Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Prejudice


Living in San Francisco (well at least the Bay Area) I feel lucky that I am not constantly party to the injustices that exist in the world. But even in somewhere as enlightened as San Francisco, I still find people who behave differently to you based on your skin color (I almost said appearance, but in all fairness I like that people treat me differently because I have a mohawk, and really since that was a choice on my part, it probably does reflect my personality in some way).

So anyway, I went to Peets to get a latte this morning (I feel so yuppie now that that no longer seems odd) and when I got there, there was a hispanic man and black woman standing far enough away from the counter that I assumed they had already ordered. This belief was further enforced by the fact that there was no one by the cash register taking orders. So naturally I walk up to the counter and wait for someone to take my order. When one of the staff comes up, I get halfway through my order when the black woman states that she was already on line. I felt terrible, recognize that the two of them must have been waiting before me to order, and I give my appologies, and walk behind them. She orders a coffee and merrily goes on her way, and he orders a medium latte. I then order a medium latte, and give my name so that they can call me when it's done. As it turns out, my latte is done before his.

Now the part of me that grew up with happily ever after, and still thinks life can and should be fair really hopes that this is just because I had given my order before I had walked to the end of the line, and the part of me that isn't so optomistic fears it isn't.

Though it does make me wonder what it would take to achieve equality for all when the social norms of what to do when waiting on line with no one to take your order are different enough to cause this sort of problem in the first place.


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