White, asked to leave shoe store

Steven Smith
Lake Grove, NY

My parents raised me race neutral. I grew up in an integrated neighborhood, and racism didn’t come on my radar until I was around 6-7 years old. People hating people because of the color of their skin was just…ridiculous. While on a business trip to Atlanta in the early 90’s, I wandered into a shoe store. After a few minutes a sales person told me, “I think you’re in the wrong store”. Puzzled, I asked, “What do you mean”? He responded, “Your store is across the street”. I looked around and noticed that I was the only white person in the store. It never even occurred to me I was the only Caucasian. You know what? I wasn’t angry or hurt, I was surprised and saddened. It made me sad that racism was still so prevalent that people of color were forced by racists whites to stake a claim to a shoe store. This is Atlanta…isn’t this type of bullshit supposed to be in the past? Respectfully, I left the store.

 

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