- August 30, 2001 at 12:00 am #1576
Why do young black people – mostly near cities – feel it’s perfectly safe and OK to cross a busy street whenever and wherever they want, whether there’s traffic coming, or whether there’s a crosswalk or not?
User Detail :Name : Jim-S, Gender : M, City : Mt. Clemens, State : MI Country : United States, August 30, 2001 at 12:00 am #27493
that’s city behavior, not specificly black behavior. when my dad (who grew up in hartford and later new york) first took me to the city, one of the first things he taught me was how to walk between the lights. cars don’t belong in the city anyway.
User Detail :Name : justin26887, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, City : chicago, State : IL Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, September 1, 2001 at 12:00 am #41528
I know what you’re talking about I’ve seen a number of young blacks walk out into traffic like they own the street. It seems that they even walk slower to make cars slow down. I don’t know what their problem is. I myself am a young black man from the city and I always make sure traffic is clear before I walk. I don’t like to stand in the middle of the street waiting to cross. Most of the young blacks I know do the same. So its not all of us just a few.
User Detail :Name : Mike20445, Gender : M, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 19, City : Detroit, State : MI Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, September 2, 2001 at 12:00 am #23071
I could easily ask why people other than black people always generalize and associate the actions of a few black people they see with the entire race. However, that’s wrong, just as your actions are. I am a young black male living in ‘the city,’ and you’ve already told me that I think it’s perfectly OK to cross a busy street, no matter what. As I said, you’re wrong about me, and countless other people like me. I wouldn’t ask why whites (or any other group of people) make racist generalizations all the time, because I know that not all of them do. Just because you see a handful of people do something does not mean everyone who happens to look like that person does it. That’s how this whole concept of superiority comes around in the first place. People stereotype others too much, and it gets them into trouble.
User Detail :Name : Tha-Real-Deal24734, Gender : M, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 21, City : P-town, State : IL Country : United States, September 5, 2001 at 12:00 am #19091
There is no way for you to know that the people you may have observed feel it is ‘perfectly safe and OK’ to cross traffic as you described, and it is certainly not unique to blacks in similar contexts (check out Istanbul or Rome). People develop a level of comfort in maneuvering in their home space that outsiders are unlikely to have or to appreciate. They live there, remember? The surbanite’s much less challenging environment allows him to simply walk out of his front door and across a cul de sac which becomes an extension of his home space. They are busy thorofares which are extensions of the urbanite’s home space. To negotiate this space as efficiently as the suburbanite negotiates his may require a boldness and acumen not required of and therefore stunning to surburban outsiders.
User Detail :Name : Floyd L., Gender : M, Age : 59, City : Memphis, State : TN Country : United States, September 5, 2001 at 12:00 am #19494
The idea of Y? Forum, as I understand it, is to be able to ask simple, straightforward questions and get simple, straightforward answers. If you’re going to answer any and every question that starts with ‘Why does it seem that most people of X persuasion…’ with a lecture on the evils of stereotyping, then your contributions aren’t particularly meaningfull or useful. We all know stereotyping is a crutch for lazy minds. The original poster simply saw a pattern of behavior that seemed to be exclusive to blacks, and instead of holding that stereotype, he decided to come to this site and ask if said behavior is indeed culturally exclusive to blacks. He didn’t ask anything deliberately antagonistic, like ‘Why do blacks all eat watermelon’ or anything offensively ignorant like, ‘Why do blacks all shoot each other and have babies they can’t take care of’. He asked about crossing the street between the lights. I had no idea crossing the street was such a hot-button issue.
User Detail :Name : Justin26892, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, City : Chicago, State : IL Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, September 5, 2001 at 12:00 am #34504
I have noticed this, too, among SOME black youths (and possibly others as well) and am puzzled as to why anyone would rush into oncoming traffic. I have tried to deconstruct this behavior and can only come to two conclusions (besides sheer stupidity): either it gives an adrenaline rush that crossing the street safely would not afford, or it is a generalized nihilism toward society. I do NOT think it is an attempt to ‘get over’ on whites – after all, could they really be thinking ‘all those people coming toward me are white, so I’ll torment them by running into the traffic’? I don’t think so.
User Detail :Name : Augustine23408, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 40, City : Columbia, State : SC Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, September 5, 2001 at 12:00 am #47010
I work and live in a major city, and after reading your question, I decided to test it out for an hour or so. As I stood on several street corners, I looked to see who crossed against the light. I was able to disprove your theory (at least in this city). There was about an equal number of all races, males and females, who crossed in traffic. The only people I didn’t see doing it were the elderly.
User Detail :Name : Sophia, Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, Age : 27, City : Chicago, State : IL Country : United States, Occupation : Administrative Assistant, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, September 6, 2001 at 12:00 am #36118
This one crosses all of the ethnic/gender lines. I live in a very diverse neighborhood in Dallas. The streets are busy with cars that are well above the speed limit, and red lights aren’t exactly respected. But with all that, I still regularly observe folks stepping into the crosswalk against the light. They end up getting honked at, dodging traffic and taking great risks. I don’t get it – except for knowing about a lot of Dallas folks feelings that the world is supposed to ‘…know who I am…’ and wait on them. This same behavior is apparent on the freeways in the lack of signal light usage, running lights/stop signs, etc. Dallas is by far worse than cities I’ve visited on the west coast. It might be more of a geographic thing than an ethnic/gender thing, in my opinion.
User Detail :Name : Mark Bentley, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : UFMCC - Cathedral of Hope, Age : 39, City : Dallas, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : Financial analyst, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, September 6, 2001 at 12:00 am #42652
Jaywalking isn’t a race thing. I was hanging around with a Japanese female friend yesterday and when she had to go she just hit the street (8 lane thoroughfare at that) and hoofed it across like a bat out of heck, dodging this one car by about 2 feet. She jaywalks like a pro! Some people just don’t want to wait for the light because it takes forever, and sometimes if you time it just right you can get across with the greatest of ease and shave up to 2 minutes off of your path. Not that I avidly jaywalk these days, but I’m quite versed in the art of it.
User Detail :Name : Dan27192, Gender : M, Race : Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Religion : Pentecostal, Age : 22, City : L.A., State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, October 9, 2001 at 12:00 am #39425
Key word: ‘young.’ You attribute it to blacks because you may drive through an area that is predominantly African American, or you may just notice it more when black kids do it vs. other kids. I’ve noticed kids dodging traffic to catch the city bus because bus drivers will not wait for them to cross safely at the light. My city has a lot of immigrant Latinos, and people ask much the same question about them. Again, key word: ‘immigrant.’ In Britain, I almost killed myself because I kept looking the wrong way for oncoming traffic. I wonder what they have to say about Americans crossing the street?
User Detail :Name : Misho20491, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 36, City : Las Vegas, State : NV Country : United States, Occupation : Analyst, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, October 11, 2001 at 12:00 am #19433
I guess I should start running into trafic, unless I’m too old. Anyway, here in Seattle (not near, but IN the city), during the summer there was a giant flap caused when a group of young ASIAN people were stopped by two police officers for jaywalking. In the end, they recieved an offical apology from the mayor and the police chief for some things the officers had said, but that’s another story. The point is that you can’t pin any one action on one group of people. Lots of people do it, but you’re seeing who you want to see doing it. open your eyes AND your mind, then look again.
User Detail :Name : Nathan20110, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Age : 32, City : Seattle, State : WA Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower class, February 2, 2002 at 12:00 am #34144
I think that it has nothing to do with race, but more to do with who lives in a particular area. I’m originally from Detroit, and the people who do that tend to be the majority of whoever lives in the area. If it’s in the city, it’s blacks, but if it’s in the suburbs, it’s whites. But I never saw it all that often, especially blacks. Most blacks I know do know better than to challenge a moving vehicle. I go to school in Ohio, and in the city as well as on campus, I see this a lot, much more than I had seen it in Michigan. However, 99.9% of the time it was young white people. Now I’m wondering, why do young white people do this?
User Detail :Name : Jessi-J, Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 20, City : Columbus, State : OH Country : United States, Occupation : College Student, Education level : 2 Years of College, February 20, 2002 at 12:00 am #36108
I think I know the phenomenon you are asking about, and I don’t think you mean a business person rushing to catch a bus. There are streets in Chicago near impoverished areas and housing projects where people amble across without looking, completely oblivious to any vehicle. As to the ‘why’ this happens, I can only say that I have had days where I am so sad/mad/frustrated/angry with the world that I have sort of taken on a momentary attitude of ‘everyone had better just make way for me because my life is so terrible now, I don’t have the energy to look out for anyone else’. This may seem simplistic, but I think it’s like that every single day for some people. When you feel cheated and ostracized by the world, it is easy to have a bit of a ‘F everybody else’ attitude. An easy way to express this attitude is to cross the street in the middle of traffic because you know no one will really run you over – they’ll just have to stop and wait for you, which is probably the kind of acknowledgement and recognition needed by the people you are seeing. If they seem to be predominantl black youth, I would bet that they are not the black kids who are going home to loving, attentive families who ask how their day was, but instead are kids struggling with gangs, peer pressure, no support from home, poverty, and the constant lure of drugs and alcohol. All they want is for someone to stop and take notice of THEM for a change…and their actions perfectly reflect that desire. I’m not advocating this behavior – it’s selfish and unsafe – but I’m saying that you may want to consider this…how miserable must a person be if they are resorting to walking out in traffic to be noticed or considered? Maybe the only ‘polite’ thing that happened to them all day was you not running them over!
User Detail :Name : Jennifer, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 30, City : Chicago, State : IL Country : United States, Occupation : Accountant, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, March 1, 2002 at 12:00 am #25772
Go to any college campus that is predominately white and you will ask yourself the same question about the young white people. I agree w/ the comments that say to notice that they are ‘young’. Maybe young traffic daredevils – of any race – still feel that sense of invincibility that you lose as you age and learn that you will not live forever after all. A small child doesn’t chase his ball into oncoming traffic based on its race. It’s just a young, foolish child.
User Detail :Name : C19198, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 35, City : B, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : Computers, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class,
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