Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I'm black but I don't steal

I went to an Asian owned beauty supply store this past Sunday. I've been there about 4-5 times and i usually get the same thing. They hand it to me and i walk over to the front of the store, pay and leave. So I decided to get the same item  i usually get plus another, now these are relatively inexpensive stuff, less than $50. She had handed me the first item but when i said i wanted another one, she refused to hand it to me but decided to walk with me to the front of the store. So i handed her the first item also and walked with her.

It was obvious why she did that because i have been to that store multiple times, they never walk you to the register to pay and she had initially handed me the first one to go pay, but as soon as i requested another one, i guess she figured I was up to no good. I wasn't in the least bit offended because it is what it is. People are usually the way they are based on past experiences. I worked at my dad's liquor store for 5 years where 95% of the customers were black. I have never seen such blatant stealing in all my years on earth. There was an incident where this lady came in the store with her two sons, with the oldest not being more than 8. She spent at least $60 playing scratch off tickets and she lost all her money. My sister had left her purse on a chair over the counter and this lady could see it. While my sister had her back turned towards the register, ol girl reached into the purse and grabbed her wallet. Fortunately, i was coming from the back of the store and saw her reach into the purse and put something in her shirt. I didn't see what she took, but i saw the motion, so i grabbed her. We were struggling, i started screaming for my dad and that's when she took the wallet out and handed it to me before leaving. All this happened in front of her sons.

There have been customers who walked in and before you could say Jack robinson, have grabbed the half gallon of whatever liquor from the shelf and dashed out the store. I can give you incident after incident where these people just steal. Even beer that's a dollar, they don't want to pay for. If i started watching everyone who came in the store like a hawk, would i be wrong or am i going to be accused of stereotyping, or would i be acting as a result of my experience? I think one of the biggest blessings in my life, really is the fact that i majored in psychology and i've always had an open mind to begin with. There was a course where we talked about stereotyping and that helped me a lot in dealing with people. I never judge a group of people as a whole and I try to deal with people on an individual basis, if not my perception of African American people would be skewed negatively right now. All the blatant in your face discrimination i've ever faced in this country have been from them., the broad day light theft and just some all around craziness i have witnessed but i know better than to see every black person as the same as that's just stupid.

Back to Asian beauty supply store i went to on Sunday, majority of their customers are black. I'm sure she was reacting to me based on what she had experienced. That doesn't make it right, but it's life. Of course it gets to a certain extent where it crosses the line and becomes unacceptable but if you want to stereotype me and be hypervigilant around me when i come in your store because i'm black then that's your prerogative. If i don't like it,  i won't come back to your store but instead of giving the store owner a hundred percent of the blame, I will give 50% of the blame to the black people who walked in that store before me, stole and gave the rest of us a bad name.

*By the way, i was told today by an African American guy that i wasn't black. As far as he is concerned, i'm a foreigner and i'm not black. He asked me if i checked the African-American box to self identify and i said yes if there's no other option. He told me, i am supposed to check "other". Which i have on occasion, but most times those things say black/african-american. I thought it was a very interesting conversation and i ended up telling him, he didn't have to worry about me claiming to be African-American because i am not African-American, just as he is not African. However, i am black and i am African. I didn't know the term black exclusively applied to African- Americans. I made sure to tell him anyone is free to identify as whatever they wanted to as cos it's a free world. When i walk into a store and people think i'm about to steal because of my skin color, they don't ask me to speak so they can hear if i have an accent or not before i am discriminated against, we are treated the same for the most part.


  1. I just had a similar conversation recently about black people being hostile if you don't use ebonics, especially to their own.

    "Why are you acting white?"

  2. If you are American, you are African American. An American of African decent. I don't identify my self as African American because I am not American. I am however black

  3. had a similar situation occur and it was some indian guy who really got under my skin. got to his shop and there was a bowl full of jewellery, which I started looking through, and after five minutes I was trying to find one I could choose, of which he sent over his assistant to ask me what colour of jewellery I wanted. I said I wasn't sure that's why I was looking into the bowl to decide. That's where it all started.

    he told me if I don't know the colour I want, then I shouldn't touch the contents inside the bowl. I should leave his stall. wow my eyes lit up red at this point...whilst I was giving him a piece of my mind, a white muslim lady came round and started looking through the same bowl..but he said nothing to her...that's when it clicked that he was being racist. I then said to him, tell her not to touch the contents of the bowl..and I would be happy to leave your shop...he couldn't tell her...and the story carried on

    the bit that got to me, was that he is indian an immigrant like myself, being racist..which is the height of ignorance. still fuming about it..but thought id let you know that it happens everywhere even in the uk, and most importantly amongst immigrants sigh


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