Monday, October 17, 2011


Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
-          - Buffalo Springfield

I have written before about the fear in this county.  However, it was brought to light again the other day for me.  I hired three young women to do a job that involved knocking on doors talking to people.  When they found they were going to be by themselves doing it, they balked and walked.  At first I didn’t understand what the problem was.  I do believe I talked about that when I interviewed them, but maybe they didn’t understand fully.  It turned out that they were fearful of going to a door by themselves, not just being in an area that was unfamiliar to them alone.

I could have been because their grandmother got into the situation.  I talked to them alone at first on two separate occasions and when they came in to start, she was with them.  She asked me about it and I told her that the first day they would be paired with someone to show them the ropes, and then eventually they would be by themselves.  That didn’t fly well with the grandmother at all.  The area that we were going into was kind of spread out and a fairly high-end area too, so the houses are kind of far apart.  I always send people out with a partner the first few times but eventually they are out there on their own.  None of the other people have had any problem, but their grandmother kept saying they had horrible experiences and walking the streets “in that area” alone was not a good thing.

Finally I understood what she was talking about, although it still didn’t make sense to me.  The three girls are African American and they would be going into a white area.  She called those areas racist and eventually the girls said they would not do it and left.  I was shocked.  There are other African American people on the team and they don't seem to have any problems, and have not had any issues with any of the areas they have gone into.  It also never occurred to me that there would be any problems like that because I guess I mistakenly thing that this kind of thing doesn’t happen any longer.  It is sad that in this day and age racism is so alive and kicking that three young women were afraid to be in a white area on their own.

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