"A moment of racial sharing" [LINK]
Another response to a letter from the Globe:
Barbara Lewis writes of her difficulty in staking a claim to an apparently vacant seat at a crowded Starbucks, followed by a moment of "racial sharing" with a fellow African American who said he was glad to see her stand up to the obnoxious man who acted like he owned the table. From all this Ms. Lewis concludes that "race still matters" in the 21st century, but there are at least four reasons to conclude otherwise.
First, I can testify that white people confront such rude behavior all the time. There is nothing in her account to suggest the man targeted her because of her race, yet she insists there was a racial dimension.
Second, such arrogance is fostered mainly by Starbucks' living room ethos. I'm sure she would have had no trouble finding a table at a Dunkin' Donuts, where they chase you out if you show any signs of writing a novel.
Third, she says that the support she received from the black student demonstrates a "determination to support each other in the trenches" (sipping Americanos, that is), because after Katrina "we know that it is unlikely someone else will come to our aid." But the black man did not come to her aid either, and instead approached her only after the rude white man had left. Furthermore, Ms. Lewis seems to think he offered his belated support because of her race, which seems more than a bit presumptuous and sells him short.
Fourth, that such a trivial encounter is taken as an example of a racial divide tells me that we are doing very well indeed, and that the significance of race in this country is fast receding. Ms. Lewis should retune her sensitivities to accomodate this development, and control her inappropriate racial rhetoric.