Friday, July 17, 2009


I've been working to solve a glitch in my unemployment for the last few weeks. I stopped receiving checks at the end of May for no apparent reason. I don't qualify for unemployment from mid June until mid August, but missing those two weeks made things even tighter than they have been. So you can understand how psyched I was when I noticed that the mail had come this morning, which is much earlier than normal, AND my unemployment check was sitting there.

To celebrate, I took my daughters out to breakfast. As we were eating, I noticed through the window that a van had just pulled up outside. Several teenagers and a few younger kids emerged from the van with a couple adults. One of the teenagers had these huge headphones on, and he was doing some really crazy dancing out in the parking lot while waiting for the rest of his group. It was noteworthy enough that I pointed him out to the girls.

I had been half listening to this conversation behind me involving a mother and her three teenagers, who were tourists and were trying to decide how they were going to spend their day. The family behind me was white. The group that came in the van was black. After hearing the mom behind me remark on the dancing, I suddenly heard her say to keep an eye on him because he was apparently next to her car just in case he was a distraction while her car was being broken into. I glanced back at the kid. He was a really expressive dancer but didn't look like he was in the middle of commiting a crime.

As we left the restaurant and walked to the car, we passed the van and it was obvious by the stickers that it was a van owned by a church. The dancing teenager was part of a church group. Now I know that being religious doesn't equate to being law abiding. But of course neither does being black equate to being criminal. Still a little work to be done around racism in this country.

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