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joycemocha on November 25th, 2010 12:30 am (UTC)
I love that second post. The first one is good, don't get me wrong. But it is clear to me that it is written with the passion and fire of youth, and it just doesn't click any more.

The second post, though, brings home the bacon so sharply and so clearly, with her accounts of grandmother and friend, that it made me think about my own past, and whether I had ever done something like that while growing up (unlikely for two reasons--one, as an outcast myself, I didn't tend to demonize others in play and two--I really, really grew up in a whitebread world where I only now realize that some of my classmates were Jewish, Latino and Native American. Really whitebread. Like, say, I could count the number of African-American classmates on the fingers of one hand and have fingers left over. But Jewish? Latino? Native American? More than two hands' worth. Not by much, but still....).

I didn't remember any such incidents, but I do remember being stupid my first time alone in Portland, and staring rudely at a group of African-American kids, and getting called on it. I was fascinated but I was not behaving appropriately for the location or situation, and ended up getting a gunky straw thrown at my face as a result.

Fortunately, I figured it out pretty quickly when I moved from college town to a very, very small rural town and having to learn new street behaviors, then several months later moving to Portland, and having to learn big city street behaviors all over again. The quick change in contrast made me realize that it was about my behavior, and I've paid attention to modifying my street behavior to be appropriate for the setting ever since.