Despite being an asshole who is ashamed to say that I have poured beer on women, cursed out members of the clergy, and because I thought it was funny I threw money on a woman's dresser post coitus after she sobbingly told me about her horrific past when she was an escort, for the most part I feel that I have been sensitive to people's plight and have had a pretty open mind. When my sister started dating what would eventually be her husband, a white man, I remember being the only one who embraced my sister's happiness with open arms.(But really, how could I give her shit about dating a white guy when my hobbies at that time were masturbating to Sheena Easton posters and skateboarding. IN THAT ORDER) When my cousin came out of the closet and informed the family that he was gay a few years ago, I didn't shun him, I let him know that it didn't matter what his sexual preference was.(Granted, him coming out of the closet wasn't a shocker. As a kid he jumped double dutch, wore my aunt's dresses, and had the most feminine throwing motion while tossing a football ever.)
So despite my history of progressive thought and open mindedness, there are a few people, based on innocent mistakes made by yours truly, who currently think that I am the biggest piece of racist, insensitive shit known to man. It's one thing to be characterized as a pre-ejaculating asshole with an anger problem because lets face it, I'm a pre-ejaculating asshole with anger problems. But to be thought of as racist, racially insensitive, or being insensitive to people who are handicapable is too much for me to let go undefended. Here is my story and I am sticking to it.
Randy:(Handicapable) Randy is a dude who I have known since college, a great guy who would do anything for a friend. What sticks out in my mind is how when I first met him he seemed like he was a pamphlet and a good lecture away from being a klansman, but a steady dose of Rakim and De La Soul had him lusting after black asses like a poor man's Robert DeNiro. Like most friendships post college, we lost touch but I never forgot about Randy and the great times that we had hanging out together. Then out of nowhere I got a message on my machine from Randy, telling me to meet him at a bar where we used to chase college ass at. When I got there, plans of reminiscing about chicks that we "ran through" and drunken vomit sessions were stopped dead in their tracks when I saw Randy, sitting in a wheel chair. It's weird, even though I'm sure Randy would have found it appropriate for me to ask him what happened immediately, I carried on a conversation for 15 minutes before he broke up the tension and said, "If you were wondering asshole, I got into a car accident where it paralyzed me from the waist down!!" I said, "Oh, that thing? I hardly.." That's when he punched me in the arm and said, "If you say that you 'hardly noticed' I'm going to tip myself over and say that the "violent black guy" pushed me over!!"
As the weeks passed and Randy got settled in the town that I call home, I learned that handicapable people don't want your pity or your help. When I asked him if he wanted me to help him in his car he said, "How do you think I get in my car normally you motherfucker??" My offers for assistance on several things were thwarted, but I understood though, he wanted to be treated like everyone else. The problem with that, because I live in a world of extremes where "nuance" isn't a word that I know too well, I stopped helping him with everything. Not because I was trying to be a dick, but because I figured he could do it himself. When we went somewhere with about a dozen stairs that wasn't handicap accessible, I walked in the building like it wasn't shit, realizing a few minutes later that he was still waiting outside. I took common courtesy for granted and mistakenly let doors hit his wheelchair after I passed through said doorways, I didn't even think about helping him as he struggled to push himself up a very steep hill at a park we were at. I wasn't trying to be mean, I just thought he wanted to do certain things on his own.
Apparently I was wrong, because he read me the riot act on the phone recently, telling me that he "didn't need two functioning limbs" to kick my ass. I know I should have told him that I didn't know what the thin line between "sympathy" and "help" was, I could have told him that I didn't mean any harm. But I did what I always do when I'm threatened, regardless who it is, I said some dumb shit that I regret. I said, "You can't beat my ass, not because you are in a wheelchair, but because my house isn't wheel chair accessible motherfucker!" *Click*
Ashley:(Asian American Woman) I have known this artsy-fartsy chick named Ashley for years, ever since I used to get high with her and her burn-out brother as we discussed authors that we like and our perception of their writings, some real elitist shit. Her burn-out brother that I mentioned, Mike, had to be the Asian embodiment of what a real life Shaggy(from Scooby-doo) would be like, constantly getting high and forever snacking. Fast Forward ten years, with me and Ashley losing contact and me assuming that her brother's final fate was that he was found in some alley somewhere, I saw Ashley at a friends art exhibit in town. We reminisced as I tried not to drool over the weight that she has gained, weight that had suited her well because now she has an ass and chest that she never had before. A few drinks and a couple of "lets fuck and make ourselves the next Tiger Woods" later, she tells me that her brother Mike has become a veterinarian. She went on and on about her brother changing his life, and joking that her parents can now be proud because he is a "respectable Asian". So me, innocently thinking about the times that Mike and I got so high that we contemplated drinking the bong water said, "Damn, Mike, an Asian Veterinarian!!! An Asian Veterinarian!! Wow!", because of how far he had become. But unfortunately, this is what Ashely heard from Humanity F. Critic: "Wow!! Mike an Asian "That's weird because don't Asian people eat dogs?" Veterinarian!! That's some funny shit!!" So in the middle of a room of people who were trying to discuss art in very subdued tones, she belted out "You are a fucking asshole!!"
Maritza:(Latin Woman) I used to have a good friend named Raul who was one of those cooks at a Japanese Steak house, you know the dudes who flip their knives around while they cook like they are a culinary version of Tom Cruise's character in "Cocktail". Besides my Latin friend being a master with the cooking utensils, he was also a master at making fake tickets, passes, whatever would get you successfully in a concert, he could duplicate anything. Not based on stereotypes but based on how he would always duplicate a green laminated pass that we needed to get into one of our favorite spots, people started calling him "green card".
That being said, I was taking this beautiful woman named Maritza out on a night on the town, going to an album release party that my friend was throwing, with the night hopefully ending up with me clumsily humping on top of her later. Anyway, during the listening party I catch up with my old friend Raul as he is having a playful argument with a guy that we are both cool with. I greet my old friend in the middle of their spirited back and forth, and as Raul excuses himself to go to the bathroom, I pulled the stereotype double whammy based on Maritza not knowing our history of inside jokes. I told my other friend, "You better watch out, Green card is likely to go and stab your ass!!" Innocent enough based on what I told you previously, but to Maritza it not only sounded like I stereotypically questioned my friend's citizenship, but perpetuated the whole "Latin's with knives" myth. Despite my explaining, lets just say that I didn't get to know Maritza "biblically" that night.