Your premise that a black golfer, Roy, was mistaken for a car wash attendant (Family Life Column by Mike Spencer, April 5) because of some stereotyping plants the idea that blacks can suspect that all slights by people of other races are racially motivated. Wrong. People of all colors can be insensitive and oblivious to the feelings of others on any given day. Furthermore, being mistaken for someone working should not be a personal affront. Since our lifestyles and attire are so casual, it is frequently difficult to distinguish the servers from the served.
The hard-working, clean, pleasant, young people who work in our car wash in Laguna Hills are part of the self-supporting, taxpaying sector of our society. My husband and sons often man the gas pumps and vacuum and move cars, while my daughter has spent many hours at the cash register. Would you be offended to be mistaken for the owner of a multimillion-dollar establishment or just his employee? Would you know the difference?
To deny that racism exists is to deny truth. To attribute small slights, misunderstandings, unkindness and rudeness to racism fosters unhealthy paranoid attitudes in the minds of the recipients of such incidents. Most of these occurrences are as impersonal as being cut off by a truck on the freeway.