Thursday, June 25, 2009


On Monday, as it drizzled as in a scene from Dickens, I waited under the cover for the 15 Bus at Dudley and Magnolia Streets. After about 20 soggy minutes with no bus, I got frustrated and took out a file to review.

As I did, I noticed three young men approaching the bus covering. One had an adolescent Pit Bull mix on a leash. The dog walked by the four others before me, none of whom were white, none of whom were in a suit, and didn't care to notice.

As it approached me, it abruptly lurched at me and started growling. I flinched back as the man yanked hard on the leash. As the three walked on, I heard the one with the leash say aggressively, relishing that I was still within earshot, "Good boy! Good boy! Go get 'em."

Later that day, still sorting feelings of anger and sadness, I went to lunch in Dudley Square. I walked by a constructions site near the sidewalk on Washington Street. There, operating the machinery and tools, doing all of the digging and other labor, were six men, all of whom were white.

Later that afternoon, as I waited for the 15 at Greenville and Dudley, a fire engine pulled out of the firehouse in Dudley Square and zoomed past me. As I peered in, though I can't be totally sure because it was moving quickly, I am nearly certain I saw four firemen, all white.

As I saw all of this, walking through neighborhoods and riding buses where I am often the only white person, I started to think about the young man with the dog earlier that day. My anger was becoming harder to justify.

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