April 2, 2006

That’s MaDAMN Forewoman to you!

Warning: Brain Dump ahead, expect long reading times.

Baltimore’s extreme inefficiency strikes again
After rushing into jury duty late at 10:10 AM, I should not have been surprised that we sat in the jury room for another 2 hours and 20 minutes while they ‘finished up’ some other cases. That they didn’t know about at 6 pm the night before??!!

Damn Korean shopkeepers
In that 2-hour time slot we did a lot of chatting and laughing. The jury was mostly black women, three white women, two black men, and two white men. For a while TV shows, specifically soap operas and American Idol provided a common ground for most. Then someone brought up crimes experienced and we were off. One woman, Short-and-Sassy, relayed this story:

“I was at the neighborhood store. While I was in there I saw two guys start putting on masks. I said ‘oh no I am NOT going to be part of this’ and I started easing toward the door. One of those boys put a gun up TO my temple and said, ‘Where you goin’, bitch? Get back in the store.’ So they started robbing everyone in the store and those Damn Koreans just stood up there behind their glass and did NOTHING. I gave them my money and cards. Then I saw some man start arguing that he wasn’t going to give up his cheap ass watch and I said that’s it. I eased out the door and ran down the street to find a police officer. I brought him back and by the time we got back wasn’t nobody there. So then what? Them Koreans said they weren’t going to get involved! So I had to go to the station and try to identify those boys.”

Which set off a series of short diatribes about how Korean shopkeepers get liquor licenses before black folk and how wrong that was. They quickly moved on to how blacks need to support each other by shopping in each other’s stores. “The Chinese all go to each other’s stores. We need to stick together more.” I had no idea what to say in the midst of all the Asian prejudice. The sad truth is that it’s what they experienced so really, what could I say? They aren’t all like that? They would agree on the surface, but nothing deeper would change. Jrex said I should mention that my FIL had been held up by black folk, did that mean they would do something like that? Too bad he wasn’t there.


weigook saram said...

There's a lot of tension between the black and Korean communities here. I think there's blame on both sides.

I feel like a "spy" sometimes because people will say really racist things about Asians without even thinking. The comments about small business owners really get to me because my FIL was a small business owner. (He was also held up.)

snickollet said...

Ugh. It makes me angry to read about stuff like this, but at the same time, I agree that there is enough blame to go around. GH's parents are some of the most racist people I've ever met. My mother-in-law has given me countless lectures on the non-Korean Asians and all their flaws, and just last night my father-in-law was going off on Jewish people. My sister-in-law dated a black guy for a while and was practically disowned. Being with GH has made me more aware of subtle issues of racism that he's dealt with his whole life, things that I didn't notice at first but that become more clear the longer we're together.

Love the title of this post.

jackie said...

my partner deals with tensions between black and immigrant communities as part of his job, and it's just a big problem in most urban areas too.

i found you through jo(e)'s blog and came because i'm in baltimore too. nice to blog-meet you!