Vegas, 2020 pandemic.
(Yeah — we went anyway.)
There were more people in Las Vegas in late July than I expected, being that we were still in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, masks were mandatory everywhere we went, and every hotel/casino was making only 40% of their rooms available for booking.
It was packed.
The casino was, as a friend called it, “smacking.”
The Strip was teeming with people, even in 110° heat (don’t let the “dry air” thing fool you — it’s still VERY hot). The pools were normal for summer: 2-3 hour waiting lists just to enter the pool area, and no lounge chairs remaining once you got out there.
There was even a line just to grab one of the 8 elevators going up to our suites. It was here that the situation occurred.
Hotels asked that elevators be spaced out to 4 people per trip. Standing in line with two friends, I started calculating as we got closer to going up. There was a group of four set to grab the next elevator, a solo woman next, and then us — me and two friends, both of whom are Black and taller than my 6’4”.
The woman was White, about 5’1” and blonde, maybe 45 years of age. She knew we were behind her, and probably calculated that same thing I had: the next elevator would be her, plus us three, to equal four people.
When the group of four in front of her piled into their elevator, the solo woman took action: she went to the door of that elevator and asked, “hey — do you mind if I slip in with you guys?”
We caught the next elevator, while sharing a laugh about the petite woman not wanting to share a ride with 3 Black guys.
I shared this story on Instagram the next day and asked for feedback. I was both surprised and not surprised by the responses.
A majority of the comments — mostly those from young Black men — suggested that the woman was racist for avoiding sharing an elevator with us. Some posited that she would’ve had no problem riding with three White males in the same situation.
I wasn’t surprised by these replies, because I had posted it on Instagram after all: IG (along with Twitter) is Ground Zero for divisive race-baiting content and commentary.
(In fairness, there were a solid amount of more objective and measured comments — mostly from females — who offered that there could have been many reasons why the woman avoided the situation, and many of them could have had nothing to do with the race of the men.)
This whole thing highlighted how far we’ve come in making assumptions about other people — especially when it’s a negative assumption about another person’s intentions— and especially when it comes to race.
Important to remember: accurate thinkers make as few assumptions as possible about any topic. If you don’t know something — like why the woman got in the earlier elevator — then you don’t know; don’t fill in the gap with worst-case assumptions.
Here’s the next step with this: take in my FULL MasterClass about making fewer assumptions here: http://WorkOnMyGame.com/1351