IS IT A SAFETY REACTION OR RACISM?

SHE RAN IN AND LOCKED HER DOOR WHEN SHE SAW THE INSITE APPROACHING HER HOME!

I really didn’t want to touch this issue because The Insite realizes I always get attacked every time I bring up racism. But here it goes. And then again, it could be a safety factor and my mind is simply playing tricks on me. But it seems every time I go out to ‘certain’ Houston area neighborhoods for local reaction on a story it happens to me. Just this Tuesday I was out with my fellow photographer and both of us knew it would happen again. But I’m always hopeful that it won’t. We drove into West University looking for residents outside to get reaction to a rail line issue. So my photographer and I stopped near a home where a female was standing outside talking on the phone. I get out of the car looking like a reporter with suit and all. The woman, who happens to be a white female, literally breaks her neck running into the house and shuts the door. I haven’t pulled out a camera yet but I was hoping the professional look would keep her from running away. Keep in mind I was expecting this reaction. And that wasn’t the first time. We were in another southwest Houston neighborhood where the same photographer and I were trying to get neighborhood reaction from residents on an environmental issue. I began walking towards this woman, who happens to be white, to try and get her reaction. She also runs (like sprinting) into her house as if a murderer is after her and slams her door. I decided to ring the door bell anyway to see if I could get her to comment on a near by landfill. Needless to say she never answered the door. I was in another Houston neighborhood when I got out of the car to try and get reaction from another white female only to have her run into the house the same way. I can go through the same scenario over and over again. It has happened to me and that photographer time and time again with white females. What do you think? Is this a form of fear directed at certain segments of the population or is this just a safety reaction from a female who doesn’t feel safe with a male approaching? And what would you do if you were a female in this case? Believe me I know in this day and age you can never be too careful… I’d like to hear what you think about that slice of my life as a reporter…

UPDATE: I’m really glad so many of you took the time out to read this long post. And secondly, you all gave me a different perspective on this issue. Now I feel much better realizing there could be more going on in someone’s mind than just prejudices when I approach them for a comment. I’ll keep that in mind and move on. This blog is therapeutic…Thanks guys…

-The Insite

24 Comments

  1. Anonymous July 12, 2006 11:23 pm 

    I think you hit the nail on the head. You should be grateful that that they are obviuosly racist. because there are other “liberal whites” who will also shut the door in your face, but they won’t be so blatant, and you won’t realize its happening until its too late.
    just keep up the good work and fight the good fight.

  2. Anonymous July 12, 2006 11:48 pm 

    Sorry Isiah but to me this does not scream racist. She might be afraid of you for plenty of reasons- you are a man, you are larger, and most of all you are a complete stranger who she knows does not live nearby. I’ve been in West U and had an old white guy scared silly because he thought I was there to expose him to gangs- those people….

    MF

    BTW I saw how you were dressed today . It was a nice ensemble but there’s no way I’d be afraid of a man wearing a pink dress shirt!

  3. Anonymous July 12, 2006 11:57 pm 

    Why don’t you just come right out and call him a big black man – that’s what your description eludes to. And that’s what most white women are quick to scream. Remember Susan Smith and the big black men who kidnap her children in the Carolinas. Oh, that’s right she killed her own damn children and tried to blame a black man because it’s what society expects and wants. And I’m sure you’re white and you just can’t see any racism existing any more. The fact that you can’t see it is proof it still exist M-F. And what the hell does a pink shirt have to do with anything when it comes to racist.

  4. Anonymous July 13, 2006 12:03 am 

    M-F is a dumb ass. If someone slapped him in the face I’m sure it wouldn’t be an attack but just a love peck. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  5. Anonymous July 13, 2006 1:44 am 

    “And what the hell does a pink shirt have to do with anything when it comes to racist.”

    You are a retard- a pink shirt has nothing to do with being racist, it was a light comment poking a little good humored fun. It was not even in the same paragraph as the response, which was encouraged by Isiah in the original blog. Susan Smith? that has nothing to do with today. I just don’t think that a lady running inside and locking her door equates to being a racist moment. If it were me walking the neighborhood today I do not think the same old lady would have rushed to my side showering me with fine oils and food.

    slightly annoyed MF

    p.s. Isiah sorry about the larger comment. I should have typed large, but in no way too large as to scare away young children, no I meant large as in not a wuss.

  6. Anonymous July 13, 2006 7:41 am 

    Has anyone considered the fact that maybe some of these people actually recognize Isiah from the news and they don’t want to be bothered or see their mugs on TV? I know, it’s a stretch, but hey, it’s a thought.

  7. Anonymous July 13, 2006 7:48 am 

    Has anyone considered the fact that it might actually be racism? That’s not that far of a stretch! We actually used to lynch black people about 40 years ago because we thought they were less than human.

  8. Anonymous July 13, 2006 10:36 am 

    Lynching, or running inside (for a reason no one actually knows) hmmm, it must be racism. Why did that person cut me off on I-10? Wait… I know because they are racist. Why did that guy rob a jewelery store? He’s a racist too- they are everywhere.

  9. a fellow Fox-er July 13, 2006 11:27 am 

    By automatically catagorizing every non-black person (read: WHITE) as a racist, then aren’t you guilty of racism yourself?

    Don’t condemn every single person based on a broad generalization. I happen to know both MF and Isiah, and they are both terrific gentlemen, no matter what their opinions or colour of their skin might be.

  10. Anonymous July 13, 2006 11:49 am 

    Then reality sets in………..

  11. Anonymous July 13, 2006 11:55 am 

    You people absolutly can not be that damn blind. Or can you?

  12. Anonymous July 13, 2006 12:53 pm 

    You last two posters absolutely can not be that ignorant yourselves… or can you?

    Then reality sets in… yes, you CAN be that ignorant.

  13. Anonymous July 13, 2006 1:42 pm 

    i live in west u. i am white. if i saw isiah with a camera, i would probably go inside the house not because he is black but because i dont want to be on the news.

  14. Anonymous July 13, 2006 3:00 pm 

    Ike – Don’t feel bad, people (of all races) run from Wayne Dolcefino more often than they run from you. I’m not sure why or what it means, it’s just a fact of life.

  15. Harold81 July 13, 2006 3:10 pm 

    Well, I’m not so sure if it’s what I personally would describe as racist. If anything the women you encounter have stereotypical ideas about black men, which in many cases gives way to prejudice.

    As a black man myself, who has experienced these types of situations a number of times, I think there is a natural tendency to react to those situations in a “shame on them” type of way because quite frankly it sucks being on the receiving end of someone elses prejudice. However, I hope you didn’t take it personally, and from what I can tell you didn’t if no other reason than it has happened so many times before. In many cases, well at least with me, I know there was no purposeful malintent (at least I like to think there isn’t).

    I think there are many societal reasons why these women would run from you, from flat out racism to many of our own doing things that perpetuate stereotypes, resulting in all black men being punished, even those in suits that appear on TV. I think it reflects more on society as a whole instead of these particular white women.

    Trust me I know exactly what you are feeling when it happens to you. I feel the same when I hear car doors locking when I walk to my car. I feel the same way when I instantly feel the vibe change when I enter a elevator with a white woman. I felt the same way when as I am waiting on a bus on the corner 1 block south of Kirby and Bellaire and a white female jogger on the sidewalk that I am on jumps off and jobs in the middle of Kirby when she gets to me and jumps back on the sidewalk once she has passed me. It’s that funny feeling in your stomach and that feeling of being insulted when it happens because you yourself know you wouldn’t hurt a fly. Oh yeah, I know. But I try not to take it personal, which helps get over the thoughts of prejudice and racism that instantly pop into my head when it happens.

    I’m not trying to make excuses for these women because honestly I think it was probably a case of being safe as well as being prejudice. I just don’t think our initial reaction to certain things, particularly when our society is fed so many negative things about black men, is always a reflection our intentions. With what we as a society are constantly bombarded with, I can understand why some would be afraid. I don’t agree with it but I can understand the mentality behind it.

  16. Anonymous July 13, 2006 6:11 pm 

    isiah, i’d run from you, too! you just have that… that.. LOOK!

    seriously, you never know… the women could have been afraid for different reasons. if tney are racist, it’s their loss. we can’t dwell on that.

    TF,
    the hater

  17. Anonymous July 13, 2006 6:23 pm 

    i just wanna know where you got the pic from. did the old lady finally let you in and pose for this blog?

  18. Serena July 13, 2006 6:38 pm 

    I’m a 5’2″ white female. If a guy Isiah’s size was coming towards me, I’d run if he was black, white, purple or green.

    I think race can factor into the equation in less racially mixed neighborhoods though. Folks in those neighborhoods would likely see someone of another race as a potential problem.

    I don’t think those women were running just because they didn’t want to be on TV. Talking to a TV reporter doesn’t mean you’ll actually be on TV. Although if I saw Wayne Dolcefino headed my direction, I’d run *and* scream my head off since he’s just scary. 🙂

  19. Jason July 14, 2006 12:05 pm 

    Have you had people of other races or ethnicities run from you? I have news for you, people are afraid and will run from any stranger. Just because she is white you’re automatically thinking it’s a race issue when you really don’t know. How many news stories have you covered where a robber posed as an officer, utility worker, or other business man to gain entry into peoples’ homes? At my job, half the people (in the daytime) will not answer their door for me and I have to speak through a door. You’re a reporter. Isn’t a reporter’s job to report facts and not make assumptions?

  20. Anonymous July 14, 2006 3:31 pm 

    well said, jason!

  21. Anonymous July 14, 2006 4:03 pm 

    I am a 35-year old white woman, 5’3″ tall. I am a “stay-home” mom with two young children. I won’t open my door for any man who rings the doorbell during the day, no matter what color their skin is or how well they are dressed. I also won’t open my door for any woman after dark. If she was truly in distress, I would call 911, but there have been too many news stories about a woman in distress being sent to the door as the decoy, then as soon as the unsuspecting homeowner answers it, several other people (usually men) jump out and barge in to rob the house.

    If I was standing in my yard, especially if my children were with me, I would probably try to get them inside quickly if we were approached by a strange man. By that I mean someone we don’t know, not that you are strange, Mr. Carey! (I would have spoken with you, because I would have recognized you!) I hate being paranoid, but we live in a scary world. There are predators of all races out there seeking to harm my children. There are predators seeking to prey on innocent women. There are predators seeking to rob innocent families. The crime rate is going up throughout Houston, and in the suburbs where we live.

    I really think this has a lot less to do with race than it does with the fact that we live in an increasingly violent society. But, I am sure someone will respond calling me vulgar names, saying that because I am a white woman I don’t have a clue how racist the entire world is. Whatever. I think it is sad to go through life thinking that every white person is against you. Some of the same people who post on here about how racist the entire world is don’t seem to realize that they are being racist themselves when they lump all white people together and call us bigots. Please don’t insult me by saying that all white women want to blame black men for all crimes. That is just a bunch of baloney.

    Keep up the great work, Mr. Carey. I really enjoy your blog. I hope that the “powers-that-be” at Fox 26 will let you keep it once the official website is up and running. You have the best behind the scenes scoop in Houston!

    CY

  22. Anonymous July 15, 2006 9:30 pm 

    As a black woman, I have to agree with the post by CY. I live alone in a nice apartment complex in the Bellaire area. I have had unexpected white men ring my doorbell. Not knowing what they are at my door for, I will not answer or even ask who it is. It is a very different time we live in, and unfortunately, no one can trust anyone anymore. I can honestly say that I am not comfortable being alone in an elevator with a man; white, black hispanic, asian or whatever. Most women will agree that we do have to take extra precaution these days. Isiah, I’m not sure if I would or would not have stopped to talk to you. Yes, I am aware of who you are, but depending on how I looked, or what kind of mood I was in, would have been the deciding factor to stop to talk to you. Also, my black people, we have to stop crying racism on every event. Sometimes, race just has nothing to do with it. Don’t get me wrong, I know when I’ve been a victim of racism, but, everytime something happens that we don’t agree with, or just because we do not like something that has happened, it’s not because of racism. I swear that is the biggest crutch in the black community. Not to mention, I don’t always get love from my fellow black community. But that’s a whole other blog. Sorry for taking up a long post, but, this was a good topic. I’ve been having these same conversations with a friend of mine about some black people always wanting to blame everything on racism.

    Keep up the good work Isiah!

  23. Anonymous July 18, 2006 8:58 am 

    It is what it is. Being a black man in Amerikkka, of course, I have been exposed to my share of this sort of RACIST behavior by many white women, even on crowded elevators, in upscale office buildings, while I was wearing dress pants and shoes (you know how they clamp down on their cheap knock off purses right after making eye contact, to make certain you see what they’re doing). I have also witnessed white women look at me and lock their car doors, while driving next to me on the freeway in their raggedy putt putts, as I drove my high end luxury car. You tell me what’s up. If I were a jacker, first of all I wouldn’t be jacking someone driving 70 miles per hour on the damn freeway. Second of all, it wouldn’t be her broke ass. The way THEY do it is so blantant, I have come to the conclusion that they just do that shit to get under our skin and piss us off. Stop making excuses for their asses. Everybody knows white folks are nosey as hell when it comes to their own community (cause they want to protect and serve)and they aint scared of Black people, especially one in a suit, who gets out of a nice car, in a nice neighborhood. And white folk aint scared of cameras either. Every chance they get they are trying to seize that 15 minutes of fame and write a book, even if it meant commenting about dodo on the ground. These are real experiences, not make believe. If you don’t like what some of the posters and I had to say about your white woman relatives, friends, and acquaintances, take exception to their actions, not our words.

  24. AZNWINEGUY July 28, 2006 12:59 pm 

    where’s the condemnation on those guilty for causing the reaction in the first place?

    what did terrance howard’s character in the movie Crash (who was black)say to the criminal who tried to carjack him?

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