A few days ago I got an e-mail item that seems to be circulating widely online. It's about a street scene captured by the Google Maps cameras. I passed it on to a few people. Most of the responses I've gotten have been along the lines of "wow, Big Brother really is watching."
What struck me most was the contrast between the attitudes of the friend I received it from and one friend who received it from me. Both are middle aged black men with white collar jobs living in Chicago. Beyond that, there are many differences between them that affect their views. One is African-American, the other is from an immigrant family. One grew up in a single parent family, the other with both parents. One lives in an area where drug dealing is rampant, the other lives in a slightly quieter location.
One has a lot of resentment towards black men who, as he puts it, "make everything worse for the rest of us." I can't say I blame him for getting frustrated for DWB (driving while black) traffic stops and the like.
The other tends to look at situations calmly and rationally. He commented: "Why is a scene with a black man talking to someone in a car along the street always considered a drug deal? Last week, I stopped in my car to talk to a neighbor. I wasn't dealing drugs." I can see his point.
I went back and looked at the pictures again and thought about the details. Take another look, then come back tomorrow for part 2 of this post.