When I was a senior at Indiana University (read: when I had my head up my hard ass), I worked part time as a supervisor in the MRC dorm cafeteria. There was a time when I was having a difficulty with three students. I have no idea what the dispute was but at one point one of them said something that I found particularly exasperating and I said “You people!”
My choice of words was unfortunate, the three individuals involved were African-Americans. They immediately took exception (and I can hardly blame them). There were two threads of conversation that took place simultaneously from that point.
“You people, what do you mean, you people?!”
“Students” I believe this was paired with a “duh” but not the kind of “duh” that was once hip and now passe. Just an involuntary syllable.
The second was:
“What are you doing, bringing race into this?”
“I didn’t bring race up. You are the one’s who brought race up!”
Although I had my head up my hard ass, I was hardly capable of deceit and they promptly perceived that I was completely sincere when I said I meant students. The event ended uneventfully.
The newly elected governor of Ohio, John Kasich, recently had a similar experience. It seems Kasich is the first Ohio governor in fifty years to put together a cabinet comprised entirely of white people. When the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus offered Kasich assistance in
The governor’s spokesperson:
Part of me says I have to give Kasich the benefit of the doubt given my own experience. Part of me says “Yeah, riiiiight!”
You are welcome to draw your own conclusions.