Over in this thread, VCO3 started out with a problem many of us city dwellers can identify with: his new neighbors smoke so much dope that it stinks up his entire building.
He’s really hesitant to be identified as the conscientious objector, for some reason:
That’s a little odd, but it’s quickly explained:
OK, fair enough. He doesn’t want bitterness in the apartment complex. And he doesn’t entirely trust the cops. We all understand that, right? Especially since he later revealed that:
OK, cool. A cavalcade of Dopers–myself included–join in to try to help him find a peaceful solution to the problem, and then he drops this bomb on us:
Happy Birthday, SDMB, it’s a big fucking surprise! VCO3’s real problem is that he has to share a Chicago apartment complex with “thuggish black guys” doing their drugs and “screaming ‘nigger nigger’ into [their] cell phone[s]”. That explains why he couldn’t stand to go “bro out” with them, even though he could go down there wearing the NORML shirt he undoubtedly got in the mail for free when he joined the organization and thus make it abundantly clear that he’s cool with them smoking weed.
Thanks, I spent a solid 15 minutes doctoring it with The GIMP. The hardest part was finding a good picture to start with, and then sticking a joint in the cat’s mouth and making it look realistic was a bit tougher than I expected. I’ll go ahead and say that I was going for a Michel Gondry in Science of Sleep look for the smoke, you know, not that I couldn’t hack it when it comes to realistic photo editing.
We all know that VCO3 is a bit … “odd” might be a kind way to put it … when it comes to black people. But this particular thing doesn’t necessarily strike me as being totally out there. I’ve seen people, of all races, whom I wouldn’t want to strike up a conversation with casually, just because they seem sort of scary. If my neighbor were a big guy who had lots of angry conversations on his cell phone, used language suggesting he wasn’t all that well educated, and just gave off a “scary” vibe, I might be reluctant to talk to him about stinking up my apartment building, too. I’m not a big guy, and I’m not in good shape - violence scares the shit out of me.
I realize that I might be reading more into VCO3’s comment than is warranted, and he hasn’t earned a lot of slack when it comes to his attitudes about black people. But it sounds to me like he might just not want to risk annoying people who strike him as being scary because of how they act, not because of the color of their skin - and we’ve all been there.
I hate to be predictable but I’m on VCO3’s side. If he says he’s intimidated by thuggish black guys its because they were guys that were both thuggish and black. There are people who give off the vibe that they aren’t going to take a lot of shit from nerdy white neighbors narcing out on them. I think VCO3 is exercising our evolutionary skill of being able to guess who is going to punch us out if we do something like call the cops on our pot smoking nigger chanting neighbors. I wouldn’t read too much into him saying they are black. They’re probably just big dudes with attitude problems that aren’t going to be open to a bunch of neighborly lets-work-it-out brainstorming. I’m a small white girl and I’m probably one of these people. If a neighbor told me to quit smoking pot I would send them a box of poop in the mail.
I like that you took initiative and introduced a paradigm shifting visual aid with your rant, but I’m not sure that’s the direction we want to be moving at this time. We should touch base about this later.
Of course, if **VCO3 ** would learn some confrontational skills, he could actually speak to the people who bother him, rather than come here and rant about how everyone in the world except him is an asshole.
I didn’t see anything about “angry”. “Thuggish black guys” “screaming ‘nigger nigger’” sounds like a definition of any group of young black males that you would expect from a guy who has asked why black people have to be so loud. What does “thuggish” mean? Does it mean they limp around showing off their weapons? Does it mean they go around the neighborhood issuing threats? Does it mean they shove people out of their seats at the local restaurant? Or does it just mean that they wear gold chains and baggy clothes and listen to rap music? Because lots of white kids do the latter, and I bet VCO3 wouldn’t be afraid to talk to them about their pot habit.
And I’m not the kind of person who judges whether or not it’s “okay” for my neighbors to smoke pot and talk loudly on their cellphones. YMMV.
Most thuggish-looking black guys I’ve encountered have actually been surprisingly polite. I once got my truck jump-started by a huge, gangsta-looking black guy in a big old Grand Marquis who introduced himself as “Big Mike” and absolutely busted his ass trying to get that engine started. (Later that year in the newspaper I read that “Michael ‘Big Mike’ something-or-other was arrested on charges of dealing cocaine.” I hope it wasn’t the same Big Mike that helped me out.) Also, random black guys in gangsta-wear always seem to give me a little head-nod or even a “hey” if I make eye contact with them as I pass them on the street. I like this because I like it when people give a nod or a hey to a passing stranger - it’s like, “we’re in this crazy world together, so fuck it,” or something. It rarely ever happens with average looking people.
On the other hand, if the guys look intimidating, and you’re intending to get them to change their behavior as opposed to helping you with your car or something, I can totally see why you’d be hesitant. So, I am on VCO3’s side here. There are scary black guys, scary white guys, scary guys of all kinds. Usually if I really need a favor or help or something, I will ask a stranger no matter what he looks like. I once got two random tattooed street punks to help me load a couch into a truck, and they were so determined about getting the angle right and everything, it was like they were professional movers all of a sudden. Just two random shirtless tattooed scary-looking guys, and they helped me. You can’t always judge a book, you know, by its cover.
But some big scary looking guys who bellow scary sounding stuff in their conversations and smoke a lot of weed, and then calling them on it? I dunno, I might be a little leery of starting shit with them. So I really do see the situation here. I think it has less to do with race than intimidation-factor, even WITH all the race-related stuff the old Oscillator has said in the past.
Trust me, that’s not all I’m thinking about here. If I’m so excited to drop the R-bomb, anyway, why don’t you go ahead and find a bunch of other examples where I’ve called people racists. Go ahead. It’s exciting, apparently. I’ll be waiting.
I thought some thuggish-looking black guys at my friends’ apartment complex were nasty dudes, until I walked by them wearing a Human Rights Tour '88 T-shirt. You should’ve seen the smiles on their faces. We had a nice conversation and they turned out to be some pretty cool dudes.
Of course, they were probably practicing their aim on all the other white guys. :rolleyes:
“15 minutes” was a generic term for some amount of time I wasn’t paying attention to. Could’ve been 5 minutes, could’ve been 20. Of course, I’m not the one petty enough to care, so YMMV.