hi..this is interesting..i am a white guy 45 yrs of age. i was taught growing up to treat everybody the same. that being said, i am not at all a racist. one day i stopped at a gas station which i knew mostly black people go. however, since im no racist i didnt care if they were black or not. so im standing in line waiting to pay, and this black guy says 'this station is only for blacks' and i had no idea what to say. so i said thanks for the advice; im new in town and didnt know. the question i have is, what should i say to tell them that i dont really care about racism and wish it would just go away. thanks!!
You handled it fine.
Hearing a racist remark from anyone is still a racist remark, whoever says it.
No one has the right, legal or otherwise, to tell you that you can't go somewhere. There are no "black gas stations" or "white gas stations" there are simply gas stations. Such comments are done out of fear or insecurity, and should be addressed either by saying what you said and letting it go, saying something like "that's fine but I'm the cream in the coffee" to make light of the statement, or just ignoring it if you're not in the mood. Any approach is fine and it would be the same as if the shoe were on the other foot.
I've heard similar things going to certain nightclubs or barbershops, and sometimes I'll say smart-alecky comments such as "that's good to know," or "I'll make a note," or "I'm here now;" other times I'll ignore the comment outright if I don't feel like being trifled with. Sometimes I'll say something humorous. It just depends on how you feel at the time and how you want to handle that type of situation. But the important thing is to understand what causes such statements to be made and that they are not race-specific. There have been "white only" establishments for decades or much longer. You have the recent events in Ferguson (and elsewhere) where unarmed black youths are gunned down, the "stop and frisk" law in New York which many have equated with outright profiling...So the comments come from both sides, and the perspectives of "our own" is from all angles. There is one world, and we're all the same beneath the surface, whether we want to think so or not.