Another side of the story:

I spent a month in South Carolina back in the very early 70’s. I was at an industrial equipment shop learning about their products so I could sell them back in Massachusetts.

Most of the people I met were very nice, but there were a few who didn’t like Northeners like me.

One day I was sitting in the cafeteria eating lunch. A black man in his sixties was sweeping the floor. A group of young men walked in and sat near me.

One of them looked at the man pushing the broom and said, “Man, I’d hate to be a ****”

My head snapped up and I stared at them, hardly believing what I heard. They all laughed and then another added, “Sure, but it’s worse to be an old **** sweeping floors!”

I must have tensed up and started to stand. My eye caught the sweeper looking at me. He said nothing, but his eyes were sad and he shook his head slowly, indicating “No”. He knew they were baiting me, not him.

I nodded in understanding and ignored the jackasses at the other table.

They had no more comments.

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