I was at a park with my girlfriend one day. This particular park is actually an artificial island surrounded by a moat on one side which turns into a small lake on the other (Lake Mayer, if you happen to be from Savannah). It is home to a great many ducks and geese.
My gf and I were eating lunch at a picnic table and throwing bits of bread to the ducks. You’re not a real Savannahian until you’ve bought a loaf of bread from the day-old bakery outlet down the street (assuming it’s still there) and thrown it to the birds in the park at least once in your life. Just be wary of the geese, because they can get belligerent on occasion.
We looked up at the sound of some kids laughing. There is a particular sound that all children make when they are laughing due to mischief that’s different from any other laugh. You parents out there are familiar with that sound.
These kids were throwing sticks at a bush. I couldn’t figure out wtf they were doing at first but my girlfriend popped up off the table and ran up to them, yelling as she went.
The kids were throwing the damn sticks at a goose nest under the bush. Little morons were lucky momma goose didn’t catch them doing that or they’d have gotten worse than yelled at.
About twenty minutes and most of two loaves of bread later, this woman comes marching up to us and I got to see firsthand that being white doesn’t necessarily insulate you from experiencing racism.
She was black, as were her kids. The same kids that had been throwing sticks at the bird nest.
This ignorant little person lit into us because we yelled at her kids, while ignoring somebody else’s kids who evidently were at the same bush doing the same thing. Why would we yell at her BLACK children and ignore the WHITE children doing the same thing? Was it alright for the WHITE children to do it?? (They were Indian btw, not white. Guess all us non-black people look alike or something)
In other words, this woman was accusing of us being racist.
The reason we hadn’t yelled at this 2nd set of kids, of course, was that we didn’t notice them. We were at the park to goof off, not to work as park security or avian bodyguards. By this point, we were at the opposite end of the picnic area. If she had seen these other kids, my gf would have been right on top of them. You don’t harass animals near this woman if you know what’s good for you.
This woman ignores her kids throwing sticks at a bird nest but takes notice of us running them off. This woman ignores somebody else’s kids doing the same thing and walks right past them without a word in order to come to where we were and bitch at us. It seems it’s more important to yell at the white folks than it is to yell at kids harassing the animals.
There was some racism in the park that day for sure, but it wasn’t coming from me or my girlfriend.
There is no particular point or moral to this story, such as “Remember kids, racism is color blind” or anything like that. It’s just something that’s bothered me ever since it happened. This all happened, btw, back around 1997 or thereabouts and yes I’ve been wanting to vent about it for that long.