A few years ago in Chicago my wife and I went downstairs to catch the train. The train sat on the tracks a few feet back in the tunnel so no one could get on. A youngish white kid with a backpack was having some kind of conversation with a Latino guy, something about Israel and Palestine. It sounded vaguely heated, I thought it was like people having heated agreement. The white kid came up to us and asked if we knew what was going on with the train. We were like “oh, it’s just late, they do this, it’ll be fine soon.” He thanked us and walked away. On the back of his backpack was a sticker for a racist organization. I was really angry, like how dare this shithead get me to help him in any way whatsoever?

I recently had a similar experience though happily not as extreme. When I first moved in to my apartment someone from the neighborhood organization came by and asked me to sign a petition to make our street permit parking, said it would alleviate congestion. I didn’t think about it, just signed the petition. A few weeks later someone came by and put a flyer on our door then asked us to come to a meeting of the neighborhood organization. I can’t remember the details but I got a weird vibe like there was an implied reference to “Those People” or something. I didn’t like that and I was busy anyways so I said I wouldn’t be going. Turns out the parking permit stuff went in. Just the other day my brother got into some kind of conversation with someone in the neighborhood while smoking, the neighbor said something along the lines of “hurray for the parking permit rule, it’ll keep the fucking Somalis from parking here.”
Motherfuckers. Makes me particularly mad about signing that paper.

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