Is there a better term?

Joanne M. Despres jdespres at MERRIAM-WEBSTER.COM
Thu Jun 6 13:37:02 UTC 2002

Once upon a time, a friend of mine had her necklace ripped off her
neck in Manhattan by a woman who approached her asking for
help.  Several days later, while we were visiting Washington, D.C.,
this friend was in the process of buying a fare card at an automatic
dispensing machine in the subway station when a total stranger
approached her offering assistance with her purchase.  My friend,
whose wallet was open, shrank away from this person, who
proceeded to berate her as a "stupid white woman," angrily
informed her that he'd served in Viet Nam, and made a derogatory
remark concerning the town that was the ultimate destination of the
train we were taking, which he incorrectly inferred that she lived.

So tell me, who was doing the racial profiling in that case?  Who
was the oppressed and who the oppressor? Who gets to be the
most sanctimonious?

Joanne Despres

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