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(The following is a an open letter from a White School teacher who had the experience of teaching Black youth.)
Until recently I taught at a predominantly black high school in a southeastern state.
The mainstream press gives a hint of what conditions are like in black schools, but only a hint. Expressions journalists use like â€œchaoticâ€� or â€œpoor learning environmentâ€� or â€œlack of disciplineâ€� do not capture what really happens. There is nothing like the day-to-day experience of teaching black children and that is what I will try to convey.
One of the most immediately striking things about my students was that they were loud. They had little conception of ordinary decorum. It was not unusual for five students to be screaming at me at once.
It did no good to try to quiet them and white women were particularly inept at trying. I sat in on one womanâ€™s class as she begged the children to pipe down. They just yelled louder so their voices would carry over hers.
They seemed to have no conception of waiting for an appropriate time to say something. They would get ideas in their heads and simply had to shout them out. I might be leading a discussion on government and suddenly be interrupted: â€œWe gotta get more Democrats! Clinton, she good!â€� The student may seem content with that outburst but two minutes later, he would suddenly start yelling again: â€œClinton good!â€�
Anyone who is around young blacks will probably get a constant diet of rap music. Blacks often make up their own jingles, and it was not uncommon for 15 boys to swagger into a classroom, bouncing their shoulders and jiving back.
They were yelling back and forth, rapping 15 different sets of
words in the same harsh, rasping dialect.
The words were almost invariably
a childish form of boasting: â€œWho got
dem shine rim, who got dem shine shoe,
who got dem shine grill (gold and silver
dental caps)?â€� The amateur rapper usually
ends with a claimâ€”in the crudest
terms imaginableâ€”that all womankind
is sexually devoted to him. For whatever
reason, my students would often groan
instead of saying a particular word, as in,
â€œShe suck dat aaahhhh (think of a long
grinding groan), she f**k dat aaaahhhh,
she lick dat aaaahhh.â€�
So many black girls dance in the hall, in the classroom,
on the chairs, next to the chairs, under
the chairs, everywhere. Once I took a
call on my cell phone and had to step
outside of class. I was away about two
minutes but when I got back, the
girls had lined up at the front of the
classroom and were convulsing to the
delight of the boys.
Many black people, especially
women, are enormously fat. Some are
so fat I had to arrange special seating to
accommodate their bulk. I am not saying
there are no fat white studentsâ€”there
areâ€”but it is a matter of numbers and
attitudes. Many black girls simply do not
care that they are fat. There are plenty
of white anorexics, but I have never met
or heard of a black anorexic.
â€œBlack women be big Mr. Jackson,â€�
my students would explain.
â€œIs it okay in the black community to
be a little overweight?â€� I ask.
Two obese girls in front of
my desk begin to dance, â€œYou know
dem boys lak juicy fruit, Mr. Jackson.â€�
â€œJuicyâ€� is a colorful black expression
for the buttocks.
Blacks, on average, are the most directly critical
people I have ever met: â€œDat shirt stupid.
Yoâ€™ kid a bastard. Yoâ€™ lips big.â€� Unlike
whites, who tread gingerly around the
subject of race, they can be brutally to
the point. Once I needed to send a student
to the office to deliver a message. I
asked for volunteers, and suddenly you
would think my classroom was a bastion
of civic engagement. Thirty dark hands
shot into the air. My students loved to
leave the classroom and slack off, even
if just for a few minutes, away from the
eye of white authority. I picked a light-skinned
boy to deliver the message. One
very black student was indignant: â€œYou
pick da half-breed.â€� And immediately
other blacks take up the cry, and half
a dozen mouths are screaming, â€œHe
For decades, the country has been
lamenting the poor academic performance
of blacks and there is much to
lament. There is no question, however,
that many blacks come to school with a
serious handicap that is not their fault.
At home they have learned a dialect that
is almost a different language. Blacks
not only mispronounce words; their
grammar is often wrong. When a black
wants to ask, â€œWhere is the bathroom?â€�
he may actually say â€œWhar da badroom
be?â€� Grammatically, this is the equivalent
of â€œWhere the bathroom is?â€� And
this is the way they speak in high school.
Students write the way they speak, so
this is the language that shows up in
It is true that some whites face a
similar handicap. They speak with
what I would call a â€œcountryâ€� accent
that is hard to reproduce but results in
sentences such as â€œIâ€™m gonna gemme
a Coke.â€� Some of these country whites
had to learn correct pronunciation and
usage. The difference is that most whites
overcome this handicap and learn to
speak correctly; many blacks do not.
Most of the blacks I taught simply
had no interest in academic subjects. I
taught history, and students would often
say they didnâ€™t want to do an assignment
or they didnâ€™t like history because it was
all about white people. Of course, this
was â€œdiversityâ€� history, in which every
cowboyâ€™s black cook got a special page
on how he contributed to winning the
West, but black children still found it
inadequate. So I would throw up my
hands and assign them a project on a
real, historical black person. My favorite
was Marcus Garvey. They had never
heard of him, and I would tell them to
research him, but they never did. They
didnâ€™t care and they didnâ€™t want to do
Anyone who teaches blacks soon
learns that they have a completely different
view of government from whites.
Once I decided to fill 25 minutes by
having students write about one thing
the government should do to improve
America. I gave this question to three
classes totaling about 100 students,
approximately 80 of whom were black.
My white students came back with
generally â€œconservativeâ€� ideas. â€œWe
need to cut off people who donâ€™t work,â€�
was the most common suggestion.
Nearly every black gave a variation on
the theme of â€œWe need more government
My students had only the vaguest
notion of who pays for government
services. For them, it was like a magical
piggy bank that never goes empty. One
black girl was exhorting the class on
the need for more social services and I
kept trying to explain that people, real
live people, are taxed for the money to
pay for those services. â€œYeah, it come
from whites,â€� she finally said. â€œThey
â€œMany black people make over
$50,000 dollars a year and you would
also be taking away from your own
people,â€� I said.
She had an answer to that: â€œDey
half breed.â€� The class agreed. I let the
Many black girls are perfectly happy
to be welfare queens. On career day, one
girl explained to the class that she was
going to have lots of children and get fat
checks from the government. No one in
the class seemed to have any objection
to this career choice.
Surprising attitudes can come out in
class discussion. We were talking about
the crimes committed in the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina, and I brought up the
rape of a young girl in the bathroom of
the Superdome. A majority of my students
believed this was a horrible crime
but a few took it lightly. One black boy
spoke up without raising his hand: â€œDat
no big deal. They thought they is gonna
die so they figured they have some fun.
Dey jusâ€™ wanna have a fun time; you
know what Iâ€™m sayinâ€™?â€� A few black
heads nodded in agreement.
My department head once asked all
the teachers to get a response from all
students to the following question: â€œDo
you think it is okay to break the law if it
will benefit you greatly?â€� By then, I had
been teaching for a while and was not
surprised by answers that left a young,
liberal, white woman colleague aghast.
â€œYeahâ€� was the favorite answer. As one
student explained, â€œGet dat green.â€�
There is a level of conformity among
blacks that whites would find hard to
believe. They like one kind
of music: rap. They will
vote for one political party:
Democrat. They dance
one way, speak one way,
are loud the same way,
and fail their exams in the
same way. Of course, there
are exceptions but they
Whites are different.
Some like country music,
others heavy metal, some
prefer pop, and still others,
God forbid, enjoy rap music. They have
different associations, groups, almost
ideologies. There are jocks, nerds,
preppies, and hunters. Blacks are allâ€”
wellâ€”black, and they are quick to let
other blacks know when they deviate
from the norm.
One might object that there are important
group differences among blacks that a white man simply cannot detect. I
have done my best to find them, but so
far as I can tell, they dress the same, talk
the same, think the same. Certainly, they
form rival groups, but the groups are not
different in any discernible way. There
simply are no groups of blacks that are
as distinctly different from each other
as white â€œnerds,â€� â€œhunters,â€� or â€œGoths,â€�
How the world looks to blacks
One point on which all blacks agree
is that everything is â€œracisâ€™.â€� This is
one message of liberalism they have
absorbed completely. Did you do your
homework? â€œNa, homework racisâ€™.â€�
Why did you get an F on the test? â€œTest
I was trying to teach a unit on British
philosophers and the first thing the students
noticed about Bentham, Hobbes,
and Locke was â€œDey all white! Where da
black philosophersâ€™?â€� I tried to explain
there were no blacks in eighteenth century
Britain. You can probably guess
what they said to that: â€œDat racisâ€™!â€�
One student accused me of deliberately
failing him on a test because I
didnâ€™t like black people.
â€œDo you think I really hate black
â€œHave I done anything to make you
feel this way? How do you know?â€�
â€œYou just do.â€�
â€œWhy do you say that?â€�
He just smirked, looked out the window,
and sucked air through his teeth.
Perhaps this was a regional thing, but
the blacks often sucked air through their
teeth as a wordless expression of disdain
My students were sometimes unable
to see the world except through the lens
of their own blackness. I had a class
that was host to a German exchange
student. One day he put on a Power Point
presentation with famous German landmarks
as well as his school and family.
From time to time during the presentation,
blacks would scream, â€œWhere da
black folk?!â€� The exasperated German
tried several times to explain that there
were no black people where he lived in
Germany. The students did not believe
him. I told them Germany is in Europe,
where white people are from, and Africa
is where black people are from. They
insisted that the German student was
racist and deliberately refused to associate
Blacks are keenly interested in
their own racial characteristics. I have
learned, for example, that some blacks
have â€œgood hair.â€� Good hair is black
parlance for black-white hybrid hair.
Apparently, it is less kinky, easier to
style, and considered more attractive.
Blacks are also proud of light skin.
Imagine two black students shouting
insults across the room. One is dark
but slim; the other light and obese. The
dark one begins the exchange: â€œYou
fat, Ridario!â€� Ridario smiles, doesnâ€™t deign to look
at his detractor, shakes his head like a
wobbling top, and says, â€œYou wish you
They could go on like this, repeating
the same insults over and over.
My black students had nothing but
contempt for Hispanic immigrants. They
would vent their feelings so crudely
that our department strongly advised us
never to talk about immigration in class
in case the principal or some outsider
Whites were â€œracisâ€™,â€� of course, but
they thought of us at least as Americans.
Not the Mexicans. Blacks have a certain,
not necessarily hostile understanding of
white people. They know how whites
act, and it is clear they believe whites
are smart and are good at organizing
things. At the same time, they probably
suspect whites are just putting on an
act when they talk about equality, as if
it is all a sham that makes it easier for
whites to control blacks. Blacks want a
bigger piece of the American pie. Iâ€™m
convinced that if it were up to them
they would give whites a considerably
smaller piece than whites get now, but
they would give us something. They
wouldnâ€™t give Mexicans anything.
What about black boys and white
girls? No one is supposed to
notice this or talk about it but
it is glaringly obvious: Black
boys are obsessed with white
girls. Iâ€™ve witnessed the following
drama countless times. A black
boy saunters up to a white
girl. The cocky black dances
around her, not really in a menacing
way. Itâ€™s more a shuffle
than a threat. As he bobs and
shuffles he asks, â€œWhen you
gonna go witâ€™ me?â€�
There are two kinds of reply.
The more confident white
girl gets annoyed, looks away
from the black and shouts, â€œI donâ€™t wanna
go out with you!â€� The more demure
girl will look at her feet and mumble
a polite excuse but ultimately say no.
There is only one response from the
black boy: â€œYou racisâ€™.â€� Many girlsâ€”all
too manyâ€”actually feel guilty because
they do not want to date blacks. Most
white girls at my school stayed away
from blacks, but a few, particularly the
ones who were addicted to drugs, fell
in with them.
There is something else that is striking
about blacks. They seem to have
no sense of romance, of falling in love.
What brings men and women together is
sex, pure and simple, and there is a crude
openness about this. There are many degenerate
whites, of course, but some of
my white students were capable of real
devotion and tenderness, emotions that
seemed absent from blacksâ€”especially
Black schools are violent and the
few whites who are too poor to escape
are caught in the storm. The violence is
astonishing, not so much that it happens,
but the atmosphere in which it happens.
Blacks can be smiling, seemingly perfectly
content with what they are doing,
having a good time, and then, suddenly
start fighting. Itâ€™s uncanny. Not long
ago, I was walking through the halls
and a group of black boys were walking
in front of me. All of a sudden they
started fighting with another group in
Blacks are extraordinarily quick to
take offense. Once I accidentally scuffed
a black boyâ€™s white sneaker with my
shoe. He immediately rubbed his body
up against mine and threatened to attack
me. I stepped outside the class and had
a security guard escort the student to
the office. It was unusual for students
to threaten teachers physically this way,
but among themselves, they were quick
to fight for similar reasons.
The real victims are the unfortunate
whites caught in this. They are always
in danger and their educations suffer.
White weaklings are particularly susceptible,
but mostly to petty violence. They
may be slapped or get a couple of kicks
when they are trying to open a bottom
locker. Typically, blacks save the hard,
serious violence for each other.
There was a lot of promiscuous sex
among my students and this led to
violence. Black girls were constantly
fighting over black boys. It was not uncommon
to see two girls literally ripping
each otherâ€™s hair out with a police officer
in the middle trying to break up the
fight. The black boy they were fighting
over would be standing by with a smile,
enjoying the show he had created. For
reasons I cannot explain, boys seldom
fought over girls.
Pregnancy was common among the
blacks, though many black girls were
so fat I could not tell the difference. I
donâ€™t know how many girls got abortions,
but when they had the baby they
usually stayed in school and had their
own parents look after the child. The
school did not offer daycare.
Aside from the police officers constantly on campus, security guards are everywhere in
black schoolsâ€”we had one on every
hall. They also sat in on unruly classes
and escorted students to the office. They
were unarmed but worked closely with
the three city police officers who were
constantly on duty.
There was a lot of drug-dealing at
my school. This was a way to
make a fair amount of money but it
also gave boys power over girls who
wanted drugs. An addicted girlâ€”black
or whiteâ€”became the plaything of anyone
who could get her drugs.
One of my students was a notorious
drug dealer. Everyone knew it. He was
19 years old and in eleventh grade. Once
he got a score of three out of 100 on a
test. He had been locked up four times
since he was 13.
One day, I asked him, â€œWhy do you
come to school?â€�
He wouldnâ€™t answer. He just looked
out the window, smiled, and sucked air
through his teeth. His friend Yidarius
ventured an explanation: â€œHe get dat
green and get dem females.â€�
â€œWhat is the green?â€� I asked. â€œMoney
or dope?â€� â€œBoth,â€� said Yidarius with a smile.
A very fat student interrupted from
across the room: â€œWe get dat lunch,â€� Mr.
Jackson. â€œWe gotta get dat lunch and
brickfuss.â€� He means the free breakfast
and lunch poor students get every day.
â€œNigga, we knowâ€™d you be lovinâ€™
brickfuss!â€� shouts another student.
Some readers may believe that I
have drawn a cruel caricature of black
students. After all, according to official
figures some 85 percent of them graduate.
It would be instructive to know how
many of those scraped by with barely a
C- record. They go from grade to grade
and they finally get their diplomas
because there is so much pressure on
teachers to push them through. It saves
money to move them along, the school
looks good and the teachers look good.
Many of these children should have been
failed but the system would crack under
their weight if they were all held back.
How did my experiences make me
feel about blacks? Ultimately, I lost
sympathy for them. In so many ways
they seem to make their own beds.
There they were in an integrationistâ€™s
fantasyâ€”in the same classroom with
white students, eating the same lunch,
using the same bathrooms, listening to
the same teachersâ€”and yet the blacks
fail while the whites pass.
One tragic outcome among whites
who have been teaching for too long
is that it can engender something close
to hatred. One teacher I knew gave up
fast foodâ€”not for health reasons but
because where he lived most fast-food
workers were black. He had enough of
blacks on the job. This was an extreme
example but years of frustration can
take their toll. Many of my white colleagues
with any experience were well
on their way to that state of mind.
There is an unutterable secret among
teachers: Almost all realize that blacks
do not respond to traditional white
instruction. Does that put the lie to environmentalism?
Not at all. It is what
brings about endless, pointless innovation
that is supposed to bring blacks up
to the white level. The solution is more diversityâ€”or put
more generally, the solution is change.
Change is an almost holy word in education,
and you can fail a million times as
long as you keep changing. That is why
liberals keep revamping the curriculum
and the way it is taught. For example,
teachers are told that blacks need hands-on
instruction and more group work.
Teachers are told that blacks are more
vocal and do not learn through reading
and lectures. The implication is that they
have certain traits that lend themselves
to a different kind of teaching.
Whites have learned a certain way for
centuries but it just doesnâ€™t work with
blacks. Of course, this implies racial
differences but if pressed, most liberal
teachers would say different racial
learning styles come from some indefinable
cultural characteristic unique to
blacks. Therefore, schools must change,
America must change. But into what?
How do you turn quantum physics into
hands-on instruction or group work? No
one knows, but we must keep changing
until we find something that works.
Public school has certainly changed
since anyone reading this was a student.
I have a friend who teaches elementary
school and she tells me that every week
the students get a new diversity lesson,
shipped in fresh from some bureaucratâ€™s
office in Washington or the state
capital. She showed me the materials
for one week: a large poster,
about the size of a forty-two inch
flat-screen television. It shows
an utterly diverse groupâ€”I mean
diverse: handicapped, Muslim,
Jewish, effeminate, poor, rich,
brown, slightly brown, yellow,
etc.â€”sitting at a table, smiling
gaily, accomplishing some undefined
task. The poster comes with
a sheet of questions the teacher is
supposed to ask. One might be: â€œThese
kids sure look different, but they look
happy. Can you tell me which one in
the picture is an American?â€�
Some eight-year-old, mired in ignorance,
will point to a white child like
himself. â€œThat one.â€�
The teacher reads from the answer,
conveniently printed along with the
question. â€œNo, Billy, all these children
are Americans. They are just as American
This is what happens at predominately white,
middle-class, elementary schools everywhere.
Elementary school teachers love All
of the Colors of the Race, by award-winning
childrenâ€™s poet Arnold Adoff.
These are some of the lines they read
to the children: â€œMama is chocolate â€¦
Daddy is vanilla â€¦ Me (sic) is better â€¦
It is a new color. It is a new flavor. For
love. Sometimes blackness seems too
black for me, and whiteness is too sickly
pale; and I wish every one were golden.
Remember: long ago before people
moved and migrated, and mixed and
matched â€¦ there was one people: one
color, one race. The colors are flowing
from what was before me to what will
be after. All the colors.â€�
Teaching as a career
It may come as a surprise after what
I have written, but my experiences have
given me a deep appreciation for teaching
as a career. It offers a stable, middle-class
life but comes with the capacity
to make real differences in the lives of
children. In our modern, atomized world
children often have very little communication
with adultsâ€”especially, or even,
with their parentsâ€”so there is potential
for a real transaction between pupil and
teacher, disciple and master.
A rewarding relationship can grow
up between an exceptional, interested
student and his teacher. I have stayed in
my classroom with a group of students
discussing ideas and playing chess until
the janitor kicked us out. I was the
old gentleman, imparting my history,
culture, personal loves and triumphs,
defeats and failures to young kinsman.
Sometimes I fancied myself Tyrtaeus,
the Spartan poet, who counseled the
youth to honor and loyalty. I never had
this kind intimacy with a black student,
and I know of no other white teacher
Teaching can be fun. For a certain
kind of person it is exhilarating to map
out battles on chalkboards, and teach
heroism. It is rewarding to challenge
liberal prejudices, to leave my mark on
these children, but what I aimed for with
my white students I could never achieve
with the blacks.
There is a kind of child whose look
can melt your heart: some working-class
castaway, in and out of foster homes,
often abused, who is nevertheless almost
an angel. Your heart melts for these children,
this refuse of the modern world.
Many white students possess a certain
innocence; their cheeks still blush.
Try as I might, I could not get the
blacks to care one bit about Beethoven
or Shermanâ€™s march to the sea, or
Tyrtaeus, or Oswald Spengler, or even
liberals like John Rawls, or their own
history. They cared about nothing I
tried to teach them. When this goes on
year after year it chokes the soul out
of a teacher, destroys his pathos, and
sends him guiltily searching for The Bell
Curve on the Internet.
Blacks break down the intimacy that
can be achieved in the classroom, and
leave you convinced that that intimacy
is really a form of kinship. Without
intending to, they destroy what is most
beautifulâ€”whether it be your belief in
human equality, your daughterâ€™s innocence,
or even the state of the hallway.
Just last year I read on the
bathroom stall the words â€œF**k
Whitey.â€� Not two feet away, on the
same stall, was a small swastika.
The National Council for the Social
Studies, the leading authority on social
science education in the United States,
urges teachers to inculcate such values
as equality of opportunity, individual
property rights, and a democratic form
of government. Even if teachers could
inculcate this milquetoast ideology into
whites, liberalism is doomed because so
many non-whites are not receptive to
education of any kind beyond the merest
It is impossible to
get them to care about such abstractions
as property rights or democratic citizenship.
They do not see much further than
the fact that you live in a big house and
â€œwe in da pro-jek.â€� Of course, there are a
few loutish whites who will never think
past their next meal and a few sensitive
blacks for whom anything is possible,
but no society takes on the characteristics
of its exceptions.
Once I asked my students, â€œWhat do
you think of the Constitution?â€�
â€œIt white,â€� one slouching black rang
out. The class began to laugh. And I
caught myself laughing along with them,
laughing while Pompeiiâ€™s volcano simmers,
while the barbarians swell around
the Palatine, while the country I love,
and the job I love, and the community I
love become dimmer by the day.
I read a book by an expatriate Rhodesian
who visited Zimbabwe not
too many years ago. Traveling with a
companion, she stopped at a store along
the highway. A black man materialized
next to her car window. â€œJob, boss, (I)
work good, boss,â€� he pleaded. â€œYou
â€œWhat happened to your old job?â€�
the expatriate white asked. The man replied in the straightforward
manner of his race: â€œWe drove
out the whites. No more jobs. You give
At some level, my students understand
the same thing. One day I asked
the bored, black faces staring back
at me. â€œWhat would happen if all the
white people in America disappeared
â€œWe screwed,â€� a young, pitch-black
boy screamed back. The rest of the
I have had children tell me to my face
as they struggled with an assignment. â€œI
cainâ€™t do dis,â€� Mr. Jackson. â€œI black.â€�
The point is that human beings are not
always rational. It is in the black manâ€™s
interest to have whites in Zimbabwe but
he drives them out and starves. Most
whites do not think black Americans
could ever do anything so irrational.
They see blacks on television smiling,
fighting evil whites, embodying
white values. But the real black is not
on television, and you pull your purse
closer when you see him, and you lock
the car doors when he swaggers by
with his pants hanging down almost to
I have been in parent-teacher conferences
that broke my heart: the child
pleading with his parents to take him
out of school; the parents convinced
their childâ€™s fears are groundless. If you
love your child, show her you careâ€”
not by giving her fancy vacations or a
car, but making her innocent years safe
and happy. Give her the gift of a not-heavily black
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
I'm not sure what makes this tool think these typify black students. These were black students from lower class ghettos. There are black catholic schools, black private schools, and even black public schools in affluent areas that in no way resemble the described nonsense.
Sounds like he had some type of axe to grind.
There are basic genetic differences between people, but the environment plays a big factor. I used to teach 5th grade and can assure you that the black students in my school didn't act like ghetto minded folks described in the article. However, the school was located in Yorba Linda, an affluent suburb and home to Richard Nixon. If the black family can afford to live in $600k+ homes and send their kids to school there, then they don't represent the "majority".
Current I'm in Atlanta, Georgia, home to Coke Cola. According to the demographics data, 55.8% of the population is black, and 12.8% of the city residents are gay, lesbian, or bisexual (!). I'm not sure how they conducted the census on that one, LoL. But anyways, the majority of the service-industry and blue collar workers here are all black. I'm here on a job assignment and cannot mention the customer's name, but I'll just say that the racial lines are pretty clear-cut. Almost all the warehouse workers are black and the managers are white.
Surprisingly, I didn't observe many "fat" blacks. Maybe it's because the obese ones are home collecting welfare. There are some chubby people, but not in the apple-shaped fat category. At the warehouse, you can sit in the lobby and just observe people coming in to work. The best looking black girls are the ones wearing high heels and nice-looking outfits, versus the bulk of the workforce come in work shoes. I think the ones in high heels are working upstairs in the offices. Many blacks here are actually skinny and not fat, but then if they work in the warehouse all day, it's a lot of physical labor.
Atlanta is also home to Waffle House. I went to eat at one near the airport and the sanitary conditions in the kitchen was bad. The restaurant used "open kitchen" layout and the diners can see all the crap on the floor that hasn't been cleaned in weeks. If this was CA, they'd have gotten a non-passing grade from the health inspectors. The employees at the Waffle House dressed badly in dirty cloths.
I went to eat at an IHOP near the hotel and it was a totally different experience. The place was spotless and the waitress in nice clean outfit and very professional. Whoever owns the IHOP franchise runs a tight ship. The food was also very well prepared. While I was there, I observed a very creepy looking middle-aged white guy with a young Hispanic looking female who looked about 15-16, they were holding hands when they walked in. After they left the waitress commented that the guy is probably a school teacher having an affair with a student from high school (she observed the girl's gym cloths with school logo). Interesting things you see at IHOP, hehehe.
Overall, my experience with black people in Atlanta has been fairly positive. They've been hospitable and polite to me. At work the ladies even open and hold the door for me when I go in. But then I'm just a visiting consultant here. If I actually lived in the neighborhood, I might have had a different experience.