- July 29, 2002 at 12:00 am #2294
I love the cinema and go very often. Twice recently I had fidgety, noisy people kicking the back of my chair (accidently but through the entire film), and I discovered both times that they were black teenagers. If I go to a movie now, I avoid sitting in front of black teenagers. Does this make me evil or racist?
User Detail :Name : A.K., Gender : F, Age : 25, City : Los Angeles, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Whatever, August 2, 2002 at 12:00 am #30718
You are not a racist. I would call you ignorant or a stereotypist. You choose to pick the black out of the ‘black teenagers.’ I would just avoid sitting around teenagers. It might work, might not.
User Detail :Name : Daimon, City : Silver Spring, State : MD Country : United States, August 2, 2002 at 12:00 am #39720
Two incidents are enough to make you condemn all of the three million or so black teenagers? Yep, that makes you prejudiced. Chances are, though, that something in the way you were raised is making you more inclined to judge a whole ethnicity as guilty based on such slim evidence, rather than conscious prejudice. I’ve had jerks of all descriptions ruin movies for me: drunken white frat boys, loud rednecks who thought every serious scene in a movie was time to start guffawing, and people of every background who can’t shut the hell up because they act like they are in their living rooms and carry on conversations the whole movie. Blame VCRs for that last one, because people my age and older don’t pull that. The noise and rudeness are the main reasons I won’t go to a movie unless it’s some foreign or independent film I might have trouble finding to rent when it goes to video. People in general are much worse at theaters. In fact, if it’s only been these two incidents in in the 25 years you’ve been alive, count yourself luckier than most. Also, try counting up the many times someone black did NOT kick your seat. I’ll bet it numbers far more than two.
User Detail :Name : ACC25111, Gender : M, Race : Mexican and American Indian, Age : 36, City : Phoenix, State : AZ Country : United States, August 2, 2002 at 12:00 am #44342
Does it make you racist? Using the general definition of the word, yes. You are using racial prejudice to guide your behavior. However, regarding your own pleasure and happiness, perhaps this isn’t the wrong road to take. I often view movies in a black-dominated theater and have actually come to blows once or twice over the same problem you seem to be facing. I believe it’s an unavoidable stereotype but one that, in the larger scheme of things, isn’t very harmful.
User Detail :Name : Seamus28257, Gender : M, City : Charlestown, State : MA Country : United States, August 2, 2002 at 12:00 am #45156
I can understand your frustration. Just today on the train there were two teenagers behind me with their knees up on the back of my seat, bumping me in the back. I turned around to politely ask them to stop, but felt very uncomfortable and decided not to. They were white, and I didn’t feel comfortable saying anything to them. There have been plenty of times when young black kids were making too much noise, and I, in a motherly way, asked them to stop. Each time they stopped, and most of the time apologized. It’s all about how you approach them. Maybe the young white boys would have simply stopped if I had asked them to, but I’ll never know.
I don’t think rudeness is discriminatory. I do, however, feel that the younger generation is a lot more disrespectful than ours (regardless of color). I don’t think it makes you evil or even racist to avoid sitting in front of black teenagers, but you are making a judgment about all blacks because of your experience with a few. Even though you’re not the first person to do so (myself included), it’s not right.
User Detail :Name : Finesse, Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, Age : 29, City : Pittsburgh, State : PA Country : United States, August 3, 2002 at 12:00 am #17944
It’s really funny that you’ve had this experience & formed this opinion. I’ve had the same experiences & formed the same opinion….in a way: Everytime I sit in front of White teenagers, the same thing has happened. So I’ve decided not to sit in front of them at the movies. I honestly thought that this behavior was a ‘White’ thing and came to the conclusion that White teenagers are no longer being taught manners at home, but after reading your question-I’ll admit that it may be a ‘teenager’ thing rather than a ‘white’ or ‘black’ thing.
User Detail :Name : Julie, Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, Age : 31, City : Woodbridge, State : VA Country : United States, Occupation : Event Planning, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, August 3, 2002 at 12:00 am #47296
It does not make you a racist,it makes you a realist.I doubt that some one would be so dumb as not to realize that they were kicking the back of someone elses chair. They knew what they were doing and they accomplished what they intended. People behave like they were raised to behave. If you are not taught any better, you know no better.If pointing out rude behavior in someone of another race is now considered racism,put me down as a racist.
User Detail :Name : William, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Methodist, Age : 39, City : Columbia, State : SC Country : United States, Occupation : Sales, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, August 19, 2002 at 12:00 am #36175
I don’t know if you do other things like you say here, but if you do, then I’d say yes, you are a racist. Anytime you take the actions of a few and make a sweeping judgment about an entire group of people, you are racist, in my opinion. I’ve gone to the movies, too, and had people talk or kick the back of my seat. Each time those people were white, most of the time white teens. I do not avoid just white teens at the movies, I avoid ALL teens. I also avoid people who chomp their popcorn loudly or slurp their sodas, or children who will cry and complain through the whole film. One time I turned and asked a couple of white teens to stop talking through the movie. They only lowered their voices but didn’t stop talking. I’m not condemning all white teens because of those two who annoyed me. If you allow yourself to change all your behavior and expect the worst from all black teens just because a few have annoyed you, you are a racist, or at least you are stereotyping.
User Detail :Name : Sheri R., Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, Age : 41, City : san francisco, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : writer, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, November 28, 2002 at 12:00 am #25290
Responding to Sheri’s message. Sheri, you claimed, and I quote, ‘I don’t know if you do other things like you say here, but if you do, then I’d say yes, you are a racist. Anytime you take the actions of a few and make a sweeping judgment about an entire group of people, you are racist, in my opinion.’ It is concluded that you are against racism, and prejudice in general. So, in order to avoid doing just that, you said ‘I do not avoid just white teens at the movies, I avoid ALL teens’. Well, wasn’t taking the actions of a few and making a sweeping judgment about an entire group of people exactly what you did when you decided to avoid ALL teens? You have taken the actions of a few teens, and since then decided to avoid sitting near all teens. Well, by doing that, you have still made an assumption that ALL teens behaved in that way, and therefore decided to stay away from them at the movies. It sure does not guarantee that any teen at the movies will be loud or disturbing, however, you have had some unpleasant experiences involving teens, and so you try to avoid having these experiences again by avoiding teens at the movies. Personally, I have always been a very quiet and polite person who was always willing, and did, avoid from getting into trouble. But if you saw me at the movies when I was ounger, you would still avoid sitting next to me. Please not that I’m NOT trying to point fingers/blame/judge anyone’s behaviour or choices. I’m really not. What I am trying to say, is that human beings are a product of habbits and prior experience. If you take your kid to the dentist and have them going through a somewhat painful procedure, the next time you even mention the dentist, they will be at least somewhat scared, even if you just need them to have their teeth checked on a regular basis. We always try to avoid bad things that look like they have something in common. This is just the way we are. I’m not justifying these assumptions, I’m not criticizing anyone’s actions, I’m just trying to point out that these actions are all based on prior experience, and while it may not be the perfect thing to do or to assume, and while it is probably not the idea of a perfect world and society, it will always exist, even if we don’t admit it.
User Detail :Name : Natalie20262, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 18, City : Toronto, State : NA Country : Canada, Occupation : Student, Social class : Middle class, December 24, 2002 at 12:00 am #18310
racist NO you are not.That is Crazy. You might want to give it another try. But you are not saying bad things about them You just Choose not to sit by them. CHOICE is one thing we have here. YOUR OWN CHOICE. IF you learn every time you sit behind some black kid that he or she is loud, then its fine not to sit buy them. ( Just like large groups of white 12yr olds) that I try not to sit by. Your just fine man
User Detail :Name : Miller20457, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 22, City : KC, State : MO Country : United States, Occupation : IT, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, January 29, 2003 at 12:00 am #30635
No you are not racist you have just learned something. How many times do you have to get shocked before you stop sticking your finger in a light socket. It is pretty much well known that SOME black youths consider it sport to annoy white people. It may be a racial issue but it is not racist. I would consider you more ignorant if you continued to expose yourself to this treatment.
User Detail :Name : John T, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 32, City : Tulsa, State : OK Country : United States, Occupation : Electronics Technician, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, August 17, 2005 at 12:00 am #27591
Racist? No. Prejudiced? Probably. Evil? Hardly. You are using two incidents to prejudge the behavior of everyone who shares in their characteristics, not a desired trait in our culture. That you are asking here shows you have an open mind and are seeking input, a very desired trait in our culture. My advice: take every trip to the cinema one at a time, and sit where you please regardless of who’s sitting near you. If someone is being rude, you can then use that opportunity to move or contact the management. I generally try to sit away from EVERYBODY, regardless of race, age or class. I like my space.
User Detail :Name : Cheyenne, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 32, City : Denver, State : CO Country : United States, Occupation : airport shuttle driver, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Lower class,
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