As I'm sure you know, East Harlem is a pretty mixed neighborhood. It's mostly black and Hispanic, with a few whites, Asians and Arabs. I've lived there for two years now, and it's fascinating to me how many more young white kids I see each day. But these aren't the kind of kids who have a lot of cash. This isn't Billyburg - if you look poor, chances you are poor. So when people look at me and think I'm rich, it really kind of pisses me off.
I'm walking down the steps of the subway the other day, and there's this kid standing there, and I could tell he was kinda asking for money but I didn't hear him say anything as the three black kids ahead of me walked by, but then when I walked by he said, "Excuse me, Miss - can I get 20 cents?" Now granted, 20 cents is not a lot of money, but when you have 96 cents in your checking account it kind of is - especially since I thought it was so racist that he asked me just because I'm white. I mean, you can't just assume shit about people, you know? It's mutha flippin' hot outside and I could use a cool down but I would never walk by you and ask if you had any watermelon! You don't have watermelon - I don't have 20 cents! The stereotypes are broken down, my friends! LET'S JUST COME TOGETHER ALREADY!
Okay - I really had to say that. I would have told someone that already, but who am I gonna call?...
What if I told that kid I left my wallet in El Segundo? HA!