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Unheard Stories of

Casual Discrimination

Joseph Davidson

Husband | Father | Educational Leader

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...how do I know you're not here to break into someone's apartment?"

My wife, who works in property management, was promoted to become the manager at a beautiful luxury apartment home community here in San Diego county. Needless to say, we were very excited about the opportunity and decided to live on-site to avoid a monstrous commute. 


A few days into our first week as new residents, I came home from work and immediately took our dog for a walk, as usual. After our walk, we made our way back to the side gate only to realize that I forgot to bring my key fob, which was needed to gain entry to the building. My first thought was to head over to the leasing office to grab my wife's keys. However, with it being her first week as the new manager I didn't want to bother her. Plus, I had already changed into my t-shirt and basketball shorts. So I thought, I'll just wait for another resident to either go in or come out.  


Within about 5 minutes a resident and his wife (both of whom were White) approached the side gate. 


As they walked up the stairs towards me, the man looks at me and says "I hope you don't think I'm letting you in". 


Caught completely off guard, I pause before asking him to repeat his comment. He repeats the comment and goes on to say that he has never seen me there before and then asks, "how do I know that you're not here to break into someone's apartment"


Before I can respond, his wife jumps in and says "Well... his dog is cute, we can let his dog in". 


While talking, they open the door and reiterate, "you're not coming in this gate". The man then turns and asks, "what's your apartment number if you live here?" 


I, of course, respond by saying that I'm not nor do I have to share that information. Then I walk in behind them. At this point, the man's anger grows and he tells his wife "no babe, we need to go talk to the manager right now and tell them that there's a Black guy who's trespassing". 


Understanding that this guy had no idea the manager he was going to speak to was my wife, I shook my head in disbelief and finally gave him my apartment number to ensure my wife would know that I was the alleged criminal in question. As they stormed towards the manager's office, I walked up the stairs feeling more upset about the fact that I wasn't shocked that this happened. 


But I couldn't help but be eager to hear my wife describe their reaction to learning that they treated the manager's husband that way, because of his skin color.


-Joseph Davidson 

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