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  •  My marriage is mixed black and white. (5+ / 0-)

    We have been together for the last 23 years, have a family, travel a lot around the states. Her family is Louisiana Acadian creole. Lake Charles, Iowa, out toward Cameron, Lafayette, New Iberia, NOLA.

    I'm from rural Massachusetts. Ancestry is Eurasian mutt.

    Over the years we have encountered very little overt racism. Very little. More in the Northeast by far than in the South. I attribute that less to a paucity of racist in the South and more to the density of the Northeast.

    What overt racism we have encountered has mostly been along the lines of a very harsh comment, a party of hard stares with potential for confrontation. Being discriminated against while trying to rent an apartment in Houston comes to mind.

    One time, however, in Lake Charles, we were refused service in a small bakery cafe in an old section off Downtown (such as it is). It is a popular family place, serves both blacks and whites during daytime hours. At night it turned white and we didn't know it.

    We showed up around 6 and from the moment we walked in we knew something was wrong. People visibly stiffened and looked hostile. Everyone stared at us. We approached the counter and a manager came out from the back. She apologized in a sincere but efficient manner, telling us it was a private party and we had to leave. We didn't argue, we left. We knew what was up. And we knew there wasn't shit we could do  about it.

    We did go back the next morning to get coffee and pastries. There was different person there, didn't have any idea about the night before. She was polite, took our order, and in conversation we asked how much it cost to rent the place for a private party on a Friday evening.

    The counterperson was surprised, had never heard of that happening. And then she kinda looked funny and asked if we had tried to eat there the night before. I guess I blushed because she became very apologetic, very sorry, saying "Aw, honey, don'chall know it turns white at night? I'm so sorry that happened I figured y'all would have known".

    And that was that. We were 25, kinda just said fuck it and left it alone. We never went back, obviously, but that's just Lake Charles where the racism is institutionalized but very few really, truly hate one another with the vehemence and darkness of someone like the white customer who felt "threatened"by a jovial party of 25.

    Now, I have been threatened by a large party of black people before, actually threatened, and it was racial and I truly was afraid I was going to be killed. I was also likely the only white man on that side of the tracks that night (as it ever is when we visit Lake Charles) and I was DEFINITELY the only white man on that cul-de-sac. I went to visit my in-laws husbands family, who comes from a drug family. Hard family. They didn't know who I was or why I was pulling up, but to them it just wan't right. That was my bad. I should have called first. I never made that mistake twice.

    The place was utterly dark—the oubliette, as I suppose, of their accursed convent.

    by bastrop on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:15:38 PM PDT

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