I am feeling really done with White entitlement. Today a woman walks by my house and starts shouting at my dog. Telling my dog to shut up. I know my dog barks a lot. I know. I get it. It’s annoying. But she’s a dog. WTF is wrong with a human who is supposed to be fully cognitively developed if you think screaming at a dog to shut up is going to help? We don’t leave our dogs out constantly. We let them out to use the bathroom and we bring them back in, the max time they are outside is 15 minutes, maybe 20 in the summer when it is nice. I’m sorry if that coincides with your walk.
My mom told the woman that “telling my dog to shut up wasn’t going to make her shut up.” Then I stepped in, because no one is going to disrespect my mom. I told her that she is not to speak to my dog or my mom. She turned and lashed out verbally with expletives and giving me the middle finger. Telling me to “shut up and (expletive) off.” I told her she could walk a different way if she doesn’t like dogs barking. Literally every house on the walking paths has a dog that barks. I told her my dog was doing her job and barking at a stranger and she told me that I need to shut my “damn (expletive) dog up and to shut my (expletive) mouth.” I said “my dog is on private property and that my dog is protecting her house,” she responded with the statement, “I am in a public park I can do whatever the (expletive) I want.” This woman was also walking with a dog off leash. The woman responded by giving me two middle fingers and continuing to tell me to (expletive) off. I asked her, “do you think the violence you are perpetrating is going to get my dog to shut up?” She then walked away and I said “way to be an upstanding member of Los Alamos” And do not mistake me, it was violent. It was ugly. She was screaming expletives across the park. A park where houses with children are trying to do online school, where people like myself are trying to work from home.
Why is this an example of White entitlement?
-she was White
-her dog was off leash
-she was not masked
-she responded to me with violence and expletives
You may ask – isn’t this just an example of one person being s*****? Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun outlined white supremacy characteristics in an excellent work book for Showing Up For Racial Justice. In it the go in detail, exploring characteristics that are prevalent in White Supremacist behavior. While their workbook is focused on work culture I believe that the principles are applicable in all aspects of life.
Defensiveness: This woman was immediately defensive. She launched into screaming expletives at my and my mother. I may be questionably ethnic looking to you but there is no mistaking that my mother is a person of color. I was not ugly towards her. I told her not to speak to my dog or my mother. I was in my home, she was invading my sacred space from the sidewalk. I did not return her expletives. At no point in the exchange did I cuss her out. She escalated the situation at every opportunity and I did not return her energy. I stated that she could make different choices and that she was acting violently.
Right to Comfort: This woman’s behavior indicates that she feels entitled to walk in peace and quiet. That she feels entitled to her comfort and that a dog barking at her is so disruptive to that comfort that she needs to lash out aggressively toward an animal. This woman responded to my reasonable and valid request that she not speak to my dog or my mom with violence. Her right to walk where she wants and do as she pleases was made clear when she made the statement, “I am an in a public park I can do whatever the (expletive) I want.” She was actively blaming me and my dog for causing her discomfort creating a situation where she is the victim.
The dominant culture has created an environment where this woman feels entitled, she feels justified in her aggressive and violent response towards me and my mom and my dog while we are in our own home. Her right to comfort was further evidenced by her dog being off leash and her unmasked face. A person of color would never feel safe enough to behave so awfully, not when black and brown children are shot for playing in public parks, not when they are shot for walking through grocery stores. But she felt fully safe screaming cuss words at me and my mom in a public park. I am disappointed and I am angry. The woman’s choice not to wear a mask while people of color are disproportionately affected by the impact of covid19 also speaks volumes. Do better White folks and talk to your people. I publicly invite this woman to apologize to me, I publicly invite this woman to apologize to my mother.