Monday, November 19, 2007

Practicality & Prejudice

It's that time of year, again. The weather's transitioning from warm to chilly and from chilly to witch's titty.

This is hard on a bald head, so as in years past, I've taken to wearing skull caps. Along with that comes the looks from people wondering if I'm full of malt liquor and/or ready to snatch and grab purses and cash registers.

On top of that, we just moved so life is moving toward stabilization, not quite there, yet. (This is also a big factor in my recent absence - sorry Liz.) When I move I don't worry about shaving my head of face, so I'm sporting a pretty thick beard, right about now.

For anybody who needs help with the math,...

Beard + Skull cap + Black man = Purse clutching + Increased surveillance.

I've gotten more suspicious looks in the past few weeks than in the last six months or more. I complain about this crap every year, so I'm sure this is no surprise to some of you.

For what it's worth, I think this type of reaction is due to one part prejudice and one part practicality, but when you're on the receiving end - and innocent - it makes the Winter that much colder.


Liz said...

So you're fitting the description even when you're just trying to keep warm. Good grief! What are you supposed to do? Keep a permanent smile on your face so folks think you're less menacing.

Get one of those newspaper boy caps instead. That's why my husband wears.

B. Good said...

LOL @ witch's titty. It sho is brick cold out here.

I've been lookin a lil more life threatening myself lately. Oh well. Better than having my life threatened by the cold.

Congrats on the move!

West said...


For what it's worth, I've been surprised to find that, the more clutched purses I notice from one segment of the population, the more smiles I find myself getting from another segment.

I don't know if a fuller beard gives me a more relatable appearance or if I appear a bit more rugged (and maybe attractive) to some, but Black folks - women, especially - have responded to me somewhat differently recently.

I'm even talking about women who barely seemed to notice me, before.