I went to a networking event earlier this evening. Before I got there, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some medicine for my mother, who's been fighting a cold lately. I walked into the store close behind this young couple that was ahead of me.

pondering the imponderable

When we got into the actual store, there was someone coming from the left side of us. As the couple passed by him, he walked right in front of me. I stopped so I wouldn't run into him and, being a bigger guy, I didn't want to hurt him. He kept walking as though I wasn't even there... and I got irked.

As I was driving to my friend's house to pick him up for this networking event, I was thinking that for the overwhelming majority of my life, it's been me who's always stopped for others. It's almost always me who opens and holds the door for others.

I know where I got the second part from. My dad always held doors open for others. However, Dad didn't always stop for other people and allow them to walk ahead of them. He also didn't always worry about getting out of the way. He deferred to "elders"; that's how he was brought up.

For everyone else, he'd gauge whether he felt he was being treated fairly or not. Dad once stood up to a deputy in Alabama in the 50's who he felt had disrespected him. As dangerous as that was, when the deputy asked him who he thought he was, he said he was a staff sargeant and military policeman in the United States Air Force... and he was carrying a weapon. And he got away with it; yay Dad!

Most of the time, I don't mind deferring to others. I have my moments though, where I'll either get upset or I decide I'm not moving for anyone.

I don't knock people down; I stop and make them run into me. Half the time people apologize because they weren't paying attention. The rest of the time... they give me a look, not a nice look, and go around me. I've never had anyone say anything negative, but if looks could kill...

Sometimes I wonder why I'm always expected to be the one to get out of people's way. Can people feel my predilection for trying to keep the peace and decide to take advantage of the situation? Or is it possibly something else... related to diversity issues?

The hardest thing about being a minority in America is that you're never sure where bigotry and racism is occurring as opposed to people just being rude. For instance, is it racist if people don't notice you in a crowd of people when you're the only minority in the room? Is it racist if people react to you before you've said anything to them but don't do it to anyone else? Is it latent bigotry when they say "you're not what I expected"? Are we being sensitive if we notice these things and wonder if they ever do the same things to other white people?

I've been told many times over the years that I'm being too sensitive and I'm taking things personally that aren't meant to be that way. Who tells me this? White people. Very few black people have ever said this to me; that's because my experience is their experience. I went to Google and put in this question: are black people too sensitive? You know how many articles come up? 51,900,000!

Strangely enough, it included an article yours truly wrote in 2010 titled Black People Are Too Sensitive?; how about that! lol It was an interesting article for many reasons; I hope you check it out.

Am I sensitive? Absolutely! Am I 24/7/365 sensitive? Thank goodness, no! I'm not sure I could survive if I was that sensitive!

However, I do have times when I notice things aren't quite right. I calculate things quickly and I come to the conclusion that there's some kind of bias occurring; I don't want to say racism because most of the time that's more blatant. Bigotry, intolerance... it can be subtle, but I know it when I feel it... when I'm experiencing it.

Below I'm sharing two videos I did last week on this topic. I tell tales in each of these videos; what happened, how I felt. The first one received a strong reaction when I shared it; the second not so much, but they were only a day apart on two separate channels.

Once again, the funny thing is that the black people who watched it and commented said they've had similar experiences. One white person said I should accept my strengths... whatever that means. lol

Sometimes people aren't cognizant of the feelings a minority might have when they're the "only" in the room; sometimes they are. No matter which way they feel, I feel that issues can't be addressed if they're not talked about. That's why I did the videos; that's why I'm sharing the videos here. I hope you watch them, and then I hope you comment on the subject. I guess we'll see what happens: