A QUICK LESSON IN REALITY

Yesterday was my beautiful wife\’s birthday.  We celebrated with dinner at Marc Forgione on Reade Street in lower Manhattan.

Traffic was light through the Holland Tunnel and south to the restaurant.  Between that and the fact that we always leave a little extra time just in case, we got there well before our reservation. 

So we walked to the Barnes & Noble on Warren St. at Greenwich Avenue, strolled through the store, and shared a pre-meal cup of coffee.

The reason I mention this is that, when we sat down with the coffee, almost all of the tables were occupied.  And I would say that at least half the people there were minorities, mostly Black, with, at quick glance, at least two of the tables interracial.

And what were they doing?  They were drinking coffee, maybe having a snack, and either reading or on a computer.

OMIGOD.  Just like REAL PEOPLE.

The reason I mention this is because there are all too many among us who think Black, and immediately generalize something very different – almost always very negative – when the reality is that, like every other group, Black people encompass the full range of humanity from top to bottom.

I have written countless times in here that the single straightest line to prejudice, intolerance and hatred is seeing people as components of groups instead of as the individuals every one of us is.  It is random little city vignettes like this – which you can find all over New York and elsewhere – that bring it home with crystal clarity.

Oh, by the way, my wife was radiant, the meal was excellent, and the waitress (sorry, I don\’t use the term “waitperson”) – from New Mexico and trying to break into an acting career – was terrific.  We wish her every success.

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