I am driving down a residential street, a street in the development in which I live. It is night, and funny, it is dark. People like to walk in our neighborhood--it's been pretty safe. Some people do not walk with proper walking safety however--walk on the wrong side (always walk facing traffic if there is no sidewalk), walk in dark clothing without reflective gear or lights at night, walk in the middle of the street, walk with earphone music blaring, etc. As a driver you get used to this idiocy--speed limit's 25 here any way--and you can generally avoid hitting the dumb, ignorant and inconsiderate.
This time there are four people. They are somewhere between 16 and 24--male, and Black. Shirtless and wearing baggy shorts, they are hard to see in the dark. They are wandering around the middle of the street, walking backwards and talking to each other. There is three lanes of wide in this street, with a parked car here or there. In addition, there is a side walk in good condition. I used to drive in the inner city, and I learned that you didn't slow down for this behavior. I stated my philosophy out loud as I drove by: "Boys, I get some space too, and if you don't give it to me, I am gonna take it."
After I passed them by, I could hear them yell something at me as I passed by. I don't know if they just felt like harassing me or they didn't like how I drove around them. I feel no shame in how I drove. Legally, I have no obligation to stop for pedestrians who are NOT in a marked cross walk. I can, if I like, yield to a pedestrian at any time, but I choose not to yield to those who are just wandering around in the street. Of course, I am not going to deliberately hit anyone and I will drive defensively and carefully around all pedestrians--the goal is to get home with everyone and everything in one piece--including stupid dipwads in the streets.
As I continued my drive, I thought about how much I disliked their rude and inconsiderate behavior, and how much that kind of behavior seems to have taken over the world. I thought about how much I would like to rid my neighborhood of that behavior and keep it out, before it took over and became the rule rather than the exception--degrading everyone's quality of life. I thought how important it was for us to stand up for the quality of life in our neighborhood--to keep it a good safe place to live.
Here's the question: Am I racist?
(Publish and perish? Let the flame wars begin. Warning: I will moderate after the fact for comments that go beyond.)