Posted: January 9, 2011 in Misc., People
Tags: , , , ,

At little past midnight, I and partner were standing waiting at the bus stop for the bus. The only other person there was a tall, fat, black guy standing behind the stop in shadows. I was alert, more than usual.

From somewhere on the empty footpath, another couple appeared and came to wait at the bus stop. White. I relaxed.

Soon, the bus came. Empty. The only person who moved for the bus was the black guy in shadows. Then us. I was again concerned, a little.

Later, very late, the white couple too approached and entered the bus. They were not sure this bus went where they wanted to and thus checked the route-map before boarding.

I noticed the big black guy struggling to get into the seat behind ours. The guy seemed just a kid. But what do I know about these people.
Then I noticed the three thick books stuffed into his messenger bag. Academic books. He really seemed to be just a kid going home from a late night school or a study session.

We got off two stops later. The white couple too got off with us. I turned around and noticed the empty bus with that big black kid.

He wasn’t black anymore. And the kid had that smile of innocence on his face while typing furiously on his really old & really cheap mobile phone.

I’m ashamed.

Yes, I didn’t act in a racist manner. But I did indulge in race based stereotyping. Isn’t that just a step away from race based discrimination?
Yes, I’m aware that my many more practical friends would say that I was just being practical & cautious. But wasn’t that caution being dictated by a race based, as against behaviour based, fear?


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