So, I’m walking out of my place, headphones on, destination set, eyes forward, when out of the corner of my eye, there’s a guy decently well-dressed smoking a cigarette. He says something to me that I can’t hear due to the headphones, but unlike how I usually am when random people start talking to me, I pull out one of the ear buds and ask him what he was saying, which was, “Hey man, give me a dollar.” to which I reply, “No.”

This of course pisses him off for some reason and for some reason, he decides to say, “Come on, I’ll pay you back.” I think, yeah, sure and I’ll shoot a film some day. Let me give me my address and phone number so we can reschedule repayment. No, I don’t think so and I continue to ignore him and listen to my music while I wait for the light to change.

Apparently this panhandler went to one of the more aggressive schools of ass-paining and he keeps talking to me. At some point, he finally realizes that I truly can’t hear him and he yells, “What, you don’t like black people?!!” This has gotta be one of the dumber things anyone of any walk of life can say. What is he expecting my response to be? My guess is either, “No, no I don’t. I’m sorry, here’s a dollar. My apologies for assuming that you were black and that I might not like you.” or “Yes, yes, I hate blacks. I hate Asian people, Mexicans, Indians, Africans, Germans, and in fact humanity at large. I hate myself soooo much for being a person and being comprised of everything that is unholy and ungood in the world. Here’s a dollar.”

Obviously, I manage to pay my rent each month by being a bit smarter than that and didn’t want to get into it with him. I just looked back at him and said, “No, I don’t like being asked for money.” He said something I couldn’t hear and keep jabbering on as my light changed and I walked off. What an idiot.

This kind of thing happens all the time to a friend of mine who is a CHP. He’ll pull over a guy on the Bay Bridge who is speeding and the guy will say, “You’re just picking on my because I’m black.” and he’ll always say, “No, it’s because you were doing X miles and hour, which is Y number of miles above the speed limit.” “No, screw that. It’s because I’m black.” “No, and in fact, I’ll write up the ticket for Z amount of miles so that it’s an infraction, not a misdemeanor so it will cost you less and not go on your record.” “Fuck you.” “Sir, I can write it for the full amount you were speeding. Please just take the ticket and stop accusing me of things I’m not doing, since I can’t tell what color your skin is from my patrol car, just like you couldn’t tell that there was my patrol car behind you for the last five miles as you were doing X miles an hour.”

That usually ends the conversion, but at some point, some of these guys (and it’s not just black, there are plenty of people of all races) will need to realize that they’re doing stupid/illegal/backwards things that are not acceptable and they really and truly only have themselves to blame for the consequences or penalties that come their way. Own up.