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Man mugged at downtown Caltrain station
Original post made
on Aug 21, 2008
A 19-year-old man was mugged early Thursday as he was leaving the University Avenue Caltrain station, Palo Alto Police Agent Dan Ryan said.
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Thursday, August 21, 2008, 3:12 PM
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Posted by Kathy
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 10, 2008 at 12:20 am
Your first words grabbed my attention, an attempt to get the audience back on point. "A young man was mugged, and it is unfortunate, wherever that happens, whether in Palo Alto or Brooklyn." Brilliant. What followed made me very, very sad.
I'm so sorry that your experiences here in Palo Alto have been so negative. Please don't blame it on all white, liberal-ish, well-educated, Palo Altans. Some of us are enlightened, despite our circumstances and upbringing.
When I pass people on the street, whoever they are, whatever their appearance, I make eye contact and greet them. Unless you were coming at me with a gun, knife, or in some manner that was overtly threatening (in which case it wouldn't matter if you were black, white, brown, yellow, or polka-dotted), I wouldn't lock my door, roll up my windows, cross the street, or otherwise avoid you.
Unless you smoked, used drugs, were a fall-down drunk, or had really offensive behavior, I wouldn't rule you out as a friend or roommate (no twangy country or loud rock allowed), a tenant, or an employee. As an employer/manager (which I no longer am), I hired and promoted solely based upon education, qualifications, performance, merit, and desire. Now that I'm happily self-employed, and I'm my entire staff, so I can't be much help.
However, if an apartment ever opens up in the building in which I live, I'd be happy to let you know. The owner is a friend, and he does not discriminate. He does own a local business nearby, and would give first dibs on the rare vacancy to one of his employees, but if he had no takers, I'd be happy to let you know.
As for me, yes, I'm about a white as they come, 100% blonde-haired, green-eyed, German-American, raised by in a Lutheran family of (dare I day it) Republicans. By the time I was about 11 or 12, I realized they had 2 qualities I didn't want to emulate bigotry (covert) and hypocracy (overt). I'm still a white German-American, my hair's still blonde (gets a little assist now), and my eyes are still green, but I'm more of a Buddhist now (peace, loving kindness, belief in all faiths), and non-partisan in my politics (I vote my conscience).
I was taught the Golden Rule every Sunday, but witnessed different behavior during the week. It wasn't aggressive, or hateful, or even deliberate. My earliest awareness was in the mid-60s, when I was about 8-years-old. We lived in a Southern California working-class neighborhood. I was too young at the time to understand the reasons or the underlying emotions, but I remember when the riots broke out in Watts. The TV news kept showing angry young "Negroes" ("Black" was still a few years off) breaking windows and setting stores on fire. They were shown throwing anything they could find at police rocks, bricks, glass. Everything was on fire. The air was black during the day. The sky was glowing orange at night. This was happening about 20 minutes from our house. It was a scary time, especially for an 8-year-old.
I forget how long the fires burned. It seems like it was months. It probably was days. When things returned to "normal", I just remember that "Watts" had become something bigger than life. It was in the history books now. Something I was able to comprehend, even though I was only 8, was that there was something wrong in Watts that wasn't wrong in the cities next door. After the riots, an invisible equivalent of the Berlin wall was erected by my parents around Watts, Compton, East L.A., etc. ... the gettos, the barrios. I began to notice my parents acted differently around people that didn't "look" like them. Curious, I thought, but I didn't really yet understand it.
As I grew older and wiser, by this time I was all of 11, I came to realize that these "God-fearing, church-going, love your neighbor as you love yourself" Christians were talking the talk but walking a different direction. A blended family moved next door to us. My parents were distraught. I sensed their fear whenever the neighbors' black sons and I were talking. These young men were polite, intelligent, motivated, and interesting. My folks were relieved when I talked with the white son (who was a juvenile delinquent, drug addict, all-round jerk).
I really don't think my parents were purposefully and maliciously bigoted or racist (I don't even think they were aware of it), but they were, I saw it, and it bothered me ... and their friends were, and their churchmates were, and their political affiliates were. I'm sorry, but I don't think you can call yourself a "good Christian" if your behavior is qualified by the color of the skin of the person standing opposite you.
Heart matters. Soul matters. Kindness matters. Behavior matters. Intent matters. Honesty matters. Wisdom matters. Color doesn't matter.
I wish I could remove the seven years of stress and angst that living here has brought you. As I said, some of us ARE enlightened. I realize I'm writing 6-7 weeks after the previous posts, but hopefully this will somehow get to you.