Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Native Son

At first I couldn't think of what to title this post because I'm still so angry. Then I started writing and it came to me. Here's what happened.

I went to my family reunion in Maryland and had a wonderful time. I had a straight through flight coming back, where I sat by the window and read Grace After Midnight by Felicia "Snoop" Pearson. The book took us through the changes in her life leading up to a her role on the HBO show The Wire.

As I finished her book in flight, I thought about how different my life had been and how far removed I was from the stereotypes and choices that she had to make in her life.

Well as you know life has a way of slapping you right back into reality. I exited the plane and proceeded to go to baggage claim to get my luggage. 3 flights of bags were all being unloaded at the same baggage claim. You can imagine the number of people waiting for their bags.

Since my flight was the last flight to arrive I knew there would be some time before I could retrieve my bag. I decided to walk outside and have a much needed cigarette. I stepped outside lit my smoke and a white woman began screaming at me.

"Oh no you don't" she said.

"No I don't what?" was my response.

"You can't do that here. You must not be from California." still screaming at the top of her lungs she said "I'll call the police on you right now."

So to avoid this crazy woman I walked 5 feet away from her and found an ashtray were I completed smoking my cigarette. She looked over at me and sneared as she blew me a kiss. This was not a gesture of endearment by any means. She was taunting me.

I'm a responsible smoker when it comes to those who don't smoke. I thought to myself instead of this woman going off like this all she had to do was to say the smoking section is over there or something. I would have taken no objection to that what-so-ever. So after finishing my cigarette and before retrieving my bag I decided to say just that to the woman . As I approached her from a respectable distance I began my attempt to educate her. I wanted this woman to know that she could not talk to me any way that she chose and that all of her antics were unnecessary.

Well before I could get a complete sentence out she began screaming again and dialing 911. She was again screaming at the top of her lungs for me not to touch her. To get away from her. Then the bitch had the nerve to say that I was assaulting her. She repeated that over and over and over again. Then she started screaming you touched me stop it don't touch me. He's assaulting me. I never touched the bitch. One of the taxi attendants walked over and said "man it's not worth it". I agreed and with that I walked back into the baggage claim area.

5 seconds later one of the airport traffic cops walked in and asked me to come outside. He said that I needed to wait for the police to arrive to make a statement. What the fuck! A statement, why should I have to make a statement about that crazy bitch. I thought fast. There were mostly white people in the area and I could not count on them being a witness to my behavior. So I told them that the Taxi attendant was right there so make sure that they grabbed him to corroborate my statements. They compliied.

The airport cop walked back inside with me to get my bag and await the police. Not 5 minutes later 9 police officers had arrived. NINE! I kid you not! I explained to one Asian officer what happened and he asked me if she was on the plane with me or if I knew her. To both I answered no.

He then asked for my ID. I'm assuming so that I wouldn't run away. 6 of the other officers stayed behind while I still waited for my bag. The officer came back and gave me my ID and asked if I was leaving after I got my bag. Of course I was leaving you dumb ass. I don't live at the airport is what I wanted to say. But didn't.

He then told me that the reason there were so many officers was because they got a report of domestic violence. 1st of all I didn't know the woman nor did I touch her. It's beyond me why they hadn't contacted the airport cops...(traffic cops I guess) to find out the true situation before even coming to the spot. What also astonished me was how quickly they arrived and how they really thought that I did do something to the bitch. If I had done anything to her there would have been no question about it. I wanted to bang the bitches head into the plate glass window for screaming at me the way she was.

I never was able to completely understand why Bigger in Richard Wright's, Native Son killed Mary and the affect it had on him. This situation sort of brought the idea in Wright's book to light for me. Notes on that portion of the book read: Mary’s murder gives Bigger a sense of power and identity he has never known. I think my thoughts of making her head a plate glass smasher aligns with that statement to a certain extent. Especially since only 1 black person came to try to diffuse the situation at all. He must have felt what I was feeling before.

The funny thing was that I wasn't even embarrassed when she was screaming. Anyone in the area could see that she has some issues. There are a lot of analogies I could make from this situation and I'm sure that actually all of them apply.

Like I said life has a way of slapping you back into reality. America has not changed very much even though the media tries to make us think it has. Black men are still the villians and the crazy white bitches are still the victims.

Don't be fooled.



Corey Keith said...

Someone needs to bop that crazy bit ch in the f#ing mouth... that dirty Who re.

What did the police say? You did not tell what happened when they arrived?

Wright wrote Native Son... small mental slip... I know what you mean about understanding Bigger.

I am sorry you had to go through that but sometimes it is needed to keep us mentally aware.

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

That situation could have so easily spiraled out of control. And we both know who would've been the loser.

Your cool head prevailed. Let that be a lesson to us all.

blkbutterfly said...

that's complete craziness. but, i'm glad you came out of it ok. so much more could've jumped off. do u think the police sensed the "lady" wasn't all there?

D-Place said...

Corey - Thank you for the correction. Bopping was definetely on my mind.

Taylor - Yes the ending could have been very different. I thought about that...and think that's why I'm not wearing silver bracelettes now.

Beautiful Butterfly - I think the Police did sense that she was a whack job. They actually seemed a little remorseful. I'm contemplating if I should take some further steps or just let it go.

That Dude Right There said...

I would have cursed her out the first time she yelled at me.

KB said...

I am proud of you and thankful that nothing more severe occurred. I remember Mya Angelou saying that (to paraphrase) everytime we don't speak-up against acts of hatred/injustice committed against us a part of us dies. CNN should have shot that footage for "Black In America."

Curious said...

It's been a few years since I read Native Son but if I can remember, things don't come out right for Bigger Thomas in the end.

Like the cab driver said, or maybe didn't say, crazy bitches black or white ain't worth it. You can never win and even if you did, it still ain't worth it 'cause they're crazy.

You kept your cool, and I'm proud of you.

Chet said...

D you were trying to do the right thing, but under those circumstances I would have let that bitch have it and the police that that responded to her complaint.

I feel you man these folks think they can say what they want when they wnt, I try not to get into it with females especially white ones and I let the sistahs ride too, but yell or scream at me twice and my arse is in handcuffs!

Yes I know why Bigger was it that killed Mary in Native Son? I understand the pain that is often assocaited with being belittled by white folk or any folk livin America. Not worth the trouble.

Chet said...

Oh yeah; pleased to hear that you had a good time at your Family Reunion.

BronzeBuckaroo said...

That was insane! The really scary thing was how easy it could have risen in seriousness with you ending up bruised or worse. That you kept your cool instead of shouting every profanity in the book is a testament to your character.

I am sharing your anger!

WhozHe said...

What gets me is society's response to a crazed white woman's cry for help, I mean they sent out the calvary to "save" her white ass.

She should have been arrested for making a false report, but I am sure she wasn't.

jerzey_reality said...

That situation could hav blown up into somethin even more uncalled for...glad it didn't and u made it out safely without any damage other than a headache.

Bu ur right..reality and soceity have a way of slapping u with the truth about this country...America..the land of opportunity...where all ur dreams can come tru..land of the free and home of the brave...where all men are created equal right???

Moanerplicity said...

This person was obviously deranged. What bothers me most about this situation is that the authorities would instantly take the word of an unhinged white woman than that of her righteous, cool-headed polar opposite. That speaks volumes about our society, still, even in 2008, when a Black Man will most likely become President.

I respect the way you handled yourself, regardless of the madness surrounding you. That is a true testament to your gravitas.

Thanks for the kind words & the grace you left on my page.

Snatch JOY cause drama ain't worth it!



D-Place said...

That Dude@ I did curse her ass out..even when I was walking to the car I mouthed fu to her. Cuz she didn't get what she was hoping for.

KB@ You are right and so is Maya.

Bronze@ I think a lot of Black men share my anger cuz they have been through something similiar.

Whoze@ I did make the suggestion to the police but they claimed that it was dispatch that gave them the wrong information. And left it at that. I still think she should have been arrested.

Jersey Reality@ I realized that the situation could have escalated early on that's the only way I was able to keep my cool.

Moanerplicity@ Thank you! and You're welcome.

D-Place said...

Curious@ thanks for being proud of me. I was literally shaking on the inside.

One Man’s Opinion said...

Well, I am sorry that happened to you, bruh. People are crazy. Don't blame the Po-po. We only react to the information we get at the time. And since we are going into an unknown situation, we have to be extra safe. Don't take that personal. No telling what lies the woman said on the phone. We have had woman say that the man has a gun, just to get us to react in a different matter.

Once again, sorry it happened to you. Hey, I know you are a fellow Leo, so happy upcoming or belated Birthday, bruh.

Stay black! Stay Strong! and Fuck the crazy folks! (I just made that up)

kennyking78 said...

I am OUTRAGED!!!! But I am not suprised. White people think that they have dominion over the entire world. What is that all about?

As for that lady, I would have been the last person she ever lashed out at. There would have been a serious event taking place at the airport.

I am so glad that you did not end up face down on the ground, a la Rodney King. You are one of the most accomplished, on point black men I have ever met and to see you go down like a statistic would have really broken my heart.

She tried to call the police on you for smoking? You should have called them on her for being crazy!!!

Prince Xem VanAdams-Lumumba said...

Theres just SOMETHING about Someone YELLING in Your Face that Makes One WANT to 'GO OFF'

...and While I have NEVER had bad relations with White Women, necessarily, I CLEARLY Know that I would NOT have been as Restrained as you managed to be. Very Well...


Anonymous said...

why fault the "crazy white woman" what about the egotistic black male, who feels he must always have the upper hand and last say, you should have swallowed your pride smoked your cigarette and left , there was no need to respond to her taunts and tell her nothing especially that you know the society you live in....you got what you looked for!

Anonymous said...

I am white, and I am sure I dont understand totally the predicament you were in, however, you make an unfair bias to white people.

To think that all the white people around you would not have taken up for you is wrong. Not ALL white people are the way you portray, and in a way, it is why we still experience the separation there is.

Where I live, in Alabama, between both my black and white friends I find blacks are just as racist and bias...even more so.

Your experience was that of a crazy woman. As another blogger mentioned, it would have been smarter to swallow that pride and not approach the woman in the first place.

Anyone would have known that it was a bad situation to begin with. She should not have done what she did....but it could have been avoided by walking away.

No, I dont like people taunting me either, but it is not worth your effort or time, as you witnessed.

J~Real said...

Oh wow that is very disturbing but Im glad you kept your cool through out the situation. I definitly have to make your blog a "must read", Hope you do the same


deonte' k said...

That's terrible man... stuff like this can make u very angry I truly understand. She was totally wrong, and I know it was hard to do (walk away) but in this world sometimes we just gotta do that. Trust me I was not one to talk about walking away before, because I would have probably done what u said u wanted to do years ago, but I've learn u just have to keep it moving. Its a shame but so true.