Tuesday, November 30, 2010

there's the wind up and there's the pitch

I spent a long weekend at Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City with my family. This is not another account of my wife's affection for gambling. This is a story of racism, once again, rearing its ubiquitous head.

After breakfast, my son and I headed back to our hotel room while my wife spent some time in the casino. (I don't know... maybe she was checking out the carpeting or lighting fixtures for an upcoming home improvement project.) We stood at the bank of six elevators waiting for one to whisk us up to our room on the thirty-second floor. A chime split the air announcing the arrival of an elevator. My son and I filed in. We were followed by a man and woman in their thirties and another couple, I would venture to guess, pushing seventy. The doors shut.

The older man — a short, bent-over fellow — was giving the younger man the "once-over", until he finally cleared his throat and addressed him. "You look like C.C. Sabathia.", he croaked. His thin lips curled back, revealing an obviously false set of equine-like choppers. The object of this observation was a very tall (about six foot-five) black man sporting a New York Yankees baseball cap. He was preoccupied with his cellphone, unaware that the old man's comment was directed at him. So, the elderly gentleman repeated his assertion, this time a little louder — "You look like C.C. Sabathia".

C. C. Sabathia is a Cy Young Award winning, four-time All Star pitcher for the New York Yankees, whose seven-year, $161 million contract is the largest in Major League Baseball history. He is six feet-seven inches tall and weighs 250 pounds. The only thing that our fellow elevator passenger had in common with Mr. Sabathia was he was tall, he was black and he wore a Yankees hat. He was approximately half the girth of the Yankee hurler and didn't remotely resemble him.

The young man smiled uncomfortably and mumbled apologetically to the old man, "Heh, heh... I wish I had his money." Just then, the doors opened and the younger couple exited the car. The older man and his silent wife remained for one more floor, ultimately leaving the elevator occupied by just my son and me. Once we were alone, my son turned to me and, noting my short stature and pointing to my red hair and glasses, said, "Y'know, if that guy in the Yankees hat wasn't here, the old man would have told you that you look like Woody Allen."

Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia

Another story of racism can be found HERE on the josh pincus is crying blog.

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