My favorite eatery in my hometown of Binghamton, NY is the Norman Rockwell example of an immigrant Greek family perfecting the art of the traditional American breakfast. Every day, the cops and the manual labor crowd hits first, just after 5AM sharing the diner’s copy of the local newspaper. About 7, the office workers roll in, mulling their own Wall Street Journal’s over coffee. Last to arrive are the college kids; hung-over in sweats and sandals, cell phone obsessed and getting all of their information from tiny hand-held devices 6 inches from their noses.
I have my breakfast there every day and depending on my schedule, I will plug into any of these shifts of patrons seamlessly, but not so this past Saturday.
As I squeezed into the only 2-person table in the small, crowded dining room, the table of 4 behind me were a group of three young men and a woman I had never seen before. They were in the middle of what must have been the funniest story ever told because they were laughing and carrying on so loudly that it was impossible not to notice. Usually moments like that have a short duration, but not in this case. These kids carried on and drowned out every other potential conversation in the place. This went on for their entire stay; loud, obnoxious, guttural, profane and markedly racist. Every other word out of the mouth of the loudest and most obtuse boy was the N word. In the 20 minutes or so it took me to eat my breakfast, this boy said it loudly and proudly no fewer than 50 times. In every sentence describing people, he was clear to define it in terms of race in its rawest description.
I was one of 50 or so people who witnessed this behavior. With the exception of a few very subtle and short in duration looks in their direction, the crowd was otherwise silenced into self-assigned roles as unappreciative and disgusted observers, their breakfast conversations stifled and their day started with unwarranted and unwanted racist rantings.
This group of mouthy, racist malcontents were black. Had the same racially charged rhetoric been coming from the mouths of whites, someone would have called 911 and a hate crime arrest would have been contemplated. The only reason this behavior is tolerated is because of the poison of political correctness which has demanded that the unacceptable be embraced. If a group of white kids had the bad judgment to have breakfast in a predominantly black neighborhood in a predominately black town and carry on the way these kids did, they would not have walked happily out of the diner into the morning sunshine as this group of jerks did, they would have been beaten bloody into silence, perhaps worse.
The 50 or so folks who witnessed this took away with them an impression and to those 4 young people who provided that impression I would like to know, what do you expect?