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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Speaking of Myrtle Beach

Posted by on Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Myrtle Beach, the location of the last GOP debate, is the only place I've been called a nigger in my face by a white person. Well, to be honest, it wasn't exactly in my face. Let me explain: I went down there in 91 for spring break. I went with a group of students from my small and dreary Pennsylvania college. I shared a room with this group. At the end of our first day there, I walked to a quiet spot near the crowded motel, lit a cigarette, and stared at the unbeautiful sea. A moment into the smoke, a white woman approached me and asked for a cigarette. I gave her one and hoped she would continue on her way for two good reasons: one, I really wanted be alone; two, she was ugly. But she stayed put and smoked and talked.

Suddenly from a passing car: "Hey, what are you doing with that nigger." On hearing this, what upset me most was the hicks actually thought I was romantically tied with this ugly woman. That was a deep insult. I wanted to yell: "I have nothing to do with this woman, I'm from the city, she is not my type, please feel free to save her from the nigger."

The car was gone before any word formed on my lips. I turned and saw the woman's face was the picture of mortification. She profusely apologized for her race—we're not all like that, times were changing, people would learn to live together. The more she apologized, the worse I felt for thinking bad things about her appearance. Life is so complicated.


Comments (20) RSS

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You almost sounded human there for a second.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on January 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM · Report this
sirkowski 2
This is much more interesting.
Posted by sirkowski on January 18, 2012 at 12:55 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 3
@ 1, what's wrong? Is your tummy upset? Didn't get enough sleep? Fallen in love with someone who doesn't love you? Tell me all about it - you'll feel better.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 18, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this
Here I am wondering how Slog trolls will twist this about to make this all Charles' fault, somehow.
Posted by Central Scrutinizer on January 18, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
aardvark 5
That was 20 years ago! Not that things have changed maybe but That was 20 years ago! I can see the grain on the film
Posted by aardvark on January 18, 2012 at 1:20 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 6
A Chinese-american girl I was on a date with got the same shit from an old Chinese lady. But in Cantonese. "What are you doing with that White Devil?"
Posted by Max Solomon on January 18, 2012 at 1:28 PM · Report this
I dated a white female who lived in Wedgwood--the morning after I left her home, somebody threw a rock through her front window---In so-called liberal seattle.
Posted by neo-realist on January 18, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
lark 8
Wow, that's one surreal and unfortunate moment. Must have stung anyway you cut it. I do think it is rare though. It happened in the Deep South and 20 years ago as well. Still, sorry to hear about it.
Posted by lark on January 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
chimsquared 9
As a person who has been roped into going to Myrtle Beach twice and regretted it both times (my fault I know), this story (racism and ugly people) is incredibly believable.
Posted by chimsquared on January 18, 2012 at 2:00 PM · Report this
A couple of years ago we were in that area of SC, at a restaurant. A bunch of good ole white boy golfers were getting drunk and talking loudly about "n----rs". SC is in a time warp, Confederate flags, all the trappings.
Posted by betsio on January 18, 2012 at 2:03 PM · Report this
As a black native South Carolinian, Charleston to be exact, this shit doesn't surprise me.

1. It was 1991. I got called nigger at the age for 12 in 1991 and that fucking redneck's ass got kicked by my friends and the teachers, who knew how much of a racist dumb hick he was, just turned their backs while he got his well deserved punishment. Even the administration hated him.

2. You were in Myrtle Beach which a lot of South Carolinians consider a fucking hell hole of a tourist trap. Plus outside M.B is full of nothing but dumb racist hicks. You wouldn't find me driving back to Charleston on the roads leading out of that area past 9 pm.

Charles, consider what you experienced in S.C in 1991 a cake walk compared to what you would've experienced in Georgia and other parts of the deep South during the early 90s. If you were to go back to South Carolina, especially where I'm from, you'd be very surprised by how many interracial couples there ranging from their teens to elderly couples.
Posted by apres_moi on January 18, 2012 at 2:14 PM · Report this
and to add to that, my cousin and his wife, have a large family full of adopted kids, two of which are a set of white brothers. So in 2012, you can be a black couple in Charleston, South Carolina and have two white kids in your family.
Posted by apres_moi on January 18, 2012 at 2:16 PM · Report this
Charles, I love your beautiful mind.
Posted by scratchmaster joe on January 18, 2012 at 2:27 PM · Report this
balderdash 14
Myrtle Beach is pretty much the worst place.

That has nothing to do with the fact that a crazy ex-girlfriend was from there. I mean, come on, we were young. You have to allow for a certain amount of crazy.

It's just a horrible shitty place, is all.
Posted by balderdash on January 18, 2012 at 3:27 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 15
Is this the same Myrtle Beach that permanent beltway gasbag Cokie Roberts declared to be the optimal vacation destination for "Real Americans" when Obama dared to hang in Hawaii?
Posted by Sir Vic on January 18, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
Nothing complicated about it; South Carolina is full of racists and you're kind of a jerk.
Posted by Joe Glibmoron on January 18, 2012 at 5:44 PM · Report this
well_now 17
Charles is sounding more funny/insightful and less crazy these days. I think it's cyclical. Maybe he has seasonal affective disorder and loses the desire to piss people off during the winter months.
Posted by well_now on January 18, 2012 at 8:11 PM · Report this
Charles I also love your beautiful mind. Thank you for this story. It speaks loudly and truly about complex reality. It is a piece of art, and science, and humanity.
Posted by A little bit more on January 18, 2012 at 10:14 PM · Report this
seandr 19
Great story, Charles.

My only memory of Myrtle Beach was zipping by on I-95 on the way to Miami for spring break (with a stop in Orlando to trip on acid at Disney World).
Posted by seandr on January 18, 2012 at 10:55 PM · Report this
venomlash 20
I was once chatting with my boss at the time, who is also Jewish. I mentioned how convenient it was to be able to drop in on my parents on Saturday nights (when the dining halls are closed), and he said something like:
"Yeah, you can always eat dinner with them, unless you marry a shiksa or something."
That my girlfriend is a Gentile notwithstanding, that's just not something you usually hear out of your boss, even if you're engaged in some off-the-clock banter.
Posted by venomlash on January 19, 2012 at 12:11 AM · Report this

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