I’m a white woman, ever since I read this article back in college by a black man discussing his revelation that he always instinctively looks down or away when encountering a white women because he didn’t want her to be afraid of him and how he no longer does that, I say hi and look black men (regardless of where I am in DC) in the eye and say hi. I’m not asking for a cookie this is more neurotic thing I’ve internalized, does anyone else do this? It’s only if I pass someone on the sidewalk or street. The African-American male population of DC can rest easy it’s not like I will plop down next to the nearest black man on the metro and interrupt whatever he’s listening to on his ipod and pester him for the sole purpose of demonstrating one white person is not afraid of him. And that isn’t even 100% honest – my opinion of whether I should be afraid (I’m like this with men in general especially if I’m the only woman) is up for grabs if you are a stranger – which is probably healthy. I just don’t want someone to worry that I am afraid of them whether or not I am. It’s just the idea that someone would be like that man I read about, made me feel bad and I wanted to somehow prevent that concern that I may be afraid of him – like prove the exception. But the author was old, so is this even a thing now? I have a feeling people I say hi to don’t give a rat’s a** if I say hi or not but whatever, I smile and say hi to people in general I’m just more eye-contacty deliberate (maybe ironically making whatever man I’m passing unnerved by my white self ha) when it is black men. I find in general they are more likely to say hi back. At least in this town. Yes neurotic. I stress myself out over less. But really, I am curious if other people have this experience.