beefjerky, Germany, petpeeve

To my somewhat racist neighbor

Dear older German woman,

It's okay, don't worry. It's all good.

It’s okay. You don’t have to worry. When you came up to me that other night as I was walking down the street, you seemed very nervous and agitated. You talked at me for a while about something urgent, but all I could make out was ‘black man’, ‘fear’ and ‘I live down the road’. I figured it was no use trying to explain to you in my limited German that black people are just like other people. They have hair, and feet and noses too.

Maybe I should have stopped and introduced you to the person, but I was a little taken aback by the urgency in your voice. I thought that you were in some sort of legitimate danger. Instead of trying to help you understand, I decided to help you home.

Okay, though, I can understand. It was a bit dark out and I have to admit, I was carrying some fancy camera equipment and when I saw those two Turkish guys catching up to me rather quickly on the street I did a double take as well. But really, you don’t have to worry.

I wish I could have told you how I had seen him on the bus with me and thought he seemed like a nice person. Or maybe I could have robbed you to teach you a lesson, that maybe you should be frightened of your neighbors instead. Ha, ha, no, that’s just a joke. But seriously, don’t worry. People are okay.

Sincerely,

Your Neighbor

PS Thank you for dropping off that chocolate bar in my mailbox the next day to thank me. If you would like to continue dropping off chocolate bars, I would be happy to walk you home whenever you are ‘gefüllt mit angst’ for any reason.

PPS Speaking of racist old German women, check out this great short. It’s a bit slow in the buildup, but the payoff at about 9 minutes is more than worth it.

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