Thursday, May 02, 2013

Round-Robin Racism

I saw the most messed-up interaction at the Seventh Street laundromat on Sunday.

I was standing on the stoop, waiting for the washing machine cycle to finish. A young, black family went in. I noticed them because the couple lifted their stroller up the steps and into the laundromat. This was odd because the laundromat is only slightly larger than a shoebox, and I wondered how they were going to fit the stroller inside. They had a baby in the stroller and a kid walking alongsode, a little girl about six years old. The little girl took a seat by the front door and the stroller stayed just inside. I didn't notice the adults until what happened next.

About three minutes later, they rushed out, stroller and all. The man was yelling back into the laundromat.

"You don't even know it was her that made that mess! We're never coming back here. You just lost two customers. Go back to your country! Go back and blow stuff up!"

Then as they walked away with their kids, for good measure, "Suck my dick!"

I went in to get my laundry, and the couple that owns the laundromat was agitated. They're Coptic Christian-Egyptian and also own the deli a block away. They were both talking to anyone who would listen.

"She messed up the bathroom," said the owner. "I just mopped it so I know it was her. They aren't even customers. I don't have to let her use the bathroom. I told her to clean up after herself! Everyone needs to clean up after themselves."

The wife looked ready to cry. "This IS our country," she said.

All the customers were sympathetic. Especially a Puerto Rican grandmother.

"They always act like that," she said. "Those people never move on the sidewalk."

Everyone moved away a little bit, unsure of where this was going. And it went exactly where you think it's going. She then wouldn't stop talking about "those people." And I don't think she meant that specific couple.

I'm ready to leave the human race now, maybe go be a dog or a peanut.

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