January 17, 2004

The lowest common denominator

Dean Landsman has a dilemma, along with a case of whiplash of the heart I'm familiar with. Dean has had a long-time business relationship with a particular business partner, who, in the midst of a heated argument with Dean a few days ago, resorted to racial slurs. Dean, thankfully, spares us what the guy called him or told him, but gives a good description of how it feels to find out that someone you've known a long time thinks about you in a way you never thought they would. In other words, the insult is all the worse because you like the person, or you thought you did:

From a source so surprising. A friend, or so I thought. A colleague, someone I?ve known for years. Done business with him, shared war stories, considered a friend, an associate, a colleague. Always had a sense of trust, of him being a person of substance, of honor, all those worthy things. Respectable. A decent guy.

It's a betrayal of a special kind. It has happened to me, has happened to George more overtly. It is a particular form of racism that I think is more prevalent in the north, especially the northeast, than in the south, where they call a spade a spade, so to speak.

Dean is looking for feedback, because, as misfortune or fortune would have it, his livelihood at this moment is entwined with this one-time friend.

I have to think about this myself. I hate remembering this kind of bullshit. It enrages me.

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