A simple choice

July 19, 2013 in Misc · 7 comments

Which of these men would you rather encounter in an alley late at night … and why?

Black or White?

7 comments… read them below or add one

R.A. July 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm

This is a good post. Though you know what’s interesting? I am no more comfortable with a strange white man in an alley at night than I am with a strange black man. As a woman, unfortunately, I’m afraid that my prejudices run toward being equally afraid of any man I encounter in an alley at night. White men are rapists, too.


Dan July 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Good point. So…if it’s perhaps ok (even wise?) to sometimes discriminate based on gender…can the same also hold true for racial discrimination?


allegro63 July 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Yeah, its partially gender based discrimination, but its also a situational issue. , Considering that women are far more likely to be attacked in an alley at night than a man, be it to rob me, or to rape me, being leery is something we should never fail to take seriously. That we live in a world, where a woman has to prepare to leave her place of employment and be aware of her surroundings until she gets into her car, and then into her house. Sometimes even home isn’t safe, as there’s relationships tinged in violence, too many..

In all honestly, if I met these two gentlemen, I’d be more suspicious of the one with the sweater than the black jacket. There is something about their facial expressions.and stances, that has me deem the one in the black jacket appear less threatening. Its hard to explain why..

But to answer the question, the color of one’s skin, their attire, or financial situations, does not make one more or less a threat, a criminal, a rapist, Some people are just prone to violence, most are not.


Dan July 19, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Of course situation is everything…whenever we reduce our way of evaluating these things to simple binary choices (black and white!), we’re rejecting all sorts of other valuable information that is far more relevant than skin color.


allegro63 July 21, 2013 at 7:36 am

I totally agree. Surface appearances are often poor markers of behaviour, mindset or intent.


Ford1968 July 20, 2013 at 6:19 am

I’ve lived in New York for 14 years. I’ve developed a spidy-sense. I’m probably too leery and not leery enough of everyone.

To your point, I definitely had a race-based reaction to your pic. I was thinking if s**t goes down in an alley, I’d want to be with the black guy. Scrawny sweater boy doesn’t look like he could have my back. But who knows, maybe he’s a Kung Fu master and I’ve unfairly judged him.


Dan July 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm

“spidy-sense”: this is what Malcolm Gladwell writes about in “Blink” — our ability to unconsciously process all sort of information and react accordingly.


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