4.06.2006

the duke boys

i'm not sure if i'm gonna be able to make this work, but let's see what happens...

after ten years of living on lischey (in which i lived in a low income, mostly black neighborhood):

number of times threatened with a gun: 0

threatened with a knife: 0

accused of "bein' a faggot": 0

violence as a result of "bein' a faggot": 0

hit with debris thrown from a car as i rode my bicycle: 0

threatened verbally ("i'm gonna kick your ass," etc.): 0

same ten years (in which i also interacted with "normal" white people):

threatened with a gun: 1

threatened with a knife: 0

accused of "bein' a faggot": 5-10

violence as a result of "bein' a faggot": 2 (one required the hospital)

hit with debris thrown from a car as i rode my bicycle: 10-15

threatened verbally: 10-15

These statistics are skewed of course. I mean, I didn't skew them, but there are several mitigating factors--some that would make a real difference to an exacting person, and some that would illuminate the point even further. they are as follows:

I spent less time with people around lischey than i did with the "normal" white people.

As a white man in a black neighborhood, i might have had a certain immunity for fear of repercussion. (if i were a black teen in either situation the story would be very, very different)

A lot of the white threats happened when i was in "questionable places": playing a gig at the "V," at percy priest lake after dark. Had i spent an equal amount of time at questionable places in my neighborhood...that might change things. (i did still spend a fair amount of time at questionable places in my neighborhood, though.) however, ponder this concept of "questionable places" for a moment....as alison would say, that's worth "un-packing."

The reason i'm pondering this is because of Meghann's link to the information surrounding Duke University's lacrosse team. The whole situation is rife with all things white, masculine, and privileged. lacrosse, Duke, racial epithets, rape...

This probably won't make any sense, but lemme give it a try:

black stripper at white college sports party: 99% chance of bad shit going down.

white business man at black women's tupperware party: 0% chance of bad shit going down. (100% confusion however).

Those are the two polar extremes. What's the percentage chance of violence if you fill in the thousands of spaces in between? black woman (not stripper) at white sports party vs. white male stripper at women's tupperware party. white boy at mostly black rap concert vs. black boy at alice cooper concert. etc, etc. (the middle ground of this continuum would be...what? racially integrated crowd at a fundraiser for homelessness?) This may be all too intuitive for most sane people to get a handle on...

anyway, the long and short of this is this: In my life--growing up, at college dorms, at bars, at lischey, here in neu beige--i've been threatened more often, and experienced exponentially more pressure by heterosexual white men to be more like them than i've been threatened by people of color for being not-like them.


who was that home security system for again?

5 comments:

Morluna said...

This is why it angers me so much when people warn me against walking on the "sketchy" side of town or "the ghetto." I love to go jogging up St. Philips going north and make a circle back toward home by turning onto Spring St. People are so friendly over there, and people on the street always wave at me and say hello when I go past.

Anonymous said...

You do have to deal with a couple of issues though:

1. Some neighborhoods do have "ghettoes" or "shady areas" where crime rates are much higher than in other places. [crime rates correlate with unemployment and poverty as well]

2. One socially labeled as 'white' has a superior standing within a community of socially labeled inferior 'blacks'. Research studies suggest that 'black on white crime' results in harsher sentencing and treatment than 'black on black' or even 'white on black crime'. This seems to have some deterent of blacks committing crime against blacks.

3. If you interact with people, you change the probability that crimes will be committed against you. So if you are seen as benefiting locals, they will probably be less likely to be treated badly by locals.

4. Your status as a male and work relationships-- if you worked at a gas station, I would expect more crime. If you are female, rape becomes more of an issue [which is gender more than power].

5. Times you are in/out of public. If you walk in back allies at 3 a.m., you're much more likely to get crimes committed against you than if most of your activities happen when lots of people are about in mornings or the afternoon.

6. Age. There is a strong age-crime relationship. As you get older, the people you hang out with are less likely to be deviant.

7. Being a starving artist. Poor don't rob dirt poor. What's the point?

There are other variables, but the above seven conditions are meant to state your experiences may make your experiences non-random :)

Mike

Gargantuas said...

Stupidity and Charity know no color.

Some honkey told me that once and he looked like one of the good ones so I listened.

Anonymous said...

i read your post and thought 'the duke boys' referred to bo and luke. they always were racially sensitive, it was boss and the law that did the profiling.

Red Neck Nell

Walter said...

it's true. bo and luke were some pretty straight shooters, and i shouldn't've defamed 'em that way. i needed the pun, though.