In an attempted act of compassion, Brooklyn resident Dave Baxter told his friend Gina Donahue he “couldn’t possibly know what you’re going through” before launching into a lengthy anecdote of his own.
This reportedly occurred after Donahue was telling Baxter about the realities of being a woman of color in the workplace.
“I was really impressed when he just looked me in the eyes and said, ‘I’m sorry, I couldn’t possibly know what that’s like,’” Donahue says. “But then he told me a really long story about not getting on his high school baseball team. I’m still trying to figure out how the two are related.”
Baxter says he’s been trying to listen more.
“As I become more aware of the influence of systemic racism, I realize that I can’t possibly know what it’s like to endure constant microaggressions,” Baxter explains, leaning on the door as he went in with his own personal story. “It’s like when I was passed over for a promotion after being at the company for six years. I won’t say how it’s like that, but I will tell you, it was tough.”
According to some reports, it’s not uncommon for Baxter to assume he has something to contribute to the conversation.
“Once I went over to Dave’s and said that I really just needed a shoulder to cry on. I had just found out I needed a hysterectomy,” friend Maria Darpino shares. “Dave said something about disappointment being a part of life and then told me all about when his friend’s cat got sick when he was house-sitting last year. Then I ended up having to comfort him.”
Darpino adds: “I regret even bringing it up.”
When asked to comment, Baxter says he is open to criticism and wants to be there for his friends in whatever way they need him.
“This really isn’t about me,” he says. “Though it does feel weird to just sit there and listen.”