Saturday, May 20, 2017

White Guy Problems | Blue Cereal Education

White Guy Problems | Blue Cereal Education:

White Guy Problems

Typical Suburban Neighborhood
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My wife and I live in a non-descript middle class suburban neighborhood. It’s more white than not, but there are a half-dozen families of color up and down the block, including a Hispanic couple and their kids two doors down and across the street. We haven’t socialized, but we wave from time to time. You know how it is with neighbors.
I hate mowing. I long for random teenagers to show up wanting to mow my lawn. YES! Oh my god yes – money is no object, son. Cut like the wind! Several years ago, I simply walked down the block to where a kid was mowing and asked if he wanted to come do mine for $20 as well. That was a great summer! Now that it’s Spring once again, I’ve been keeping my eye out for this season’s entrepreneurial youth...
I noticed a young man – a teenager, I think – mowing the lawn at the Hispanic house I mentioned. Excellent! I wonder if he’d be interest—
I stopped.
I’d started to walk over and ask if he wanted to mow my lawn. Then it hit me – he’s Mexican, or something. I was immediately gripped with the conviction that no matter how carefully I tried to phrase it, my “real” question would be clear: “Hey, I notice you’re Mexican – kay posse? You mow my lawnito?”
I had actual panic in my stomach, despite having never left my driveway. I was almost a racist! My brain took an impatient tone (I’d swear it sighed at me internally) and told me how ridiculous I was being. I just wanted someone to mow. Like he was doing right that minute, probably without even thinking about race. Logically, my course was clear.
But… I’ve been mowing my own lawn so far this season. I tell myself it’s about staying in shape. I’m not buying that, of course, but I try not to think about it too much.
There are words and phrases I’ve used for decades which are obvious leftovers from White Guy Problems | Blue Cereal Education:

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