Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Excuse Me, Where Are All The WHITE People?

I'm in Atlanta, GA this week. I'm staying at the Hyatt downtown on Peachtree street. I don't have any time for leaving the hotel. I came straight from the airport, checked into my room, and proceeded to spend a lot of time packed into a windowless conference room in the basement. It's going to be that way for me all week. Then I'm going to pull my rental car out of the garage and drive it back to the airport and leave.

So, take what I say in this post with all due regard for it.

I'm told that the South has a lot of white people. I understand that a lot of them voted for Bush/Cheney in the last election. I even remember Howard Dean getting in a lot of trouble for saying that maybe Democrats should try to win more votes from among their numbers. So I figure there should be a whole lot of them here in Atlanta.

The parts of Atlanta that I have been traveling? Not many white people. I haven't seen any— to be precise, I haven't seen any that I could reasonably believe were locals. Plenty of everybody else on God's green Earth. I didn't see any white people working in the airport when I arrived Sunday night. It was late at night, though— maybe all the white people get to go home at 5:00pm around here. Almost all the white people in the hotel appear to be from out of town, here for the same conference as me. The woman waiting on my table tonight is the only caucasian person I've seen on the staff here, and she has a heavy Eastern Europe accent and a Serbian name on her badge.

Where are all the white people? I see them on the local affiliate television news. I know they're out there. Why aren't there any in my immediate vicinity? Have they deliberately erected a personnel barrier around the places where I might travel while I am in Atlanta so that no white people should have to encounter me in person? What are they doing out there? It's really pretty weird.

Not weird, in a bad way, mind you— I could learn to like Atlanta with no white people.

Update 2005-03-16: Okay, then. I've had a chance to track some down. There is a bartender and a member of the room service staff. Still, they do sure seem like a tiny minority here.

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