Culture on the Cheap
(please write your response)
I found the above poster on Moore Street after patronizing one of the “ghetto Starbucks” I have heard so much buzz about lately. After searching high and low for an eightball, all I got was a lousy bottle of seltzer and a little repartee instead.
9 Year Old Boy: Anyone who has hair that color looks like they came from the circus.
Me: (circus escapee, turning around)
10 Year Old Girl: I think it’s pretty.
Me (smiling to the store owner and children): Thank you. I am not from the circus, by the way. I am from Greenpoint.
It has long been my experience that having a sense of humor and treating people with respect can turn almost any situation around. I am not so stupid or arrogant as to believe there are no legitimate reasons why this child (or the author of the above missive which, THANK GOD, is NOT a haiku) harbors a belligerent attitude towards “white people”. Speaking as one such “white person” who has had a fair amount of abuse leveled at her from other “white people” over the years— usually for the way I looked— I empathize with them.
A little compassion goes a long way. Too bad there aren’t more “white people” who practice it. The world would be a much nicer place if they did.*
*Then again, what would I know? I live in the big top that is Greenpoint after all. Our need for over-priced and over-sweetened coffee has been filled by a corporate entity: we have a Starbucks.