Fort Leonardwood, MO
Serving in the Army I was stationed in Washington DC. When I arrived I worked in an office of 7 African Americans one Hispanic and me the only white guy. The guys in the office where great we were like family but they briefed me that there are parts of the city white people were not allowed. I laughed it off. One day in 1998 I was going for lunch and wanted to go to a neighborhood joint that the guys had taken me before. When I entered a lone white guy all eyes were on me as I got to the counter to order the lady just looked at me for a second and I hadn’t noticed the two guys that had stood until one told me I didn’t belong in that neighborhood and I needed to leave. I started to tell him I wasn’t looking for trouble and I had eaten here before but others had joined in telling the other people they were with that I needed to leave and that I was going to be beat down. The woman behind the counter even said that I needed to take my cracker ass someplace else. A woman and another man had joined the other two that were confronting me when one of the guys flashed a gun in his belt. I said I was leaving and all of a sudden there wasn’t a face in the crowd that wasn’t smiling except mine. I never told the guys in the office what happened but I never went back with them either. Over the six years I lived in the district I experienced an over whelming amount racism. It is the chocolate city after all vanilla beans have a hard time growing in that soil.