|I have a different take on your friend who was upset at the "nigga-bitch-ho"
speak those young men used in the restaurant. As you noted in your article
it was loudly and clearly in order to offend the White Folks sitting around
Perhaps those young men were justified. I suspect that in their heart of
hearts they believe that all White Folks are alike and therefore a restaurant
full of complete strangers deserved it because of the color of their skin.
The lesson those white folks learned at that restaurant was not that all
Black Folk think alike, but that Black Folk think all White folk think alike
-- and are all racist. Why else would they deliberately offend a bunch of
Speaking as one of the White Folk, however, and as a man raising a beautiful
5-year-old black daughter, I would not be inclined to be "brotherly" (as you
recommended) towards any bunch of foul-mouthed racist white kids using
"nigga-bitch-ho" speak in order to upset a bunch of black people in some
I would be unable to ignore it and the discomfort and pain it would no doubt
cause, by assuring myself that all white folks aren't alike and therefore I
was off the hook for what those nasty mouthed white kids did. I would feel
no inner sense of glee at the discomfort the black patrons around me would be
feeling as they looked with their "fastball glances".
I, like your friend, would feel a sense of guilt and shame and (in this sense
unlike your friend) would chastise them, if for their nasty indifference to
my wife and my child if for nothing else.
The last thing I would do would be to go give them -- total white strangers
-- a "brotherly" high five and show my solidarity. To do so would reinforce
in all the black folk surrounding us the belief that "all White Folks are the
Frankly, your friend was right. I only wish he had gotten up and spoken to
-- Mike Patton