Racial Unity Through Running



Here’s a dirty little secret. For someone who has lived most of his life in Northern Virginia, the meltiest of melting pots, I still struggle with a healthy heaping of liberal white guilt. I like to think I’m a forward-thinking individual that celebrates the differences of others and strives to make the world a better place for the common man, no matter the color or religious background. Truth of the matter is, I’m a caucasian middle-class christian male. And if Hollywood has taught me anything, I’m a scumbag. For this reason, I am constantly trying to prove to everyone that I’m an okay guy. This explain why I do what I do on the running trail.

The truth of the matter is that I live in a fairly white neighborhood, but, apparently, not a single white person feels the need to run outside. They’re probably running on their fancy treadmills watching Bill O’Reilly and counting the money that they earned by exploiting the black man. But I’m better than that. I’m a man of the people.

Here’s the point: I pass a lot of different races while I’m running and I feel like it’s my job to be the ambassador for white America and offer a friendly head nod or smile to my fellow man. Of course, I’m a bit neroutic (if you haven’t figured that out already), so it always ends up being a bit more complicated. I will now offer an insight into my brain as a pass certain people on the running trail.

Middle Eastern: Alright Paul, heads up, we gotta an arab gentleman walking towards you. Now, he probably thinks that you’ve pegged him for a terrorist so give him a head nod to let him know what’s up. Yeah, that’s right, you’re down with Allah. Good for you.

Indian: Okay, now we have an Indian woman at 12 o’clock. Complement her on her nose ring. Wait, don’t do that, you’re running. Not enough time to make is sound sincere, she’ll think you’re mocking her. Just crack her a smile. Perfect. Good for you.

RaceAsian: A nice old asian couple walking side-by-side, blocking your path. No, you can’t take out they’re knees and mutter something about Pearl Harbor. You don’t even know if they’re Japanese! Maybe if you weren’t such a pigheaded westerner you could tell the difference. Okay, okay. Let’s all calm down. Just pass them on the grass. Make sure to nod. They didn’t nod back. No worries. No you shouldn’t turn around and try again. You better not yell Free Tibet! Just keep on going. You made an effort. Good for you.

African American: Okay Frommelt. Here’s your moment to shine. We gotta black guy about 50 yards away. Let’s get a gameplan here. A nod and a smile should definitely do it. Should we mention that we thought about voting for Obama? Wait, did we vote for Obama? Don’t remember. Okay, the Obama thing is out. Oh God, he’s closing fast. Okay, okay. What about a fist pound? Would it be to awkward to attempt a brother hug? Think! Think! He’s here. Smile, damn you. Nod! Phew, okay that went well. Damn, should of went with the fist pound. Don’t worry about it. You did well. Good for you.

White: Oh. Well what do we have here. One of them Neo-Nazis. Scowl! White Devil! Yeah. Don’t you nod back. Good for you.

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