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Pulse of Central Florida

  /  From the Streets   /  From the Streets (Black vs. White?)

From the Streets (Black vs. White?)

This exchange was between two associates–one white and one black (yes, it is relevant)–at a well-known men’s clothing store:

Associate #1: This gentleman is looking for something to compliment his Willy Wonka costume for Halloween.

Associate #2: I don’t really know what Willy Wonka wore.

Associate #1: Well, it was a movie for white people; I don’t remember any black people being in it.”


Hello? Did I really just have this conversation happen in front of me?

Connector. Blogger. Tennis fan. Electronica obsessed. Eternally challenged optimist. Digital traveler. Social Media Manager. Lover of my City. #LoveOrlando

Comments

  • Alvaro
    Friday, 13 November 2009

    Hey – whats up. Thanks for the info. I’ve been digging around for info, but there is so much out there. Yahoo lead me here – good for you i suppose! Keep up the good work. I will be coming back over here in a few days to see if there is updated posts.

  • akeorlando
    Saturday, 25 October 2008

    @Cass Yes, Associate #1 was, in fact, white. I have a feeling the two are friendly, seeing as they work together, but still….

  • akeorlando
    Saturday, 25 October 2008

    @Alicia Honestly, I don’t think it was meant as anything but a funny comment. I think my major hang-up is that it was said in front of me — a customer.

  • Cass
    Saturday, 25 October 2008

    While I am still in moderation up there, I re-read what you wrote. Which associate was white? Because if it was Associate #1, then I probably would have been appalled instead of laughing (unless both parties were grinning), but the rest of my comments still stand.

  • Alicia
    Saturday, 25 October 2008

    Hard to believe something like that is even thought, let alone said out loud.

  • Michelle (Orlando)
    Saturday, 25 October 2008

    Do you still point with two fingers or open palm, too? I can’t get that one out of my head.

  • Cass
    Saturday, 25 October 2008

    I think it’s kinda funny, and I think it would have laughed if it had happened in front of me. But then, I think we have a lot of racial issues/hangups because we treat skin color like the elephant in the room that no one “sees”.

    When I stand beside a black person, we’re different. When I stand beside a tall person, we’re different. When I stand beside a man, we’re different. Trying to pretend there is no difference makes both of us less, because it means we can’t freely offer our own unique personalities ans skill sets.

    We’re not better or worse as people, but we *are* different. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the elephant.

    Also, if WW was a white movie, does that mean Hancock was a black movie? And what about Steve Martin, who was raised a poor black child?

  • akeorlando
    Saturday, 25 October 2008

    @Michelle That was exactly my thought. Having worked at a theme park for several years, it was always drilled into my head: “good show.” I just felt this encounter was not good show….

  • Michelle (Orlando)
    Saturday, 25 October 2008

    But seriously – bad form to have that kind of joke in front of customers at work, yes. Maybe they weren’t offended but a potential customer might be.

  • Michelle (Orlando)
    Saturday, 25 October 2008

    I always thought it was a movie for purple people… 😀

  • akeorlando
    Saturday, 25 October 2008

    @Tiffany All of this is true. Of course, I think that most bothered me was that the comment was made in front of customers. Really bad show, in my opinion.

  • Tiffany
    Saturday, 25 October 2008

    Any time you hear a conversation between two people who know each other and whose history together you don’t know, you’re bound to be missing something critical to really understanding the conversation. It might have had racial implications, or it might have been part of a running joke between the two, or it might have been a commentary on something they’d both heard a third person say on another occasion, or any one of a hundred possibilities. That’s their business.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

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