Today in Odd Notes of Questionable Provenance

odd note

“Dear PoPville,

Starbucks napkin racist parking rant

The subject line and picture kind of says it all. I work downtown and park in your typical public garage with tight spaces and columns everywhere. I noticed that I had parked next to an enormous SUV that was only a couple inches off the dividing line (I was about six inches to my side in my Civic). The ginormous beast of a car was gone by the time I left. Halfway home, I noticed a Starbucks napkin flapping around on my windshield. I thought maybe they had dinged me and left a note with contact info. so imagine my surprise when I got home and saw this.

Odds that this is actually an “angry black man,” or actually a racist white person? I’m guessing the latter.”

111 Comment

  • justinbc

    You guess the latter, and provide no explanation as to why…and yet we’re supposed to assume that the note writer is the racist one rather than you?

    • Okay Justin, I’ll walk you through it. The trope of the “Angry Black [Wo/]Man” is a prejudicial stereotype originating outside of the black community. It’s not something that black people routinely say about themselves, but rather is said by non-black people about black people. Therefore it would be incredibly odd for this note to be signed by an angry black man embracing the stereotype, as opposed to a random white person hiding behind the balance of a courage that comes from anonymity and the cover your ass alternative found in the “blame a black man syndrome,” which is an unfortunate American standard.

      • justinbc

        Thanks for the explanation, I’m admittedly not up to date on all of the black male stereotypes. (and based on the other comments, plenty of others are in that same boat) It still seems a bit disingenuous of the OP to assume something (unexplained) of one race while also assuming that person is a racist. What if they were Asian? Why just default to “it’s the White Man trying to keep an entire race of people down through passive-aggressive windshield notes!”

        • It’s a pretty widely-known stereotype, but I think the whole thing is just so bizarre, that while I don’t know about defaulting to “the White Man keeping everyone else down…”, I can understand the OP being so confused, and feeling like the “signature” had to be some sort of nasty racist “joke”? I mean who would actually sign off like that, even if they were black and/or angry?

        • Statistically speaking it’s just far more likely the note writer is white vs. asian in this region.

      • I am black and this argument makes very little sense to me. This is likely an angry black man. We use the term angry black wo/man within the community all the time. We are well known for snatching racist insults back from the white men and owning them (i.e. the n word)

    • Yep – sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

  • This might sound weird, but based on the handwriting I’d be surprised if it’s a man at all. Seems quite lady-like.

    • +1
      This is an entitled GOP Hill Staffer or lobbyist (or the SAHW of such a person) from the Deep South/Texas.
      That bubbly handwriting made plenty of sorority signs back in her SEC days.

      • Definitely, because every single Republican staffer/ lobbyist from the Deep South or Texas is a racist. Let me guess- you studied sociology at Vassar? Or was it Brown?

    • Ugh. I hate this stereotype. I’m a man who has nice penmanship and it is mistaken for a woman’s all the time. I don’t “write like a girl”; I write like a human being with legible handwriting.

      • There’s a difference between “nice”/legible handwriting and a sort of deliberately stylized handwriting. I vaguely remember in late elementary school that it was a fashion among some girls to write their print letters (and maybe cursive too) in a very bubbly-shaped manner, dotting i’s with big circles (or sometimes even hearts)… and some girls continued writing like that through junior high and beyond.
        My first thought when I read the note was that it looked like a woman’s writing, so I was surprised to get to the bottom and see “Angry Black Man.”

      • you likely don’t dot your i’s with hearts or participate in bubble penmanship, which usually is attributed to women. i’m not prejudiced, but men with good penmanship usually don’t write like this. and this is NOT an example of good penmanship, it’s just legible… in that very sorority girl sort of way…i was in a sorority, just saying… this penmanship goes hand in hand with rhyming your date night invitations. Trust.

      • Re: pjl35’s comment “I don’t “write like a girl””

        It sounds as if you think it’s an insult to be told that you do something like a girl. (write, throw, sound, etc). I wish people would stop perpetuating the myth that doing something “like a girl” is an inferior way of doing something. So please don’t be insulted, just accept it and then ask, why would people think that men are incapable of nice handwriting?

        • I didn’t read it that they were taking offense at the assessment, rather the way i read it was that PP was taking offense that something, anything, is so quick to be attributed a gender. It’s extremely frustrating for those of us who have repeatedly been told that we “do something like a woman/man” when we are actually not of that gender at all nor should gender even enter into the conversation in the first place with regard to whatever is being discussed. it’s penmanship ffs.

          i don’t walk like a man or dress like a man or write like a man… i’m a woman regardless of my gait, my outfit or my penmanship.

          this person wrote a note and signed that they were a man. who are we to question that aspect of the note? i’m more curious about what they want to do with a crow bar.

  • I literally have no idea what this note even means? What makes the OP think its a white person posing as an angry black man?

  • Perhaps you should be less racist in your assumptions about who wrote it.

  • They drive a hulking SUV and leave a message on a Honda Civiv??? Nuts… Guess they wanted two spaces all to themselves.

  • Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t see how this is questionable or racist. You parked to close to someone. They got annoyed and left you a passive aggressive note. I’ve only been enraged enough to leave a note on someone’s car once and I can truly say that my rage probably clouded my ability to write a well reasoned message. If they were annoyed enough to write a note they probably were to annoyed to care how they came across.

    Don’t park near that truck again and throw away the note. That is really the only thing to do in this situation.

    • Also, I should clarify that I was placing no parking blame on the OP. I should have said that two cars were parked to close together.

    • “to” and “too” have different meanings.

    • They guy paid for only one parking space, just like everyone else. If his parking needs don’t fit within the confines of a single space that’s his problem, not the OP’s.

    • I was confused too, but I think the racism comes from OP’s assumption that a racist white person wrote this instead of an actual black person.
      I don’t know if the writer was white, but I also find it hard to believe it was actually a black man. Way too stereotypical (you take up extra space with your large car, write off an angry note threatening harm and then sign it with the very trope white people would use to describe you? come on). I find it even harder to believe it was written by a man of any race as others have noted, given the penmanship

      • +1,000,000,000,000,000

        Hits the nail on the head. The handwriting seems like that of a woman, and the “Angry Black Man” signature line seems like a classic, Susan Smith move. My money is on this being a white (or other non-black) woman.

  • By the handwriting alone I’d guess that was written by a female and not a man. I’ve got a guess as to race but wouldn’t put it out there based on handwriting alone. Hope you don’t get any more angry notes like this when all you did was park between your lines. Sorry this happened!

    • Yea, I’d bet money this was written by a woman. Either way, I’d just forget about it. Even if the perp catches wind of this, I doubt the Internet shame would do much to change their outlook on life.

    • #stopthegenderbasedhandwritingstereotype

      • I’ll go further…it looks like writing of a female under the age of 30. This handwriting is just “flowery” and young looking. Immature just like the note itself. Many men have great handwriting. Depending on the industry, like architecture, penmanship can be both flawless and gender neutral


        • I let it go the first time, but why are women described as “females” and men “men”?

          • Why is it that when men are described as “males”, no one points it out?

          • Probably because the writer doesn’t know any better and doesn’t realize it’s offensive.

          • And I’m a “female” and I don’t find it offensive at all.

          • A female what, Huki?

          • A female who avoids unnecessary drama, Trans. Enjoy your day.

          • justinbc

            “Why is it that when men are described as “males”, no one points it out?”
            @Anon, I think the female/male pedantic bickering is a tired, ridiculous argument to make (which is nonetheless made on this blog repeatedly), but to help answer your specific question, I’m guessing it’s because men rarely ever have to fight for equitable respect through any means necessary, so we don’t feel the need to be slighted (even if I thought that were a reasonable reaction) whenever someone uses the term male.

          • Actually, it’s because men aren’t routinely called males in the way that women are called females, see this comment thread as a perfect example.

          • justinbc

            By routinely you mean colloquially? Because every “routine” situation that I can think of (crime reports, court briefings, medical examinations, etc) where the sex is used as a descriptor / function of the job the terms male / female are used, not man / woman.

          • Using male/female in a police report is not in any way equivalent to persistently calling men men, and women “females.” For an example, as already indicated, please refer to THIS VERY COMMENT THREAD. Furthermore, when male is used in police reports, et al. it is as a modifier to the main term (“suspect,” “patient,” etc.) not a standalone description.

          • justinbc

            You mean this very comment thread where a woman is the one using the supposedly offensive term…?

          • Yes, in this comment thread. The fact that a woman is doing the sexist thing doesn’t make it unoffensive. Congrats on making absolutely sure you didn’t learn anything today, that’s another one in the books.

    • I have never seen a woman driving an ‘enormous’ SUV in DC.

  • Yeah, doesn’t really look like a guy’s handwriting.

    • handwriting is handwriting is handwriting.

      • This really struck a nerve for you, didn’t it?

      • Stop the nonsense! The fact of the matter is, one can look at certain styles of handwriting and a judge (quite correctly) that it was written by a woman…or a man…or a child. To insist that this handwriting is not even characteristic of a far greater proportion of the female population than the male population is to deny reality.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Well, I drive a two door Mini Cooper and more than once I have come out to find someone has parked too close to the driver’s side door. Just because it is a small car doesn’t mean I don’t need room. I need at least a couple feet to open the door all the way out. More than once I’ve had to get in from the passenger’s side and crawl across the console. Now, I make a concerted effort to park next to a column or wall.

    • I park very close to other cars sometimes, but always so the other person has enough space to open their driver’s side door and get in normally. I can squeeze out of my own car if the door is cracked open six inches, or crawl over to the passenger side, but not everyone is that small or that agile.

  • Dumb. People really need to learn to curb the reactivity. Who cares about their appearance? Trash the note, roll your eyes and keep it moving.

  • General Grant Circle

    Well black men are capable of being angry just like anyone else, and I have a hard time imagining a racist white person using strange passive aggressive notes as their race-war weapon of choice so Ima guess the former, or that OP was bored and made the whole thing up.

  • Do angry black men sign notes “Angry Black Man”? I’d guess not often.

  • Hmm…Coming from an black man who occasionally gets angry, this seems too obtuse and clever-by-half to be an actual ABM.

  • Sounds like the guy from the rental post from yesterday.

  • samanda_bynes

    it was me, sorry dude. i was referring to the sludge metal band crowbar, and i was gonna jam to it in my truck.

  • Everyone involved, myself included, has way too much time in their hands.

    • This should be the only comment.

      • on their hands…but yeah, between this one and the one about “help popville, what do i do about mosquitos”…i just don’t know about popville users…what’s next, “help popville, i have a pile of dirty laundry and nothing to wear – what do you suggest i do?”

        maybe i have too much time on my hands…

  • Many people in D.C. get way too heated up about issues involving cars — driving behavior, parking spaces, etc.
    If I were the OP, I would try to avoid parking near this truck in the future. It doesn’t matter that the truck driver was in the wrong and the OP was in the right — it’s not worth risking getting keyed/deliberately dinged/bumped/whatever over.
    The OP should probably hold onto the note, just in case the truck driver retaliates in the future.

    • When someone drives in a way that puts others’ safety at risk, you should get heated up.

      • It’s understandable to be annoyed/irritated/upset about someone else’s unsafe driving… but it’s best not to get too worked up about it. You can’t do anything to change that person’s behavior. Confronting the person could easily result in your being threatened or injured. In the end, your getting worked up over someone else’s driving hurts only you.

    • +1 Not only heated up about the original post but causing turmoil within the comments as well. Some people need to take a break and go out for an ice cream…if that’s not offensive.

      • justinbc

        What about those are lactose intolerant? Or vegans? Won’t you think of every possible scenario when posting something on the Internet?!

        • +1 All the thin skin these days is really pathetic. Accept others and live your life. Don’t like someone/something? Move along until you find someone/something you DO like. It’s really quite simple.

      • don’t you know: EVERYTHING is offense these days…don’t you dare walk next by someone in a wheel chair lest you be accused of a microaggression

      • How dare you assume that I like ice cream. In fact I’m lactose intolerant so I take that as a personal attack. How dare you. /s

    • Incidentally, I was thinking of the truck driver in this situation as the unnecessarily heated-up party. Unfortunately, you can’t really do anything about people who react like that — best to avoid them if you can.

  • also guessing a woman based on handwriting… sorry, no man i know writes like that. that’s a girls penmanship.


    a girl

    • justinbc

      Do effeminate men write in this manner, or do they still default to their “masculine” training?

      • I don’t know, I’m not an effeminate man… I’m just saying, my ex is a graphologist and used to do a lot of work for the FBI and brought home work with him. I’m not trying to be offensive, just observant

        • so because your ex was a professional in a field and sometimes did work around you, you are now an expert in said field? i hope you realize how ridiculous that assertion is.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Not an expert, but quite possibly slightly less un-knowledgable than the typical commenter on some blog.

  • Looks like a woman’s handwriting to me…..

  • Like I said above: the guy paid for only one parking space, just like everyone else. If his parking needs don’t fit within the confines of a single space that’s his problem, not the OP’s.

  • If you are so concerned with the person’s ethnicity and gender, he/she is clearly stating he/she will be there tomorrow.

  • WE are living in a crazy society today. It appears too many people in this country are angry or unhappy. You have the Donald Trump haters, Black Lives Matter radicals, cop haters/killers, racists regardless of race, homophobes, or just angry people. Maybe the person was having a bad day and he, she, or it had to let out their frustrations. I wouldn’t park my vehicle in the same location tomorrow to be on the safe side because the angry person might key or damage the vehicle. SMH on this and all that’s going on in this city, country, and world.

    • Yes, it is “radical” indeed for American citizens to insist that they be treated as such and not subject at any time to random execution by white male cops acting as judge, prosecutor, jury, and executioner for any reason whatsoever — including breathing, playing, walking, jaywalking, running, driving, or otherwise existing while black. Given the history of this nation, it is indeed “radical” for these folks to believe that the Constitution of the United States does, in fact, apply to them, too.

  • Hm….99% sure this is a woman’s handwriting. (This napkin makes me angry for various reasons, but mostly for the poor pen(wo?)manship. Just f**ing awful. I judge people who write like this, I’m sorry…..Too bubbly and borderline sloppy.)

    But if it is indeed a man, i’m curious to know if OP showed up the next day to see if SUV driver (alleged ABM) returned…… Please find out, Dan!!!!

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