Thursday, January 16, 2014

Racial Awkwardness at the Drive-Through

I ordered a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit combo at Hardee's on my way to work this morning. When the restaurant employee--who is black*--handed me my meal, he said, "Here you go, Boss Man."

Call it white guilt or oversensitivity or insensitivity or reverse racism or racism racism, but my immediate (unexpressed, of course) reaction was, "What? No--I'm not your Boss Man. I'm just a white guy getting food from a black guy. I mean, no, it's not about colors. You can call me what you want, but--I'm not telling you how to speak, I'm just... look, I was hungry and simply wanted a breakfast biscuit, and I don't think I'm superior to you because of our skin. Why am I even thinking this; is my brain more racist than I thought? I hope he gave me a straw this time. Who still uses the term 'Boss Man' these days? Would he have said the same thing to me if I were black?"

I'm sure he gave it much less thought than I did.



*Disclaimer: I am not a racist.**

**Disclaimer disclaimer: I know this means neither that I never say racist things nor that no one will ever be racially offended by something I might say.***

***Disclaimer disclaimer note: I lost myself in the double triple multiple negatives in that sentence, but I'm sure you catch my drift. Or maybe you didn't not.

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