October 19, 2009 at 8:12 pm Leave a comment


So I read your story about the petite woman with the giant saxophone, and immediately thought about a racist moment I had when Claire was a baby. I was in a city (can’t remember which one – the amnesia for new parenthood!), in a fairly gritty neighborhood, and we’d just eaten at an Indian restaurant. Claire was getting restless, so I took her for a walk outside in the stroller while Dan paid the check. While I was walking, three young black men in full “gangsta” regalia came up behind me. They said something unintelligible, slowed way down, and followed us for two blocks. I totally freaked out, listening intently to try to catch some of their conversation, and watching their shadows stretch out in front of me. Then I realized, it’s the middle of the afternoon on a Sunday, a beautiful sunny day, and I am not going to be mugged! For all I know, they’re just being respectful of the mom taking up half the sidewalk with the stroller.

Never thought that I’d have a fear reaction based on the age, gender, and most particularly, race of another person, but there it is …


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