It finally happened to me. I was sitting at home with my children the other night and a knock came on the door. Now, let me first begin by telling you that we are currently living in a gated corporate apartment complex, on the road, with my husband’s company. It was a red flag that anyone would be knocking on our door at nine o’clock at night! I opened the door and there is a very clean-cut African American gentleman standing at the door. At first, I only cracked the door. I only did this because I have two children under the age of two who love to go bolting out of the front door anytime it is open. I wanted to spare the poor lad the pleasure of being run over by my energetic children, and perhaps myself the joy of chasing them down.
The words out of his mouth when I cracked the door were, “oh, don’t shoot!” and he recoiled with that preconceived look on his face. I ignored that and politely asked what I could help him with. He starts off with this sales pitch. Coincidentally enough, I heard this same spiel just three weeks ago at our home before we went on the road with my husband. It was a pitch for magazine sales. This company sends out young adults and they start their pitch claiming to be college students who are competing with one another to get ‘points’ just from ‘talking to people’. I actually fell for this back home and spent ten minutes talking to the young lady before she told me that the real ‘points’ come from me buying a magazine subscription or two.
Now I am the type of person, first and foremost, who is completely annoyed with door to door salespeople. If I want to buy something I will go to the store. You just never know when or how you will meet the next scam artist so I stay away from people employed to knock on doors. Sorry, that’s just how we are at my house!
Flashback to the gentleman now knocking on my door at nine pm at night. He starts the old familiar pitch about how he is a college student competing with others, blah blah blah. I immediately recognized the pitch and cut him off, politely saying I was not interested. He then flipped the aggressive button asking why I wasn’t interested and saying I hadn’t even heard what he had to say. I again, politely, told him sorry, but I was not interested.
That’s when it happened. I had the door about an inch to closed when I hear him say, “Is it because I’m black?”.
Another thing you might need to know is that I’m not usually one for fighting, I have always tried to respect other people regardless of the conversation we are having etc, etc. However, this chewed right through me the moment I heard it. I instinctively flung the door back open and stepped outside. His face was priceless, he is probably more used to doors being closed in his face than people stepping out to confront him. “Why would you say that?” I glared. He stumbled a bit on his words at first, saying that it was just because I didn’t hear him out.
I couldn’t help but jump his case. Why in the world would I close the door on him just because he was black? I reminded him that this was a non-solicitation community and that this was also a gated community. He got pretty nervous when I started asking him how he got in or who let him in. He claimed he wasn’t soliciting either. I told him that I had heard this same pitch before and that if he wasn’t selling magazines what was he doing? His story changed pretty quickly and he said he was just supposed to be going door to door asking people what they did for a living and why they chose their professions. So now we’ve gone from a competition where you earn points to this just being an opportunity to brush up on your communication skills. Highly annoyed at his apparent lie, I tried to play nice guy. I wanted to be able to show him that I didn’t close the door on him because he was black, but because I didn’t want to be hounded to buy something, especially at 9pm at night in a gated community that clearly states there is to be no solicitation!
I spoke with him for a minute and then we were done. When he asked me what advice I could give him I told him not to ever use the race card on anyone again. It is just immature and causes a very bad first impression. When I walked back in and told my husband what happened he was about ready to rip the guy’s head off. I think that white people are just about fed up with the race card being pulled on us. I have personally had several black friends who were and are practically part of our family. If I have anything against black people it is the fact that SOME of them (not all) still think that every downfall in their life is caused by someone who does not like them for the color of their skin. I am white and I am expected to take responsibility for my own life regardless of my skin color, background, or heritage! I wish others could do the same.
I won’t deny that there are still people out there who ARE racist and I most certainly do not condone that kind of behavior. We shouldn’t be stirring up racial tension by accusing people of being something they are not. I did not appreciate it and became borderline hostile when those words came out of his house. I know that many African Americans endured terrible and inconceivable things decades ago, but I refuse to pay for what white people did back then. Unless I am directly targeting you and treating you unfairly don’t accuse me of doing anything! I’m tired of white people having to constantly tippy-toe around the black community.
I find it wildly amusing that all white people are accused of being racist while African American entertainers such as Chris Rock are able to walk around saying the things about white people that they do. When I was in Germany I heard a black radio station djs signing off to their listeners by reminding the black community that they shouldn’t let ‘whitey’ keep them down. I didn’t realize that white people were still keeping the black man down. Last I knew black people had the same rights as whites. We all choose our own paths in life and should be responsible for whether we succeed or not, not be taught to blame our own failures on other people. Nor should we buy into the idea that it is someone else’s fault for our failures and that they are to blame because they allegedly do not like the color of our skin.
In my dream world black people would be held accountable for what they say about white people and this racist double-standard could go away for good.