Friday, June 12, 2009

Does This Make Me a Racist?

One of my more memorable MUNI stories that happened to me over a year ago on the 22 was posted over on the MUNI Diaries website this week. It seems to have really struck a negative chord with some of the readers out there. Apparently, it isn't okay or acceptable to describe characters in a true story by their race or ethnicity. Just because I referred to one of the men in my story as being "a black man with a gun" and the other men as being "three Hispanic guys who spoke only Spanish", now I am accused of being a racist and racial profiling.

After looking back on my story, I guess I could have done without physically describing the men, but why? Why should I leave out details in my story just because I am scared of pissing someone off? Since when did describing what a person looks like make someone a racist?

Anyways, it just goes to show you that no matter what you say or do, you are bound to upset somebody. People are very sensitive about race, politics and religion. Sometimes you can't even talk about your opinion of the recent state of the economy because people get bent out of shape about that too. This is why bartenders make topics such as these off limits for discussion at the bar because you never know who you might offend.

But in the case of my 22 MUNI story, I was just simply describing the characters. I think it's funny that I was accused of being a racist and for racial profiling. These people obviously don't know me.

Read my story and see for yourself. Do you really think I am a racist?


Anonymous said...

if the men were all white and you described them as "dark haired white men" would that be racist? What was one of the first things the cop asked you when you started to explain what the guys looked like? I'm guessing he asked what race they were.

Rachel said...

It's a fine line... I would normally use identifiers like 'thick Spanish accent' or 'gorgeous coffee-colored skin' if I was describing someone, but your story was fast paced and would have suffered if you lingered on description. I think you were okay.

Anonymous said...

This story in no way makes you a racist. It's bullshit that the use of a simple description can cause these rediculous accusations. Get over it! What if the 3 hispanic guys were 3 white guys who only spoke German - then would it be racist? Would it be okay then if "Cielo Gold: Bartender" were black, or hispanic in the same situation? Accusors: Grow a pair!