Can I help you?

Posted On: Friday - April 20th 2018 10:42AM MST
In Topics: 
  Curmudgeonry  Race/Genetics

SIR! Quit brandishing the phone! SIR!

A commenter writing on a thread under one of the Steve Sailer post WaPo: "Starbucks and the Elimination of Black People from White Spaces" (WaPo is The Washington Post, for those who aren't required to keep up with the Lyin' Press) mentioned a euphemistic phrase that I'd been wanting to post about. It was on the way-back burner, but I'm glad to have my memory jogged. This concerns the Starbucks brew-haha that Peak Stupidity has been remiss in posting anything about. Well, iSteve almost always covers this sort of story remorselessly.

Per the commenter, name of Laura, the phrase "Can I help you?" is one that black people have a real problem with, per a Slate magazine writer. Apparently, inside a retail establishment, this question is a subtle accusation of shoplifting. Well, blacks are gonna complain about imaginary stuff just like lots of others, but I will say that this "Can I help you?" crap, in any other situations than the obvious ones that I'll describe in a second, kind of bugs me for a similar reason.

“Can I help you?” is most times a euphemism for “what the hell are you doing here?” Yes, if you are in Target wandering around the same coupla’ of aisles, it is a valid question, whatever color you may be. However, I have heard it many times when I was nowhere close to a store, say crossing the school grounds without any kids.

“Can I help you?”. “I don’t know if you CAN help me, but no, you MAY not.” is a good one at a school, followed by “Hey, what are you teachin’ here anyway?” That sets ‘em back about 30 seconds. Still, I don’t like this. I’d rather the questioner just put it truthfully “Hey, what are you doing here?” “Don’t worry about it.” is an appropriate response … till the cops come, that is.

I'm guessing blacks do hear this phrase more, but I don't know if they'd rather hear "Just what the hell are you up to?" or not. At the store, as the commenter said, the clerk is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't. "Can I help you?" is insinuating you are a trouble maker, while ignoring the you makes the clerk a racist. Nah, you can't win with this easily, but I did come up with one thing: “Hey, nice hair – one gal on our armed security force has hers the same way!” Whaddya think? Women are good at this sort of thing, right?

While I'm all over this thing, I will tell you that being called "Sir", most of the time, is worse than "Can I help you?" It usually the cops or somebody in authoritah you hear this one from, with the numerous exceptions of a stranger calling you to tell you your phone dropped out of your back pocket. Most of the times, "SIR!" is not good. I feel for some of the black guys that really aren't out to cause any trouble, but, hey, people can't usually tell.

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