I don’t normally write about sensitive issues. I do my best to steer clear of them due to negative experiences on Tumblr and a few other social media platforms. Here, I give slices of my life. Photographs I hope are interesting to people. And I share my artistic soul (even if the pieces aren’t very good at all). I do my best to make it positive as much as I can. Unfortunately, not all of my slice of life stories are happy ones.
Today… Today I am going to talk about a first hand account of 2 events. One of them is, unfortunately, a hot-button issue especially after Ferguson. It’s about RACE. I will tell you about these events in the order that they happened. Originally, this was going to be two posts, however due to the fact that I was stumped on a title for the original post (which I typed up notes of as it took place) when the second event decided to happen so close on the heels of the first one. So, you get a double post that has been waiting since Sunday night, because I couldn’t come up with a proper title.
First, we have the laundrymat. There are 3 metal picnic tables in there. Red, blue, then another red. I was seated at the blue in the middle of them. I had my headphones in, music blasting on my computer. These two women come in, and do what everyone else does in a place like that. They start washing their laundry. Once all their things were in the wash and going, they sat down at one of the red tables nearby. They got kinda loud, but I did my best (and other people did, too) to ignore them. However, they got louder and louder. The woman at the counter turned up the volume on the TV repeatedly. Asked them to quiet down. They only got louder. Finally, every single person in there knew before too long the following:
the larger of the two hated some other woman so much she was going to “beat her ass”
she didn’t care if the other woman was pregnant, she was still going to “beat her ass”
she was “about 2 seconds away from just getting up and go over to her house to beat her pregnant ass”
It was during this tirade that a man walked in, burdened with a few baskets of laundry. He set about putting his things in the washing machine, getting change, and starting his loads. The women continued to talk about beating up a pregnant woman. Finally, the man walked over. In a nice, clear and loud voice, he made it known that:
“If a phone call comes in while I’m on duty tonight about a pregnant woman getting her ass beat down, I will VOLUNTEER to go out on that call. I WILL make damn sure the victim gets medical attention, and the perpetrators WILL be arrested. And ma’am, I’m a cop that believes life begins at conception, and if this woman loses her baby you WILL be prosecuted for premeditated assault, willful neglegance, premeditated MURDER with extreme malice, and that is just because you made it known before perpetrating the violent act and ensured that every single person in this building heard you. And you, ma’am, would be arrested on conspiracy, aiding and abetting, and a wide variety of charges simply because you both encouraged the act and took part in the planning of said act. Now ladies, I’m sure I speak for everyone here when I say you really should leave the premesis when your loads are finished.”
Every single person clapped. EVERY LAST ONE. The moment the man had gone over to them, the larger of the women opened her mouth to shout at him, but when it was made very obvious after he started speaking that he was a police officer, even though he was off duty, she clammed up and had what I like to call the “Oh Shit!” look on her face. Her friend shared this look. It’s the look people get when they are caught red handed and have no excuse for their behavior.
The woman at the counter was floored by what she saw take place. And I? I had opened up Notepad and started typing away to chronicle the events and take down what was said. After all, I was now witness to a potential crime being planned.
The ladies were politely asked by the woman at the counter, once she picked her jaw up off the floor, to kindly never return to her establishment and that there was another laundromat in either direction on the main road in town where they could take their clothes to dry them.
The second event, which happened roughly an hour after the first, took place in the parking lot of our local Kroger store. Cars pass in front of the entrance of any retail establishment. This is nothing new. Cars that don’t stop to let people pass, again. Nothing new. Cars that do stop and sit for ten minutes, letting as many people across as possible, rare but it does happen. Cars sit in front of the entrance for a number of reasons. Picking up someone, dropping them off. Stopping because there’s a sign or the word STOP painted on the pavement. Or they simply feel like stopping.
Today, I like many others attempted to cross the high “traffic” area just outside the entrance. Others were on their way out. A large white car stopped, letting people pass from the entrance of the store, and out into the parking lot. People from the parking lot crossed to the entrance. By the time I reached the point of “Do I wait for the car to pass or has it stopped to let me pass?” the car had been sitting idle for long enough that general consensus among the people coming and going was that the car had parked out front for some reason.
Now, earlier in this post, I stated that this particular event was about RACE. Here is where it comes in. Instead of crossing into the store, I stopped because my husband, who was having mouth surgery the next day, had texted me a reminder not to forget the diapers. Again.
When I looked up, I saw a white man attempting to cross from the store to the parkinglot. The driver revved his engine. What follows are the facts, and I will use bullet points to keep from making any opinion and subjective statements.
- White adult male (WAM) attempts to cross parking lot
- Black adult male (BAM) revs car engine
- WAM stops.
- BAM stops revving engine.
- WAM2 comes outside and begins to cross
- BAM begins revving engine again.
- WAM2 stops and goes back to entrance.
- As this is occurring, others are crossing back and forth, oblivious to these proceedings. That is, if they are not white. As each white person attempts to cross, the BAM revs his engine. As each non-white person attempts to cross, engine revving ceases.
- A white woman with 2 children, 2 girls, comes out of the store. They begin to try and cross. Before anyone can tell her to stop, BAM not only revs engine, the car begins to move, swerving slightly towards the woman and children.
- Original WAM stops woman and children, yanking them back to the safety of the sidewalk right outside store entrance. Car stops completely. WAM2 had gone inside.
- WAM2 returns with store employees and store manager. Store manager attempts to halt traffic so that people may cross. Store manager cannot do so. Store manager is white. Store manager forced out of the way by service desk clerk as car had begun to move in manager’s direction.
- Service desk clerk is Hispanic. Service desk clerk is shouting at BAM in vehicle. BAM lowers window. BAM begins shouting about “crackers” and “whitey” and “gonna kill all the whitey cracker asses!”
- Manager takes out cellular phone and is taking pictures of the car. BAM gets angry. Begins shouting at the manager to cease taking pictures. Manager states he is taking pictures for when the police arrive.
- BAM puts car in reverse quickly and leaves the parking lot. Vehicle does not stop at stop sign on edge of parking lot where lot meets road. Car makes sharp right hand turn and speeds off.
- All of this happened in the span of approximately 15-20 minutes.
- Situation over, I then proceed into the store to do my shopping. Upon completion of my shopping and exit of the store (a space of time that took approximately 10 minutes) manager, service clerk, mother with children, WAM and WAM2, and assorted non-white witnesses are giving statements to police.
Now then…. I share these two events with you, not to generate sympathy or pity or to ruin your otherwise likely decent day or night. I share them because I feel so sorry for our world. I feel so sorry for our country. What happened in these peoples lives to cause them to be this way? Screw the whole social justice rhetoric that could be thrown all over the place here. Would the second event have been less triggering if the roles were reversed? Would it have been more so? Would it have been any less despicable and hateful an act if the colors of skin of everyone involved were not known? What about that first event I described… Would that have been more upsetting if races were involved? Would it have been more or equally offensive a thing to overhear if the two ladies had been black, latina, or any other non-white skintone?
My personal views on people are very simple. And in the past I have been attacked for them based solely on the fact that I really REALLY DO NOT CARE if a person is black or white. Hispanic, any flavour of Asian, Latino/a (which is NOT to be confused with Hispanic as the two terms actually ARE NOT interchangeable as many people believe). Native-American Indian, India Indian, Middle Eastern, Eskimo, and the whole world variety of others. You could be an alien from the planet Zork 12 for all I care. Absolutely none of that matters.
What does matter then, if not the color of one’s skin, the origin of a species, the things you’ll find hiding in their pants between their legs (or not, if it’s an alien from the planet Zork 12), and any number of arbitrary physical attributes that people have VERY LITTLE OR NO control over?
Be a decent human being, and don’t be a homicidal dick.
That’s it. That is LITERALLY all I care about. All of my beliefs aside, all of my knowledge, learning, everything that makes up my spiritual path, my personality, my views…. cast everything I am aside and you know what you are left with? A 5 year old child who watched Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure for the first time with wide eyes full of wonder because there’s time travel and historical figures running around in a mall. A 5 year old child who watched a movie about these two bumbling idiots who are told that their music will bring about world peace.
A 5 year old child, who learned a simple concept from a pretty terrible movie, who despite her phases of hating the world, and being a bully herself, always came back to the most fundamental message anyone could ever learn.
BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER.
That’s it. That is LITERALLY all we have to do. If we are willing to put hate aside, truly embrace one another as fellow human beings rather than a collection of physical traits we happen to like or not like, then we can finally put all of that energy towards positive changes… Alternative energy. Medical advances that ALL can benefit from, not just the rich, not just one color or another. EVERYONE. Rather than educating people on how to hate and how to further segregate themselves, they can focus on actually LEARNING important life skills. Learning how to communicate effectively. Learning to read, write, do basic math, and let’s not forget an actually balanced view of history instead of the twisted versions found all over the world. Imagine what mankind can achieve if only it would put away the hatred and start actually working together. Unfortunately, humanity as it exists now seems completely incapable of doing so. Simply because there are still people, black, white, Hispanic, and of all the other races, creeds, personalities, nationalities… I could go on and on. There’s all these people in the world who hate so deeply, right down to their very core, and it consumes them. And it spreads like a cancer, poisoning every effort to bring the changes we need to see in this world if we are to survive as a species.
Apparently, it’s easier to be a homicidal dick than it is to be excellent to each other.