it’s sickening that this kind of fuckery still exists. But there was a time, not so very long ago, when many of the spectators would have been agreeing with the racist pig, and a time not so very long before that, that black people wouldn’t have been deemed trustworthy enough to handle the valuable belongings of a white man. Sad that things change so slowly, but they do indeed change.

I witnessed a bit of racism today; not to the horrific extreme that you did, but somehow, I find it more appalling in people who should know better.

I have recently started a new job, which requires about 2 months of training, in a classroom setting and in the field. I was having a chat with one of the gals in my class, and she was describing something bad that happened to her while out training.

She began describing the unpleasant incident, elaborating on the actions of one of the “offenders.” She then paused and added, “He was black.”

I was just about to ask, “How is his race relevant to the incident?” but just then one of our superiors (a man I adore, who just happens to be black) came around the corner, and I just dropped it.

People just don’t THINK. In her mind, the fact that the man was African American was somehow important. How can people still be this ignorant today?

I’m not sure what has changed, because I saw nothing inherently racist in your story. It seems that the guy just so happened to be an asshole, just like the attendent just so happened to be black. I’d just as assume the guy would do that to anyone, then I would suspect it was something racial.

Unless, of course, I’m missing something. Shed some light, por favor?

Are you kidding? So the comment “You know what the problem is ? It’s with niggers like him, the goddamned niggers are ruining the whole city,” doesn’t sound at all racist to you?

[revised quote]

The blocking car was moved. The man sitting in his car rolled down his windows and in a blazingly loud voice yelled out, " you know what the problem is ? It’s with honkies like him, the goddamned honkies are ruining the whole city. Makes me fucking sick. Oh, I’ll be back tomorrow". And with that, he drove out.

Somehow is just doesn’t sound the same. YMMV.

Dead honkie.

I think there is something to what RSS says. Yes, the guy is a racist. The epithet doesn’t come to mind if one isn’t. But he was angry about the situation and IMHO was using the racist comments opportunistically. Not that that’s okay. I’ve heard plenty of stories about some jerk who turns out to have been black (or whatever). I almost always say something. Most times, they agree it was irrelevant. And we make one more little baby step forward.

D’oh. Make that “ZSS.” :smack:

norinew said it well. I don’t know if we’ll ever completely eliminate racism, but we can at least make it completely unacceptable, something civilized people simply do not do, and we’ve pretty much succeeded in that.

It’s not just that he was using the word “nigger” - it’s the context he’d used it in. You and ZSS might have a point if the guy had said “You’re a fuckin’ nigger” or something solely insulting, but that’s not what he did - he used that racist term, but also said that “those people” are what’s wrong with the country. The term and the statements both show seperate racist attitudes of that guy, and while you might, might, be able to make the case he was just using the first insulting term he could think to explain his use of “nigger”, you certainly can’t for the total comments he made.

Those goddamned geese can get me quite het up, too.

And Lute wins the thread.

The guy lost his shit, was enraged, and his true nature came out. It’s sad but the fact that it was so shocking and that every witness was sickened by the outrage shows that things have changed.

I did note one subtlety. He said “niggers <i>like him</i>.” He would probably claim that he was not a racist because “there are good blacks and there are niggers and he is the latter and I have black friends and …blah blah blah…”

Chris Rock is the best friend of educated racists everywhere.

They both sound like jerks to me. Yes, the idiot in the car is much worse. The attendant wasn’t exactly Mr Good Customer Service, though. I am NOT excusing what was said–that is inexcusable and terrible.

What I think is at bottom of this (besides the ingrained racism of Asshole) is the sense of entitlement displayed. I see extreme irritation in Starbucks when someone’s vente isn’t getting to them fast enough. I see it in traffic when the moron in front of you doesn’t turn quick enough for you (I’m guilty of swearing under my breath at these times too).

Seriously, unless his wife is in labor or something equivalent, this guy can’t wait 2 minutes to get the cars moved? We are a messed up people.

There is a chance that Asshole was just so enraged by the behavior and attitude (and “delay”) by the attendant that he threw the worst thing he could at his “enemy”. Who knows? It really doesn’t matter, since in saying it, he not only lost any sympathy anyone might have had, he also earned the contempt of most people.

I don’t get the $20 at all. That’s just weird. Either you hate the guy’s guts and just want your car back or you recognize the service that’s been provided you and provide a gratuity-not both. (that’s a huge tip from where I come from-for parking)

I got the impression the $20 wasn’t a tip but was instead payment of the lot fee, especially sincve he was given change.


I’m not so sure the attendant was in the wrong at all. Sounds to me like he just didn’t want to put up with the assholier-than-thou attitude. I like people who stand up to Mr. Angrypants who can’t get his car fast enough. All too often, I shy away like a coward in this kind of situation and regret it later. I love his “bring it on” attitude. There is a time to be angry, and that time is when you have to put a jerk like that dude in his place.

When a person gets angry, their brain falls out. The few remaining neurons at the end of that dude’s brain stem were racist ones. And, in the midst of being too weak to hang on to rationality, he made the choice to “go there.” This proves, of course, that there is some underlying racism there. It makes me wonder how many people would blurt out something like that if the tempers rose to that point.

The problem here is that people are just too emotionally weak to control their tempers. That dude should have just said “Man, I’m really in a hurry” and if it hurried things up, great. But trying to turn it into a penis-measuring contest just make the attendant want to scrape his “knife” the full length of your car, not to mention drag hsi feet a little more when it comes time to get your car. You get better service from people who like you and want to help you.

In my opinion, racist guy doesn’t have the emotional fortitude to handle the simple annoyances of daily life, and should be put in a padded room to think about that for a while.

First of all, yes. Luke wins the thread.

The 20.00 was the fee, well- 13.00 fee, seven ones counted out by the attendant and CAREFULLY handede back to the guy. That was his change. Needless to say, no gratuity was offered.

Yeah, people do get angry. Happens all the time, life is stressful, people have bad days, yaddah yaddah. What upset me was the seething hatred- the guy could have sworn his butt off at the attendant or at life in general without going for the racist angle. You’re pissed at the world? More pissed at the slow-poke ( supposedly ) attendant? Fine, curse away about how parking lot guys suck, etc.

I didn’t feel shock because the guy lost his juice, but in how he lost it. Not shock, I guess. Just tired dismay.