So last Thursday night, I met up with some friends & former work acquaintances (thought you’d enjoy that, Jacylyn!!!) to have dinner in Brooklyn.
We went to a restaurant that we’d been to a few times before, and as the night progressed, I said a few times, “wow, the service is awful tonight!” I have some recollection of having had less-than-stellar service the last time we’d been there, but this time, it was really, really bad.
Now, there were six of us, it was a busy night and they were packed to the gills, maybe they were understaffed, etc.
But it wasn’t until later that evening that I started to wonder if the fact that four out of the six of us were African-American had anything to do with the shoddy service we received. And I was reminded again that as a white person, I have the privilege of never having to ask that question.
I also have the ability to rationalize–“We were in BROOKLYN . . . there were other people of color there . . . there’s no WAY it could be that.”
But I am learning that it’s worth it to ask the question, because even if racial prejudice wasn’t a factor, it’s really good for me to be shaken out of the complacency of my privilege and to be able to remember that not everybody has the luxury of living in a world where it isn’t even a question.