May 15

I’ve already gotten to know pretty much everyone who lives out here, and they all really like me, especially the kids. But I have noticed one thing that’s kind of sad. When I first started hanging out with them, being friendly and asking questions about stuff, some of them thought I was making fun of them and shut me down hard. It’s fine, I’m not upset; it just really hit me — and I mean, I sort of knew this before, but I never really got it — how standoffish privileged people usually are around more disadvantaged folks, as if they thought they had something to lose by getting to know them better. So when someone does reach out to them, they think he’s just messing with them or talking down to them. Sigh.
I mean, I know we’re not the same, and I know we never could be; but I do believe that distancing yourself from people based on class or income should be just as stigmatized as being racist or sexist or any other kind of discrimination.
I was just down by the fountain, and I saw a young poor-looking girl at the foot of the stairs whose backpack had burst its zipper and who was looking around to see if any of her friends would come help her pick up her books.
“Excuse me, miss, can I help you?” I said.
She got super awkward and said, “Oh, no thank you, mister!”
“Hey, don’t worry about it.”
She held the bag open and I slipped the books in. She thanked me and climbed up :)

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