Thought provoking column from an ex-colleague of mine...

red/green hawk

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Most that I’m aware either have the option of pay at the pump or pre-pay inside. Since I usually don’t have more than a rough estimate of how much gas I need, I usually select pay at the pump.

what’s increasingly rare is the pay inside option after getting the gas. That was a growing trend before, but Covid essentially killed the option for good.
Pay at the pump is pre pay. Last I was in Des Moines (Oct. 2020) I had just picked up a rental and had to put gas up. Stopped by a station couole blocks from the capital and it was pre pay only/pay at pump.
 
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EasyHawk

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I can’t think of any here in DSM where I have had to “pre-pay” unless it was after 9pm.
I think it is semantics. All I am aware of you have to either pay at the pump prior to getting gas, or go inside and prepay. I never go inside. But you still must swipe your credit card at the pump to get gas.
 
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Nole Lou

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So, this is pretty good. These are actually all pretty good examples, except for the gas station one, I can't make heads or tails of that one. Every gas station I've been at for probably 30 years has been prepay or pay at the pump. Is the author saying that because I'm white, I could pump first and then go in and pay, and I just haven't tried it because I took the signs at face value? If so, I had no idea.

But in general, white privilege is real, and these are great examples. These are the kind of things that absolutely do exist, and white people NEVER think about them. You really have to be listening. These aren't even the kind of things that most activists are focusing on, who are agitating for huge structural fundamental change. These are the kind of things you hear listening to regular every day black people, even conservative minded black people talk about this.

Most people who dismiss white privilege out of hand aren't really listening to the actual examples like this. My father grew up poor in the inner city working from childhood at the family store. My mother was one of 8 kids, didn't have indoor plumbing in her home, and had to put jars of hot water in bed with them to stay warm during the winter, and would wake up with them frozen sometimes. When people like that hear "white privilege" they think that having achieved some level of middle class to upper middle class type of success was given them by virtue of their skin color and that they didn't have to suffer or work for it. They just will not hear that talk.

This is a good attempt to reach people with with what it really means. The tough part is how do you fix what is being described in the column. There aren't massive legislative approaches to make that kind of thing go away. It's a hearts and minds thing, and we've done a poor job changing them in the past 25 years I think.
 

Hendy hawk

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I didn't even intend for people to agree or disagree -- I thought it was pretty thought provoking, particularly since it was coming from a rural downstate Illinois conservative perspective.
Hell this board will disagree about anything
 
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bdg8

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I guess he assumes it was related to white privilege. But how can he be sure any of those situations were due to race.

Was it the same policeman who pulled over author and the black lawyer?

Did he get free socks maybe because he was a repeat customer and not because he was white.

There are just too many unaccounted for variables. It's just very presumptuous. Of course white privilege happens, but I would like to have better examples than ones listed to validate premise
 

Hendy hawk

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Kwik trip/Star went to prepay or credit card November last yr to stop the drive offs
 

gohawks50

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I guess he assumes it was related to white privilege. But how can he be sure any of those situations were due to race.

Was it the same policeman who pulled over author and the black lawyer?

Did he get free socks maybe because he was a repeat customer and not because he was white.

There are just too many unaccounted for variables. It's just very presumptuous. Of course white privilege happens, but I would like to have better examples than ones listed to validate premise
Even if the free socks were given because he's a good customer, doesn't it seem odd they would do so after telling the black man that they never give free socks?
 
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luvmyhawks

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Even if the free socks were given because he's a good customer, doesn't it seem odd they would do so after telling the black man that they never give free socks?

Sure would, if he had actually said anything like this to the black man.
 

tigerguy_

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Pre-pay only in Davenport these days. City actually passed an ordinance for pre-pay only as a way of eliminating drive offs when they realized just how much time the police department was spending responding to them.
use 2 different stations that are both prepay, but I always go inside to grab a paper or coffee, so I just flip the pump and wave at the attendant and the gas flows. Then I go in and pay and know I'm treated differently than 95% of the other customers there.

I'm white and old, but small-town Iowa has its benefits. The one station when my kids were growing up just let them fill up the same way, but they would never go inside, they would shut the pump off, the person behind the counter would write down the amount and the next time I came in, Old dad would take care of it.


Yep, it's a really small town.
 

bdg8

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Even if the free socks were given because he's a good customer, doesn't it seem odd they would do so after telling the black man that they never give free socks?
If you believe that the situation went down exactly as described .
 

McLovin32

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use 2 different stations that are both prepay, but I always go inside to grab a paper or coffee, so I just flip the pump and wave at the attendant and the gas flows. Then I go in and pay and know I'm treated differently than 95% of the other customers there.

I'm white and old, but small-town Iowa has its benefits. The one station when my kids were growing up just let them fill up the same way, but they would never go inside, they would shut the pump off, the person behind the counter would write down the amount and the next time I came in, Old dad would take care of it.


Yep, it's a really small town.
I remember when I was a kid visiting my grandparents, my grandpa would fill up his truck at the local gas station, and would just have a running "tab" every week. He'd just pay it once a week.
 

luvmyhawks

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I believe torbee was honest about the writer being a conservative so I don’t think he made the story up.

For crying out loud, did you read the article? The store manager didn't day those words to the black man, at all. It was said to him, the writer.
 

Colonoscopy

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So, this is pretty good. These are actually all pretty good examples, except for the gas station one, I can't make heads or tails of that one. Every gas station I've been at for probably 30 years has been prepay or pay at the pump. Is the author saying that because I'm white, I could pump first and then go in and pay, and I just haven't tried it because I took the signs at face value? If so, I had no idea.

But in general, white privilege is real, and these are great examples. These are the kind of things that absolutely do exist, and white people NEVER think about them. You really have to be listening. These aren't even the kind of things that most activists are focusing on, who are agitating for huge structural fundamental change. These are the kind of things you hear listening to regular every day black people, even conservative minded black people talk about this.

Most people who dismiss white privilege out of hand aren't really listening to the actual examples like this. My father grew up poor in the inner city working from childhood at the family store. My mother was one of 8 kids, didn't have indoor plumbing in her home, and had to put jars of hot water in bed with them to stay warm during the winter, and would wake up with them frozen sometimes. When people like that hear "white privilege" they think that having achieved some level of middle class to upper middle class type of success was given them by virtue of their skin color and that they didn't have to suffer or work for it. They just will not hear that talk.

This is a good attempt to reach people with with what it really means. The tough part is how do you fix what is being described in the column. There aren't massive legislative approaches to make that kind of thing go away. It's a hearts and minds thing, and we've done a poor job changing them in the past 25 years I think.
I don't think many people at all have a problem with that. It was the language, behavior, and marketing of the concept that sucked.
 

gohawks50

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For crying out loud, did you read the article? The store manager didn't day those words to the black man, at all. It was said to him, the writer.
So you don't think the black man heard the claim? Are you saying the manager was kidding?

Are you saying you don't believe black people are ever treated differently? Do you remember when Oprah was racially profiled in Switzerland?
 

Hawki97

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Even if the free socks were given because he's a good customer, doesn't it seem odd they would do so after telling the black man that they never give free socks?

The writer put the shop owner in a weird spot asking for free socks in front of another customer. The shop owner's response might have just been the first nervous thing that came to his mind because he didn't want to give free socks to a customer (regardless of color) he'd never seen before that day vs. one that was a self described regular.

As @bdg8 said, the cop one is a bad one because it's two different people.

And even @Nole Lou who liked the other examples thinks the gas one was bad because unless they're in BFE Iowa (or Illinois I guess), pay at the pump is the gold standard for gas stations. I also can't think of one I've been to in the last 20 years that wasn't that way.

Like I said earlier, white privilege is real. These are bad examples. But if it made the writer a better person, good for him. And I guess if others see this as thought provoking and makes them better, good for them too.
 

gohawks50

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The writer put the shop owner in a weird spot asking for free socks in front of another customer. The shop owner's response might have just been the first nervous thing that came to his mind because he didn't want to give free socks to a customer (regardless of color) he'd never seen before that day vs. one that was a self described regular.

As @bdg8 said, the cop one is a bad one because it's two different people.

And even @Nole Lou who liked the other examples thinks the gas one was bad because unless they're in BFE Iowa (or Illinois I guess), pay at the pump is the gold standard for gas stations. I also can't think of one I've been to in the last 20 years that wasn't that way.

Like I said earlier, white privilege is real. These are bad examples. But if it made the writer a better person, good for him. And I guess if others see this as thought provoking and makes them better, good for them too.
I agree on the gas station example, but I think the others represent a common theme.

This topic really offends many of us who are white. Personally, I'm not offended by the idea that being white does seem to give us the benefit of the doubt. What bothers me is that we seem to be afraid to admit that we all have a fear of people that are different from us. It truly is tribalism. Everyone is more likely to trust people who look and behave like they do. Because of their very visible differences black people are the more likely to be victims of this bias. The only way our society can improve is if we admit our biases exist.
 

luvmyhawks

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So you don't think the black man heard the claim? Are you saying the manager was kidding?

Are you saying you don't believe black people are ever treated differently? Do you remember when Oprah was racially profiled in Switzerland?

I didn't say any of that, did I? I simply pointed out what actually happened instead of your false claim. Is it that hard for you to figure out?
 

gohawks50

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I didn't say any of that, did I? I simply pointed out what actually happened instead of your false claim. Is it that hard for you to figure out?
I thought you were contending that my misreading of the post changes the basic point of the story which is black people are often treated differently in places of business.
 

luvmyhawks

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I thought you were contending that my misreading of the post changes the basic point of the story which is black people are often treated differently in places of business.
I'm not contending anything. But, IMO, there is a big difference between who is doing the asking and makes it pretty black and white, (pun fully intended) as to a racial bias if not flat out racist.
 

CookyMonster

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What if one black man had a trump bumper sticker and khaki pants on, and the other had tinted out chrysler 500 and a blunt on the passenger seat?
 

tigerguy_

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I remember when I was a kid visiting my grandparents, my grandpa would fill up his truck at the local gas station, and would just have a running "tab" every week. He'd just pay it once a week.
It’s been like that for a long time ever since I was a kid too. Years ago when I first started driving, the Conoco station in town was run by my best friends dad.

At the end of the month I would go in to get settled up and if Jack was busy working on a car or filling someone up, full service cleaning the windows checking tires etc, he would just say you know where your bill is just leave it on the counter.

So I’d pull out my bill and leave it and cash, no credit cards back then, on the counter with other customers around and just walk out.

It’s crazy to think about now.
 
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gohawks50

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I'm not contending anything. But, IMO, there is a big difference between who is doing the asking and makes it pretty black and white, (pun fully intended) as to a racial bias if not flat out racist.
I admit I was wrong. I think there is a difference between recognizing "white privilege" and automatically attributing the impact to racism. Yes, it can be both, but often it is just lack of self awareness on our part. We make assumptions about others from our biases.
 
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Nole Lou

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The writer put the shop owner in a weird spot asking for free socks in front of another customer. The shop owner's response might have just been the first nervous thing that came to his mind because he didn't want to give free socks to a customer (regardless of color) he'd never seen before that day vs. one that was a self described regular.

As @bdg8 said, the cop one is a bad one because it's two different people.

And even @Nole Lou who liked the other examples thinks the gas one was bad because unless they're in BFE Iowa (or Illinois I guess), pay at the pump is the gold standard for gas stations. I also can't think of one I've been to in the last 20 years that wasn't that way.

Like I said earlier, white privilege is real. These are bad examples. But if it made the writer a better person, good for him. And I guess if others see this as thought provoking and makes them better, good for them too.

I have some misgivings about the socks one, because they might just be trying to satisfy one customer without making it a thing for every customer, of any color.

But that's ALWAYS the case for these stories. You're always going to be able to explain away some other possibility if you want to. There's this need for some white people to explain away every single instance as being something else. The author was somewhat limited because he was trying to relate what he witnessed with his own eyes.

Honestly, if people just talked to or listened to average black people...not people that want to abolish the police, not the ones who think that the United States is a white supremacist country, not people who see racism in everything...just regular people, you would hear a million stories like this and believe them. Talk to patriotic black Americans who serve their country with honor, and then come home on leave and get followed around a store by the security guard. Even politically right-leaning black people have these stories.

Unfortunately, these kind of people aren't usually platformed in a way for the average white person to hear about it. Instead it gets lumped in with conversations about dismantling white supremacist institutions, defunding the police, banning the SAT, tearing down statues of Abraham Lincoln, etc - lots of stuff with low acceptance among whites AND blacks.

It would be nice to be able to separate this reality from those extremely politicized and controversial and unpopular issues, and I think that's what this author was going for, even if flawed.
 

tarheelbybirth

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I didn't even intend for people to agree or disagree -- I thought it was pretty thought provoking, particularly since it was coming from a rural downstate Illinois conservative perspective.
What's funny is seeing all the people who read the story and their take-away is "He doesn't have to pre-pay??? I ALWAYS have to pre-pay!!! Everybody I know has to pre-pay!!!"

They should just say the silent part out loud.