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FX (ended 2006)

Why Another Stupid Racial Show?

  • Avatar of Ellbee

    Ellbee

    [21]Mar 30, 2006
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    GGordonKitty wrote:
    MMMack,

    My comments about stereotypes being sometimes accurate can best be explained by a statement Chris Rock made recently during one of his comic performances, "If you want to hide money from a black thief, hide it in a book. Books are like Kryptonite to a black person."


    You misheard Chris Rock. He did not say what you quoted. In the joke you're referring to, he was discussing the difference between a black person and a ni**er. He said books are like Kryptonite to a ni**er, not to a black person. Though I deplore the use of that word, he was using it in the joke to make his point that blacks and ni**ers are NOT one and the same.

    Just pointing it out.
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  • Avatar of minou_chere

    minou_chere

    [22]Mar 31, 2006
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    Ellbee wrote:
    I'm sure blacks already understand white culture if they live in America they do. American culture IS white culture. I don't think The Sparks have hi-jacked the show, rather the producers try to make it more interesting by showcasing the more controversial issues. To me, The Sparks just seem exasperated with the whole Bruno "not getting it" and dealing with Carmen's inappropriate "compliments". And how could blacks NOT know why other cultures perceive them in a negative way? They're reminded on a regular basis (biased news reporting, etc.). If Winona Ryder steals clothing, the poor girl needs help. If Queen Latifah does it, ALL blacks are theives.


    This is the same thing that's happening on the show, the Sparks perceive that they understand white culture because they think American culture is white culture, thus they've decided that they have nothing to learn from this experiment and everything to teach, so already the show has failed at it's task. Obviously because of their and many other black people's inability to fit into the so called "white" culture, they don't understand it, perhaps they and other people with this viewpoint would benefit from opening their ears and listening to open discussion about how the other side views it.

    As for the perception of crime, where has Wynona Ryder's career been since her conviction? If whites excused it as a "problem" she'd be making the same number of films today as she was before the incident, in fact the difference is that among whites anyone who is guilty of committing a crime loses credability, regardless of the color of their skin.

    Ellbee wrote:
    This should be changed to read that this ethnic group is PROSECUTED for almost seventy percent of all crimes committed in this nation. Lack of access to expensive lawyers and local government connections certainly account for a lot of who goes to ccurt and who gets a slap on the wrist (Michael Jackson and O.J. are black but could afford the best attorneys and are as free as birds as we speak). Minorities certainly don't bring illegal drugs into this country yet the drugs keep coming. You'll get far more jail time for selling a thumbnail full of crack ($15) than for a half pound of cocaine (who do YOU think is selling and/or using the cheaper stuff?). See the link below for more info on that topic:


    This is another very common comment that you hear that blacks are prosecuted and persecuted for crimes, rather than being guilty. I find it very hard to believe that there is such a large disparity to make this a valid argument, in order for it to be so nearly 60% of all arrests of black people would have to be based upon a racial bias and not on the evidence. When there is such a culture to cry "hate" I seriously doubt that police forces in general would open themselves up to that possibility. I'm not saying there aren't individual cops who are racist, and who do this, but it would certainly be a very low percentage rather than the amount it would take to justify the comment.

    Ellbee wrote:
    Though I can see both sides of the issue while watching this show, I just wish people would be more open minded about things they know nothing about. It's silly for a white person to try to dismiss racism without truly living as a person of color (permanently, not for a few weeks, with all the baggage that entails) and just as silly for a black person to blame society for all their troubles when so many opportunities exist today.


    This just reminds me of an incident in college, I had a young black man as a roommate, he attended a historically black university and was very intelligent. He constantly insisted that racism was as prevalent in today's society and sited for an example that he would not be welcomed in the places where we as whites went for entertainment. So my other roommate (a white male) and I took it upon ourselves to prove to him that he was wrong, and we took him out with us on the town, we took him to the place he'd sited as never being able to go to (a club that mostly frequented by white upper middle class sorority and fraternity members)he was the only black person there. Within a few minutes, we went in, ordered drinks and sat down, he was very uncomfortable, so we tried to get him to relax, without much success. The entire time no one had looked at him or made any sign that he was not welcome. Eventually, after a few drinks he relaxed, he began talking to people, went onto the dance floor and had a good time, basically after he relaxed his night was the same as ours, race obviously wasn't a problem, on the drive home, he admitted he was wrong. So my roommate and I said "ok, we took you out to a club with us, now you've got to do the same" and his answer was an emphatic "no" he said that if he walked in the door with a white man and a white woman the first thing that would happen is that the black women would jump me as they would see me as competition and that he would never be welcome again and viewed as an Uncle Tom. That incident has stuck in my head ever since, that here was a very intelligent person who was so certain that the world was the way he perceived it to be, and in one night he was able to see that perhaps his judgments were based on what he thought to be happening rather than what was truly happening, and that the reverse was true, that whites would welcome him among them with open arms but that blacks would view the whites as a threat and that he would never be welcome among them again, so who exhibits more racism?
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  • Avatar of Ellbee

    Ellbee

    [23]Mar 31, 2006
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    minou_chere wrote:
    This is the same thing that's happening on the show, the Sparks perceive that they understand white culture because they think American culture is white culture, thus they've decided that they have nothing to learn from this experiment and everything to teach, so already the show has failed at it's task. Obviously because of their and many other black people's inability to fit into the so called "white" culture, they don't understand it, perhaps they and other people with this viewpoint would benefit from opening their ears and listening to open discussion about how the other side views it. ?


    Hello Minou_chere,

    Ok - let's begin...
    The Sparks understand white culture as well as any non white can. They're a financially successful black family so it stands to reason that they had to learn to fit in at some point. Success in this country depends on it. The Sparks live in a world where they're never allowed to forget that they're different. Most people can't understand what this does to your psyche after a while. It's like telling an abused victim to just get over it and move on when they have to live with their abuser every day. Many blacks view whites as their daily mental abusers. I hope me saying this doesn't make you angry since, as you stated earlier, people might "benefit from opening their ears and listening to open discussion about how the other side views it." This is how the other side views it.

    minou_chere wrote:

    As for the perception of crime, where has Wynona Ryder's career been since her conviction? If whites excused it as a "problem" she'd be making the same number of films today as she was before the incident, in fact the difference is that among whites anyone who is guilty of committing a crime loses credability, regardless of the color of their skin.


    Wynona was the first celebrity I thought of but there are a number of others. How about the following:

    Woody Allen - alleged pedophile still making movies. In my opinion, the worst offender.
    Marv Albert - alleged abuser/sodomizer still a newscaster.
    Hugh Grant - alleged solicitation of prostitute - still making movies.
    Russell Crowe - alleged assault with a phone - still making movies.

    The list goes on, but I think you get my point. It doesnt appear that any of these people have "lost credibility" with whites or anyone else since they are still collecting massive paychecks and still on the silver screen. And please don't bring up OJ - he may have beaten the rap, but he will never really work again. But Robert Blake? Look for him in a theater near you very soon. I'm not excusing either one, and not saying both aren't reaping what they've sown, just making a point.

    minou_chere wrote:
    I find it very hard to believe that there is such a large disparity to make this a valid argument, in order for it to be so nearly 60% of all arrests of black people would have to be based upon a racial bias and not on the evidence. When there is such a culture to cry "hate" I seriously doubt that police forces in general would open themselves up to that possibility. I'm not saying there aren't individual cops who are racist, and who do this, but it would certainly be a very low percentage rather than the amount it would take to justify the comment..


    We just see things differently. I'm not sure how you reached your "low percentage" conclusion regarding racist cops, but based on my own experiences, you're way off. Many of my law abiding black friends (never committed a crime in their lives - not even drunk driving) are pulled over regularly by police if they're driving their expensive cars through affluent neighborhoods. Even though they LIVE in those affluent neighborhoods. And yes, the police know they live there. If they report it, the abuse gets even worse. To say that the numerous claims of police abuse are not credible is like telling an abused person that they must have done something to deserve getting hit.

    Finally, re your college friend, try not to blame all blacks for the actions of one person. Though he was your "friend", as we say in the black community, he still had to go home. Over the course of his life, he would probably spend a great deal more time with those people in his club that he ever would with yours. That doesn't make it right, but I totally understand his dilemma. Sometimes we can't bring all of our friends together because they're different. I don't try to bring my night club friends together with my book club friends. It doesn't always work and it has nothin to do with racism. Forcing the issue turned out well for you and your friend that time, but what if it hadn't? What if there was just one racist idiot (that's all it takes) at the club you took your friend to and a fight broke out. Based on the past experiences of most black people in this situation (bunch of them, one of us), if the police are called, he might be the one in jail and for what? To prove a point? Not worth it.

    And just for the record, blacks don't expect blatant racism from whites - that's pretty rare unless they run into a group of drunk idiots on a Friday night. Some things are subtle, some are imagined, but either way blacks feel uncomfortable for a reason. And it's not paranoia. After years of being followed around stores, pulled over by cops who can do whatever they like and get away it, etc. you tend to keep your hands away from the fire altogether rather than risk getting burned.

    I think we will just agree to disagree, but I hope at least I answered your questions.

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  • Avatar of minou_chere

    minou_chere

    [24]Mar 31, 2006
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    Ellbee,

    I'm glad you could read and answer my views in a rational way, that's so rare among people with differing views on message boards these days.

    I'm certainly not trying to dismiss racism as a whole, I know that it exists, I know that there are people in this world who view themselves as superior simply because of the color of their skin. That being said, I do not think that it's as prevalent as you do. I grew up in the south, I lived there most of my life, I've gone to school, worked, dated, been friends and even married people of many different races and tried to see their struggles through their eyes.

    I've seen things happen that I can only attribute to racism, but actually rarely to blacks, my asian and middle eastern friends seemed to suffer from pure racism much more often than the black people of my acquaintance do. Not to mention the racism I and other whites have experienced, 99.9% of the time from blacks, I might add.

    As I said before, I know there are certain cops (given that a lot of cops fit a certain alpha male stereotype) that will make arrests out of racial profiling, and sadly, it seems to be prevalent in your area, but as for my experiences, I'm just as likely to get stopped if I seem suspicious or am breaking the law as any black person, sometimes more likely.

    My problem with black.white is it seems to really only be showing one side of the coin, this may have to do with the Wurgel family being actors, or just because they're such naive bleeding heart liberals, I'm not entirely sure. I would think that in order to have a true social experiment they would've picked a white family who was less ignorant and who could listen to criticism and express their own without the need for tears.

    As for the Sparks family understanding white culture do to their success, it seems fairly obvious to me from watching the show that they don't understand it on more than a very basic level. Because most whites are familiar with being judged a racist based on the color of our skin, usually we learn to deal with this type of person by expecting less of a social interaction and concentrating more on their professional ability. Given that, the Sparks family could be successful indeed although they will probably never climb above a certain level due to their attitude. Of course, they will blame it on race rather than looking at how they interact with their coworkers.
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  • Avatar of minou_chere

    minou_chere

    [25]Mar 31, 2006
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    [QUOTE="Ellbee] Finally, re your college friend, try not to blame all blacks for the actions of one person. Though he was your "friend", as we say in the black community, he still had to go home. Over the course of his life, he would probably spend a great deal more time with those people in his club that he ever would with yours. That doesn't make it right, but I totally understand his dilemma. Sometimes we can't bring all of our friends together because they're different. I don't try to bring my night club friends together with my book club friends. It doesn't always work and it has nothin to do with racism. Forcing the issue turned out well for you and your friend that time, but what if it hadn't? What if there was just one racist idiot (that's all it takes) at the club you took your friend to and a fight broke out. Based on the past experiences of most black people in this situation (bunch of them, one of us), if the police are called, he might be the one in jail and for what? To prove a point? Not worth it.

    And just for the record, blacks don't expect blatant racism from whites - that's pretty rare unless they run into a group of drunk idiots on a Friday night. Some things are subtle, some are imagined, but either way blacks feel uncomfortable for a reason. And it's not paranoia. After years of being followed around stores, pulled over by cops who can do whatever they like and get away it, etc. you tend to keep your hands away from the fire altogether rather than risk getting burned.

    I think we will just agree to disagree, but I hope at least I answered your questions.

    [/QUOTE]

    I thought the response to this deserved a separate post.

    I understood my friend's actions at the time, which is why I never pushed the issue (we didn't push the issue about going out w/us either, just mentioned it and he thought he'd prove his point, had he resisted I certainly wouldn't have felt comfortable compelling him to go somewhere he didn't want to go), but my point was that it was based on acknowledging racism towards whites. If the justification you used had come out of my mouth as an explanation for why I wouldn't bring him to a white club, I would have been called a racist. Why do we allow a double standard?

    As for the comfort level, that definitely works both ways, I certainly don't feel comfortable when I encounter a group of young black males presenting a "thug" image. And yes, I've had blatent racism thrown at me, been threatened and been very afraid for my safety when I've accidentally found msyelf in that situation.

    Basically my whole point on this is that neither side can know what the other side feels or goes through until they truly walk in each other's shoes. I'd hoped that black.white would do this but it seems to be the white family walking in the black family's shoes and not vice versa because they think they know everything already.
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  • Avatar of Ellbee

    Ellbee

    [26]Mar 31, 2006
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    minou_chere wrote:


    I thought the response to this deserved a separate post.

    I understood my friend's actions at the time, which is why I never pushed the issue (we didn't push the issue about going out w/us either, just mentioned it and he thought he'd prove his point, had he resisted I certainly wouldn't have felt comfortable compelling him to go somewhere he didn't want to go), but my point was that it was based on acknowledging racism towards whites. If the justification you used had come out of my mouth as an explanation for why I wouldn't bring him to a white club, I would have been called a racist. Why do we allow a double standard?

    As for the comfort level, that definitely works both ways, I certainly don't feel comfortable when I encounter a group of young black males presenting a "thug" image. And yes, I've had blatent racism thrown at me, been threatened and been very afraid for my safety when I've accidentally found msyelf in that situation.

    Basically my whole point on this is that neither side can know what the other side feels or goes through until they truly walk in each other's shoes. I'd hoped that black.white would do this but it seems to be the white family walking in the black family's shoes and not vice versa because they think they know everything already.[/QUOTE]

    Hi minou_chere,

    If my white friends told me they would be ostracized if they took me to their club, I would be angry - just because it's so hurtful to hear something like that. I would also know that I wouldn't want a friend who associated with people like that. In your case, you didn't say that and you did take him to the club. That doesn't sound racist at all. Black folks are just different. Take the time when Bruno and Carmen went to the park in the black neighborhood - remember how angry and hostile everyone became when they thought a black man was bring a white woman into their "territory"? Though that clearly showed prejudice on the part of the blacks, I can't excuse it, but I understand it. Had two white women walked into the park, they would have been fine. It was the interracial aspect that turned them off - not the white woman by herself. An afrocentric gathering, clearly a celebration of black culture and pride, just isn't the place a normal black man would bring a white woman, unless he was trying to make an anti-black woman statement. It's a serious slap in the face to those black women - which would also offend the black men. Bruno and Carmen would not have known that, but the black woman who brought them there certainly would have. It was done to get something controversial on film and it worked.

    And as for feeling uncomfortable around thugs, every law abiding citizen is. But what constitues a "thug"? As a woman, I err on the side of caution too, but if a black man with baggy jeans is walking toward me, he has to exhibit some kind of menacing behavior in order for me to feel threatened. Black and white kids all wear baggy clothing nowadays, but you might might not grab your bag if the kid in that getup walking toward you was white. Check yourself the next time this happens. Did the black person DO something threatening, or was it just that he "looked" threatening because of what he was wearing? It just seems to me that, in many cases, whites are afraid of blacks, but blacks are afraid of criminals. They aren't one and the same.

    I could be way off base here - just an observation from a far.
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    minou_chere

    [27]Apr 3, 2006
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    Ellbee wrote:
    Hi minou_chere,

    If my white friends told me they would be ostracized if they took me to their club, I would be angry - just because it's so hurtful to hear something like that. I would also know that I wouldn't want a friend who associated with people like that. In your case, you didn't say that and you did take him to the club. That doesn't sound racist at all. Black folks are just different. Take the time when Bruno and Carmen went to the park in the black neighborhood - remember how angry and hostile everyone became when they thought a black man was bring a white woman into their "territory"? Though that clearly showed prejudice on the part of the blacks, I can't excuse it, but I understand it. Had two white women walked into the park, they would have been fine. It was the interracial aspect that turned them off - not the white woman by herself. An afrocentric gathering, clearly a celebration of black culture and pride, just isn't the place a normal black man would bring a white woman, unless he was trying to make an anti-black woman statement. It's a serious slap in the face to those black women - which would also offend the black men. Bruno and Carmen would not have known that, but the black woman who brought them there certainly would have. It was done to get something controversial on film and it worked.


    This is what I view as part of the problem though. Black. White had a great opportunity to really quell some myths by truly showing black and white culture for what it is, rather than the other race's perception of it. Instead they seem to have done everything they can to make it appear that racism happens almost contantly every day. In that same episode, Bruno and Carmen went in black makeup to the country bar and the camera showed a lot of stares, but only face on, were the people staring at Bruno and Carmen for being two blacks in essentially a redneck bar or were they staring at a camera crew in the middle of a hole in the wall place and wondering what was going on? Since there was never any discussion the natural instinct is to assume the worst, the same with the drum circle, Bruno and Carmen were purposefully in mixed makeup, why not go in both white to show the reaction? Why aren't there discussions with the bystanders after the participants relate their initial views on what's going on. Maybe with a real dialogue there would be some kind of understanding gained on what it truly is like to be black or white. It does also seem to me that the first example of any "racism" shown from a black person was dismissed as "see what black people deal with every day" rather than acknowledging that both sides deal with racism.

    It's also the perceptions that we use, your line on the situation with my friend is that "they're just different" my perception is that they're racist towards whites. Just like not just any white person can walk into a hick bar and be ok, even I, who grew up on a farm in the south could go into some places (like the bar Carmen and Bruno went in) and feel uncomfortable, I think it's more an issue of outsiders rather than color, but a lot of black people would take it for racism. Of course, in places like that you've got a better chance that it is racism (due to ignorance), but not always.

    Ellbee wrote:
    And as for feeling uncomfortable around thugs, every law abiding citizen is. But what constitues a "thug"? As a woman, I err on the side of caution too, but if a black man with baggy jeans is walking toward me, he has to exhibit some kind of menacing behavior in order for me to feel threatened. Black and white kids all wear baggy clothing nowadays, but you might might not grab your bag if the kid in that getup walking toward you was white. Check yourself the next time this happens. Did the black person DO something threatening, or was it just that he "looked" threatening because of what he was wearing? It just seems to me that, in many cases, whites are afraid of blacks, but blacks are afraid of criminals. They aren't one and the same.

    I could be way off base here - just an observation from a far.


    Actually, I feel equally uncomfortable around either, but where I grew up there were very few white men who dressed like that, and the ones that did were usually hanging around with groups of black men. The problem of course is that as a woman, I've been taught to avoid situations where there is a likelihood of being in danger, so if I'm out somewhere and I see a group of people I perceive to be "thuggish" I'm going to avoid them in whatever way necessary, no matter the color of their skin. How would a group of black men take that though? Usually they would take it as a white woman going out of her way to avoid a black man, when the truth is that the image they're portraying frightens me as a woman and I feel the need to protect myself even if they aren't truly a threat.

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  • Avatar of Ellbee

    Ellbee

    [28]Apr 6, 2006
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    minou_chere wrote:

    Actually, I feel equally uncomfortable around either, but where I grew up there were very few white men who dressed like that, and the ones that did were usually hanging around with groups of black men. The problem of course is that as a woman, I've been taught to avoid situations where there is a likelihood of being in danger, so if I'm out somewhere and I see a group of people I perceive to be "thuggish" I'm going to avoid them in whatever way necessary, no matter the color of their skin. How would a group of black men take that though? Usually they would take it as a white woman going out of her way to avoid a black man, when the truth is that the image they're portraying frightens me as a woman and I feel the need to protect myself even if they aren't truly a threat.


    Definition: "Thug" - Noun; an aggressive and violent young criminal.

    Unless it's the middle of the night or these men are actually doing something threatening, then why do you assume they're thugs? Why would they be frightening to you? I've seen plenty of white girls wearing belly shirts, high heels and short skirts, but I don't assume they're prostitutes. Most whites I know have been assaulted exclusively by their own kind (bar room brawls, spousal abuse, high school fights, etc.), but if more than one black guy is standing on a corner, they'll cross the street. In fact, most crimes committed by blacks tend to be against each other, not whites. I found some U.S. crime stats on the site below - take a look:

    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cvict_v.htm

    All I ask is that people judge criminal intent by the action of the person, not their color or their clothing - unless they're not wearing ANY - then I would run for the hills!

    Edited on 04/06/2006 1:40pm
    Edited 2 total times.
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  • Avatar of minou_chere

    minou_chere

    [29]Apr 10, 2006
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    Ellbee wrote:
    Definition: "Thug" - Noun; an aggressive and violent young criminal.

    Unless it's the middle of the night or these men are actually doing something threatening, then why do you assume they're thugs? Why would they be frightening to you? I've seen plenty of white girls wearing belly shirts, high heels and short skirts, but I don't assume they're prostitutes. Most whites I know have been assaulted exclusively by their own kind (bar room brawls, spousal abuse, high school fights, etc.), but if more than one black guy is standing on a corner, they'll cross the street. In fact, most crimes committed by blacks tend to be against each other, not whites. I found some U.S. crime stats on the site below - take a look:

    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cvict_v.htm

    All I ask is that people judge criminal intent by the action of the person, not their color or their clothing - unless they're not wearing ANY - then I would run for the hills!



    I think this is where the differences in culture come in, most white people are very aware of what their manner of dress says to other people, if they choose to dress in a manner associated with a negative thought process they're trying to elicit the desired response from people who view them. I think with black people it's just a manner of dress and they don't necessarily know or care how other people perceive them because of their clothing. At the same turn, for a woman dressed provacatively, she should be aware of the signal she's sending out with her clothing, she may be willing to risk increased attention from other men that may lead her to a possibility of being assaulted, but she's not a danger to me, so I don't feel threatened by her. Someone who is dressed in baggy clothes with lots of jewelry should also be aware of the image they're projecting and be willing to deal with other people's reactions to that.

    As far as why I would feel threatened, it's more of a why wouldn't I avoid any possibility of being threatened? Why would I expose myself to someone portraying a violent image? If they were dressed in a way that wasn't associated with violence, I wouldn't be wary of them at all. So why is the burden on me to accept the way they're dressed and not feel threatened by it. Why is it a problem that if I feel fear, I avoid the people causing that fear, how does it affect the people I'm fearful of? Essentially I'm avoiding them, they don't know me, so it shouldn't have any impact on them at all, and it makes me feel safer, so where's the problem?

    When I cross the street it's out of protection for myself and has nothing to do with the color of their skin.

    As far as the statistics for violence go, I think most people tend to associate what has happened in their own lives, I don't go through life thinking of statistics and my place within their numbers. I do think of my own experiences and tend to avoid recreating scenarios that have caused me to be frightened in the past. In my experience, whites are not as aggressive as blacks, when I was younger I had several experiences that frightened me when a black man decided I was attractive and wouldn't take no for an answer. And whereas a persistant white man might just keep asking me to dance or go out or whatever, the black men tended to try to physically corral me into a place where I had no way to escape and press their suits, definitely not the way to instill comfort.
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