The Post Office, by Unlikely Burrito

A while back, I posted on my blog and on an un-named political blog that I had no black friends.  In response to my post, I was picked apart, insulted and ridiculed for my honesty.  It was right there and then that I realized that solving racism is an individual issue.  It was my issue and I had to own it.  Each and every single person who tried to discourage me with their mockery, made me more determined to do everything and anything I could to break the cultural and social barriers that exist in my life. Mind you in my case, it’s not entirely black white rich poor issue; any difference from middle class white will qualify.  Since the time of that post, I have made changes in my behavior.  I have befriended a few African American people, and Native American Indian, and a Saudi Arabian woman.

My recent conversation with the Saudi woman I find interesting because it took place in a United States Post Office. It was a crowded but quiet office in white suburbia, and a Saudi woman wearing a black head scarf was in line in front of me with her daughter.  I could see others starring intently at her, without any glimpse of kindness showing in their eyes whatsoever. So I decided to break the ice with a comment about her daughter’s jacket, by saying how cute it was.

We continued talking for the next twenty minutes, all the while, the others remained unusually silent.  I could feel their intent stares on my back; they were listening to every single word.  I learned about her family and how they share clothes and hand-me-downs, and how her sister lives in California. She was about 27 wearing a full black head scarf and she was very mindful of her child, a darling four year old little girl. We laughed and enjoy many niceties.  Before she left she made an extra effort, she walked over and with a big smile she thanked me.  She thanked me for being nice.

As part of my daily life, I am consciously aware and always looking for more “break the barrier” opportunities. They are everywhere, I just need to recognize the opportunity and follow through with effort.  Sometimes all it takes is a smile.

Erase Hate

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117 Comments

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117 responses to “The Post Office, by Unlikely Burrito

  1. nannymm

    You make an excellent point, UB. It is up to each of us to break the barriers and extend a hand in friendship. Kudos to you for recognizing that and then doing something about it.

  2. chefsheila

    I second that UB. Not only did that take raw and intense honesty on your part, to admit a not so c omfortable truth, but you also followed through. May the rest of your days show you more examples of human dignity truth in all races of humanity.

  3. What a nice post UB, at the heart just what this entire issue is about, basic human decency. Your piece also reminds of a scene in the Laramie Project (a HBO movie that was made about the Matthew Shepard murder). In the movie the DA comments that he had never given the issue of homophobia too much thought, but in the process of interviewing people during the prep for the murder trail he realized just how afraid the gay residence of Laramie were, and as he said “this America, no one should feel that afraid in our country”. Prejudice is un-American! No one in America should feel afraid or shunned because of who they are.

  4. nannymm

    What is this? I’ve never seen it before.

    Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

    * Welcome to our blog
    * # 17
    * HTTP/1.1 Pipelining

  5. word press tries to find similar blog entries to ours and posts them, sometimes it comes up with a good match, other times not.

  6. nannymm

    thanks, Brian.

  7. This election season, with its ups and downs, certainly has started many conversations that may otherwise never have taken place…….so it’s a start, a good start.

    Have a great day everyone, off to work.

    peace~

  8. nannymm

    Cheney is having atrial fibrillation.

  9. chefsheila

    Nanny,. My dad had an internal defibrilator for 16 years. It kept him alive far longer than he would have wtihout it.

    Cheney is going to be just fine. He’s in great physical shape. ;0)

  10. nannymm

    Oh, I’m sure he will be, Sheila. I just hope this doesn’t take any focus off today’s debate. The media tends to go crazy if prez or vice get a hangnail. They usually carry on like it’s some great national emergency.

  11. dnd

    Great piece Sra Burrito. Nobody likes a long wait at the post office, but you certainly turned it into a positive experience.

  12. dnd

    Johnson’s Corner is 56:

    “JOHNSON’S CORNER — Fifty-six-year-old local Jim Alden has been coming here all his life — since his parents brought him as a child through this morning, when he sat at the counter drinking coffee with friends. ”

    http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_10725754

    If you’re ever driving north of Denver on I-25, this is a must visit. They have the best cinnamon rolls in the world. I’m not a big fan of cinnamon rolls, but if I’m driving by, I always stop in for one and a cup of coffee.

  13. chefsheila

    dnd,

    I love your Colorado Tourist happenings. You make me want to live there 🙂

  14. Unlikely Burrito: Today is blog action day with a goal of understanding, if not eradicating, poverty. Your excellent post made me think about racial and ethnic poverty — the inability of people to cross lines of race and ethnicity for fear of trying. I applaud your trying to bridge this huge gap in American society. Perhaps you’ll see the young woman and her child again and keep the conversation started going. You’ll both be richer for it!

  15. dnd, Johnson’s Corner was featured on NPR’s Splendid Table two or three weeks ago. Sounds like a great place for cinnamon roll lovers. It’s on my places to visit — some day!

  16. eprof this week is “Erase Hate” week here on the blog. “Erase Hate” is a campaign started by the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Sunday was the 10th anniversary of his death. If you want to write something for the blog on this week’s theme please do!

  17. Yeah, finally got my new Blackberry set up

  18. dnd

    Dow down 500 on recession fears. Retail sales down 1.2% in September. This doesn’t bode well for retailer’s upcoming holiday season.

  19. Hey Brian…….I just got my first Blackberry …..but mine is pink, therefore a “Pink berry” – I love it so far. fyi- A guy I work with bought an eight gig card for 25.00 from staples….that’s a good price I think, on-line offer only.

    I am in pink berry “love” can’t wait to put my music on and enter everything else.

    Sorry to jump off topic…..lol

  20. I have to go….back to work……

    Thanks for all the comments on my post…..I appreciate them all!

    😀

  21. chefsheila

    Here for lunch. HEY UB!

    Mine is pink too!

  22. nannymm

    I’m afraid to even look at my portfolio. If this continues, we’re all screwed.

  23. US ranks 29th in terms of infant mortality rates!

  24. dnd

    Why does Pat Buchanan always yell on MSNBC? Doesn’t he think we can hear him?

  25. He’s a blow hard, how else would he speak!

  26. chefsheila

    Buchanon is a cranky old ultra right wing guy…. ;0)

  27. chefsheila

    just as the debate starts tonight, I have to start cooking. Darn it! Reruns again!

  28. chefsheila

    I’m glad to see the Clinton will be in the front row. 🙂

  29. dnd

    Shelia,
    Unless there is a major gaff by either candidate, I predict it’s gonna be a snoozer. Better to watch the NLCS.

    If there is a major gaff, you’ll see it over and over and over again on cable news.

  30. chefsheila

    You may be right dnd. I just want to see it live……oh well, can’t cry over spilt milk

  31. dnd

    Shelia,
    I understand. I don’t think a thing of TIVOing any program, but for some reason watching a TIVO’ed baseball game isn’t just the same as seeing it live.

  32. chefsheila

    WHY does Ayers have to come up??? I mean don’t go there McCain…

  33. Chat room will open at 8:30 tonight.

  34. So nice of you to host the parties, Brian…..

  35. chefsheila

    Hes the hostess with the mostest!

  36. dnd

    Who’s bringing the tequila?

  37. chefsheila

    Brian will be setting up the wet bar soon ;0) Put your orders in!

  38. nannymm

    I’ll bring the nachos.

  39. nannymm

    I wish I could be there at Hofstra. I’d love to see it live.

  40. Who the hell is going to clean up afterwards?

  41. chefsheila

    Tucker and Ralphie!

  42. chefsheila

    ……or……In Your Dreams 🙂

  43. Karolenna

    UB,

    Very nice post. One of my problems is talking to people in a line regardless of where it is. My family is like that. My sister-in-law thinks we are nuts, but we very rarely see a stranger. There have been places I’ve worked where from the very beginning I think “I just don’t like that person”; then, many times I’ve gone out of my way to prove myself wrong. I’ve found that those I usually like immediately are not the ones I like the most after I get to them. But, then, maybe I’ve just made more of an effort with them. Make sense?

  44. I’m growing fond of David Paterson.

  45. Karolenna

    I Dem friend of mine just emailed me that her daughter-in-law was going down the street two blocks from where I live today where there is this very nice senior apartment complex. She said there was this elderly lady with her motorized wheelchair going down the sidwalk and on the back of it was a sign that said “Life long Republican now turned Democrat. Obama.” I love it!

  46. chefsheila

    We need a picture of that!

  47. nannymm

    LOl. I’m the same way, Karo. I stopped to help an elderly woman find something in the grocery store a couple weeks ago. I ended up talking to her for over a half hour. Knew her life story before I made it to the check out. Poor thing is really lonely. She told me where she lives so I think I’ll go visit her. Canyon says I make friends with everyone I see. Not quite, but he’s close. Guess I just like people.

  48. Damn Tweety is just convinced Sheafer is going to bring up Ayers.

  49. chefsheila

    Chris is trying to hook someone into saying that Obama doesn’t say anything of substance.

  50. CNN has Obama ahead by 10 in VA

    Polls: McCain forced to play defense in some red states

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/15/election.polls/

  51. chefsheila

    KO IS HILARIOUS!!!

  52. UB…

    Very good post. You can meet some really interesting people standing in line. Glad you took the time to talk to her.

    God Bless.

  53. nannymm..

    I don’t know the site tm. Could you post a link to the site and story you were talking about in your comment on the last post?

    I will be watching the debate and no blogging while it is on. Hope everyone is doing well.

    Catch you later maybe.

    God Bless.

  54. nannymm

    TM is Trail Mix , AnonP

  55. nannymm…

    What’s the link?

    God Bless.

  56. chefsheila

    Trail Mix Anon-p. As in Craig’s Site?

    See ya’ll around!

  57. Sheila…

    Thank you. I just always say Craig’s so seeing tm left me clueless.

    Of course I have a few loose screws or so many over at Craig’s thinks I’m missing some.

    Catch you later, time for the debate.

    God Bless you all.

  58. Well I think Obama won the debate tonight.

    On another note all the foreign markets are once again tanking. Looks like another down day for us tomorrow. We will lose all the gain we had monday and will close lower then we closed last week.

    Night all and …

    God Bless.

  59. On cnbc…

    Nikkei to post biggest loss since 1987.

    God Bless.

  60. nannymm

    Good night. Anon. Sleep well.

  61. nannymm

    Soon we’ll all be on line for the soup kitchen, Anon.

  62. Late to the Party but an interesting and honest post, UB. So many of our views about culture are shaped early and provide context for good or bad. My deep south rural roots are always with me….sometimes it helps me sometimes not….mostly those values have been good.

  63. Sorry i have not been in lately gang. I have been juggling…be back this PM even if for a short visit….

  64. nannymm

    Good morning.

  65. Top of the morning to everyone,
    It’s rainy and leaves are falling in large numbers…never before has it bothered me so much. It’s a sad looking day….

    Obama did very well, presidential and mature no snide remarks, perfect positioning for our next leader…..McCain, Mc Blinky, McFunnyface, McPleasejuststfu was rude, full of crap and hands down the loser of the night.

    How many days left….. 20 days….woo hoo!!! Off to the bow wow park….and we all now know “it’s always a relief” ha!

  66. Hey Nanny, good to see you before I leave, I’ll check back at while at work…..have a great day!

  67. nannymm

    You, too, UB!
    It’s rainy and dreary here, too. And we have few leaves left on our trees. By next week they will all be bare. 😦

  68. chefsheila

    HAPPY DAY EVERYONE!!!

    The Debates are over 🙂

    And only 20 days? THANK GOD!

  69. chefsheila

    Just took my first gulp of coffee Nanny…….I am reborn….

  70. nannymm

    Good Morning, Sheila! Coffee sounds good. Think I’ll go grab a cup.

  71. chefsheila

    The Christian Science Monitor…….The one Rag left with Neutral, Objective reporting….Glad she hasn’t been corrupted. Good article on The debate.

    A Feisty McCain, A Cool Obama and Appeals To Joes Everywhere

    http://features.csmonitor.com/politics/2008/10/16/a-fiesty-mccain-a-cool-obama-and-appeals-to-joes-everywhere/

  72. chefsheila

    Poor Joe Plumber. No one should have that much scrutiny and highlight unless they want it.

  73. nannymm

    Don’t feel sorry for him, Sheila. Watch this video. He sure sounds like a racist to me. He told Katie Couric, “Obama tap dances better than Sammy Davis, Jr.”
    http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2008/10/16/politics/horserace/entry4525242.shtml

  74. chefsheila

    lol Well! Obama DOES tap dance better than Sammy Davis on slander! Better to have a talent for moving around tuff talk. Obama sure is good!

  75. chefsheila

    Joe Scarbourgh is going to vote for Obama…..I can feel it.

  76. nannymm

    Hmmm…did you hear him in the 6am hour, Sheila? He was singing McCain’s praises. He didn’t tone it down till Chuck Todd slapped him with some polling truths.

  77. chefsheila

    Joe is there to make the republican argument. Mika is there to make the Democratic argument. That is part of the Show’s draw.

    But Joe has be very truthful to his own integrity. He’s known for that. He is going to vote his conscience and McCain is not it.

    The Netowork shut his praise of Obama down half way through the primaries.

  78. dog's eye view

    I turned TV off at 6:41, having had too much of Joe S. Just as they were about to interview Harold Ford, the “approved” black candidate of a few of our former friends.

  79. chefsheila

    Obama In New Hampshire And New York, Michelle In Pennsylvania

    Barack Obama is holding a 10 a.m. ET event in Londonderry, New Hampshire, and will then head to New York City for the Al Smith Dinner. Michelle is holding a rally in Pittsburgh at 10 a.m. ET.

    Joe Biden is off the campaign trail today, but will appear on Jay Leno tonight.

  80. chefsheila

    Morning Dog. 🙂

  81. nannymm

    Good morning, Dog.
    You didn’t miss much with the Ford interview. Joe interrupted constantly.

    And, Sheila, if Mika is representing the Dems, heaven help us!

  82. nannymm

    And i do agree that Joe is likely to vote Obama. He doesn’t like McCain at all. That’s why I get ticked when he tries to say stuff like McCain won that debate. He knows McCain lost, and looked like an old fool in the process.

  83. dog's eye view

    Burrito: finally read your post. Wondering what it would be like to be a young woman more used to being dealt with in silence. Combine wearing a hijab and culture that encourages reticence in public, mix with fear of the unknown in many of those she encounters, and you can see some serious social isolation outside one’s community of family, friends and culture.

    Have often wondered what it would be like to wear a hijab about the city for a day or two; how people would react? I wouldn’t make a very good test case, because am hardly shy and meet people’s eyes and watch them in public all the time — it’s got to be very different if you are reserved by nature. (Traveling in a wheelchair would work too — lots of averted eyes.) Being out in subways and on sidewalks and marked as different from usual.

    Also: consider: which hurts more: ostracism or outright rudeness? At least the rudeness gives one a focus for attention and — often — a feeling of mild superiority. Isolation, when not chosen, can kill.

    Anyway, Burrito’s on the right track. And what a great way to learn some new stuff and brighten another’s day.

  84. chefsheila

    Nanny,

    I understand what you feel. Mika makes me mad every once in a while too.

    When any show is staged, it has to have a connection with the audience. When joe first started, he was telling more the “Every Guy” truth. That put his admiration for Obama square in the eye sights of the Republicans. The Network got socked big time for being the Obama Network.

    So there was a tremendous shift in an effort to be more equal. But this is also a “Punditry” Network. So Even though the obvious is there, Pat Buchanon and Joe Scarbourgh will always have to trash the DEM before they say he won.

  85. dog's eye view

    Morning all. Good to be having coffee with you!

    Had a GREAT night canvassing last night; lots of nice people and a beautiful warmish and clear moonlit evening. Heading to same neighborhood late this afternoon; there’s one scene I would really like to photograph for you. I’ll link a photo if it’s not changed by tonight.

  86. chefsheila

    Good to see your canvassing and having a great time Dog. YES WE CAN!

  87. nannymm

    Morning, Brian.

  88. chefsheila

    ……Joe the Plumber is Ultra Right Wing…….

  89. The plumber is an idiot, but hey what do I know, I’m just a north east pinko liberal elitist fag.

  90. nannymm

    I wonder if it was all a set up with McCain and the plumber. Nothing those repugs do would surprise me.

  91. nannymm

    Why is MSNBC covering this BS???

  92. chefsheila

    Ex Military, raised on the Florida Panhandle…..Been there done that, a typical Vietnam Era military culture baby.

  93. chefsheila

    Because this BS is interesting to a lot of people. He is speaking something that a lot want to identify with and speaks something that others do NOT want more of.

    Education Nanny!

  94. chefsheila

    BTW, Listen to Joe and hear my Ex Husband……{{Chills}}

  95. chefsheila

    There she goes, Lying again!

  96. nannymm

    Education in stupidity and lunacy.

  97. nannymm

    I muted her. I have a headache and the plumber made it worse. Palin would give me a full blown migraine.

  98. chefsheila

    “”Education in stupidity and lunacy””

    Cultural Reality wrapped up in the Flag for validation. This is what Ronald Reagan did to the Military.

  99. nannymm

    That’s why I hated Reagan. Well, that’s part of it. Way too many reasons to list here.

  100. Greetings from the desert:

    I thought BO looked and acted presidential. McCain looked and acted like a cranky, going senile, old white guy characterized by Mr. Wilson, Dennis the Menace’s neighbor. McCain is history! Unfortunately, he has to come back to AZ.

  101. chefsheila

    Hey Eprof!

    Did you see where McCain is only 7 points up in Arizona?

  102. nannymm

    Hi Eprof. I feel for you. I wouldn’t want that old gag bag as my senator.

  103. dnd

    If Joe the plumber makes a quarter million dollars a year, there’s gonna be a lot of parents pull their kids out of college and get them an apprenticeship.

    And you’d think he’d have a nicer house 😉

  104. chefsheila

    dnd, Looked like a typical Redneck establishment. {{ducking to any objects thrown from the shadows}}

  105. nannymm

    Well, he is a redneck, Sheila. I just wish the media would get with it here. They’re promoting him like he’s some hero. Why don’t they come out and tell the truth? He’s a right wing crazy that would never vote for Obama. This is either a set up or this guy is smarter than he looks.

  106. dnd

    A little back of the envelope calculation. Joe said he works 10 hours a day. Let’s say he works 50 weeks a year. That’s 3000 hours/year. If he makes more than $250k, that means he clears more than $83/hour. Pretty good for a plumber.

    Something smells funny…

  107. dnd

    nannymm,
    I think it’s a setup. Some intrepid young reporter should investigate this.

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