Now, being a tiny white girl from a small suburb of an urban city, this scenario is quite terrifying to me. I would be scared shitless if I got caught at a red light in Cleveland and some intimidating person paced and glared any where near me. I would be damn sure to thunk all my locks down. I'd never actually been in this sort of situation until last Monday night. I went to the Starkid Space Tour with Laney and her friends and it was a blast (even though I lost my voice and have been sick since). When the show was over my throat was in agony and I was willing to do anything to try to get some water. Including walking down the street by myself to check if Jimmy John's was open.
It was 10 pm and Jimmy John's wasn't more than three shops away from the well-populated and brightly lit venue, so I, being all mighty 17-year-old, felt I'd be able to make it just fine. Which, I mean, I did. I'm alive, I didn't die or get injured at all. But I did get pissed off.
I had to pass two older, presumably homeless, black men sitting on a garbage can. Instinctively I kept my eyes forward and my pace fast, ignoring their calls of "Hey there, little lady. How're ya this evening? No need to be rude!" and "Oh, she walks fast. HAHAHAH!" and "AHAHA!"
Was I being rude ignoring them? Was I being racist somehow? Personally, I feel that if you are a large, grown man of any race sitting on a street corner in the middle of the night and you see a young, tiny girl walking alone...you should not talk to her! You should know that, especially in a group of two, that she will feel intimidated by you! Even if they really did mean well and were just looking for someone to talk to and trying to be polite: talk to somebody else. I normally have no problem smiling and saying hello to strangers but not when the closest person is an alley away and most likely distracted. I'm sorry, I am not sorry for not acknowledging you, men on street corner garbage can with a sharpened (walking?) stick.
Jimmy John's was closed, by the way.