The woman in the pay phone was Aboriginal. I mentioned this, in the context of a physical description of race, whilst describing a potential suspect.
It also came up when I talked about the incident with my daughter and she made a comment that surprised me. Something along the lines of how that woman (if she did do it) wasn’t doing anything to not reinforce the stereotypes of her race.
For me, race wasn’t the issue, and I said as much. Also, that no matter how people thought that it wasn’t discriminatory just referring to race, it most definitely was. I asked her to reverse the situation, to imaging that there was a white caucasian in there instead, and whether or not that that sounded just bad to her internal ear. If it did, then the statement was discriminatory.
This bothered me a bit. Not because of my child. She is intelligent and loving and accepting of diversity and she got it straight away. No, it bothered me because of the ingrained nature of the comment and the fact that she truly didn’t realise that what she said could possibly be construed negatively. That most people wouldn’t have thought twice about it, either.
She will think about this, I know; just as I do. I have been re-examining my own responses in the the light of what we talked about and who I think committed the offense (bearing in mind that it was all circumstantial evidence, based mainly on proximity and observed behaviour). I don’t want to discriminate in any form. I hate the thought of me blaming a member of a minority group, simply because they are a member of that group and they were around.
I feel fairly clean, conscience-wise, though. She was there, there were loose bricks around the phonebox, I had seen her hitting it, there was a brick through my windscreen, nobody else was around, she was female and perfume and shoes were stolen…..oh yeah, she was also of Aboriginal descent.
Doesn’t matter. If I catch any female (or transvestite male, to be fair) walking down the street in MY shoes, smelling of MY perfume, I am still punching them in the face first and explaining why after, no matter what damn race they are.