I got to Starbucks this morning around 7am. Lovely morning. It is 2011 but still old currents run deep. I was in line behind one woman with two others behind me. The woman ahead of me placed her order and she asked the 2 clerks, baristas, where Stanley Street was. They did not know. That name was very familiar to me and I know I had been on that street before so I began to run through my memory so that I could place where that street was. It was not to far away. The woman then added that she had gotten off one exit of the interstate early and was trying to find her way. I still continued to place that street.. it was within about 4 miles of where this location is.
I did not say anything to her because I was still trying to get the directions right in my mind...exactly how many lights back she needed to go. Well, her coffee was ready and she got it and immediately turned and walked to the woman standing right behind me. She asked her if she knew where the street was. That woman behind me responded and told her she had heard her ask the clerks and she did not know. This woman then went to the last women behind me and asked her the same question.
I was a bit taken aback. Why I do not know. This is the south. I guess I was because she totally looked over me like I did not exist to ask the two people behind me if they knew. By this time I figured out exactly where she needed to go. Needless to say I did not offer my assistance. It was clear she wanted no assistance from me.
Racism. Those currents still run deep. I guess I just did not expect to be totally overlooked so blatantly in this day and age. Some places and locals here in the south it is expected. I guess I did not expect it at the local Starbucks which tends to be a melting pot for all wanting coffee.
It is sad because I have raised my child to be color blind. She is now just beginning college and is trying her fledgling wings in the social world. She has just begun to go out with friends of all colors to local restaurants and other establishments without me. I am now teaching her about racism and being careful. She knows about racism but being CAREFUL is different. Not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and to look for clues in people that things may be amiss. There are still people who commit hate crimes and they live right here in our local area. They do not need an easy target. I do not want her to be an easy target due to my failure to teach her about the horrors of racism and that it is still alive and well and looking for the unsuspecting.
Well, I hope that woman found her way. She left Starbucks without speaking to the only person who could help her. Currents still run deep.