It’s surprising how latent racism can surface. I was walking along a street in Berlin earlier today when I saw a bunch of African dudes crowding the sidewalk in front of me. As I got closer, the conversation started getting really animated.
I found myself unconsciously swerving out of the way around the guys, walking almost out into the street. One of the guys on the periphery of the group caught my eye, smiled wide and said “aw man, there’s nothing to be afraid of here”.
100% called me on my shit, and I cracked an embarrassed smile back at him, waved, and said “oh, ok thanks”.
There was nothing threatening happening, they were just joking loudly. I instantly realized I had unconsciously racially profiled these dudes completely unfairly. All in about a half second.
Two blocks later, we saw the guy again in a park. He smiled at me and asked “everything still alright?” And we all had a big laugh.
Then he tried to sell me weed.