Ok been consciously avoiding the serious issues for a few but its black history month and I just watched the slavery special plus my mom gave me some not so subtle advice the other day on some ish so I'm saying got to do what I got to do. Anyway I got a few topics (not necessarily fully blown thoughts yet) related to black folk so let me freestyle this one here.
Its about the fear of a black man as predator.
Now I've experienced this phenomena every since I reached North America and found it annoys me and also affects me in ways which I cant describe. Let me give you an example. I think it was my first or second year of university. It's nighttime around 9 o'clock, I'm walking back to residence from the supermarket with two bags of groceries in hand, trudging over pavements covered in dirty snow, wrapped up in as much clothing as I can find when I walk past this off-campus apartment building. This young lady strolls casually out of the building but as she reaches the sidewalk she looks in my direction, her eyes suddenly widen and she takes off like Flo Jo or Marion Jones. What the? I look back because I'm thinking Ted Bundy, Paul Bernardo and a bunch of ninja assassins must be behind me and I'm ready to drop my bags and go special ed on fools:'Flip back got into a fighting position'.
Oh wait a minute! What gives? No one is on the street behind me. Could it be she's running from me. Naa! Couldn't be right? Naaa. She ran off like Kunte Kinte running from a name change. I'm not that scary am I?
Then it dawned on me wait a minute she was actually running from me. Me? Why? I mean what logic dictates that you run away from a dude with two bags of groceries in his hand. Was she fearful I'd run up on her and force feed her a sandwich with too much hot sauce. Was there a fear that I would put the bags in her hand and force her to cook for me?
No she was just frightened because here she saw a black man on a semi deserted street at night. DAMN!
Had a couple more instances like that happen to me on campus at nights on my way from the library too. Yes there was always this fear of the brother with a big book bag on his back. Whoa he's dangerous a dangerous negro. He's packing some of that crazy algebra and calculus ish, ya naa want test him.
I also remember walking with one of my boys and our girlfriends at the time and passing some white girls who instinctively clutched their purses tighter as they passed us. Hmmm interesting. Yes that's what we black folk do on dates. I could take you to dinner for valentines girl but I got a better idea lets just go out and jack some white folk for their cheddar, ya feel me?
Oh and don't get me started on the elevator scene. I'm just going to avoid mentioning that all together. Forget I said anything.
Seriously though its a bit disturbing and I know I'm conscious of it and it has affected my behavior. I mean everyone knows I'm messed up already I really don't need other issues to deal with.
Anyway I cope. I tend to make sure at night when walking close to other (read non-black) folk I make as much noise as possible so that they are aware of my presence, not trying to sneak up on anyone. Or I slow down or speed up to pass them so that they don't think I'm following them. Why's it got to be this way.
Ok, this annoys me but I've grown accustomed to it. The only reason I'm probably blogging about it now is that I was talking about it with my wife a few days ago since it tends to happen to me alot lately because I don't get home till after 6 and its usually dark here by then.
So everytime I get off the bus and some person in my general neighborhood gets off ahead of me I always see the furtive glances in my direction and sense there is this fear. I sometimes feel like screaming out "ya blasted jackass why you gotta be worried when you see me. ya think I gine rob ya? ya doan think I cud live roun here too? chupse". Mind you I'm usually carrying my work bag so I guess they are worried I'm going to memo them to death or something.
It reminds me of this t shirt that there was an ad for in the Source magazine way back in the day. It said 'NO white lady I don't want your purse.' Think it was Bonz Malone modeling it. LOL, I wonder if they make them anymore cause I may need one.
Anyway I usually just slow down or speed up to pass them. Yea I could stalk them and make them more fearful but that would just be stupid and dangerous on my part plus it would actual cater to their ignorant beliefs. Oh well such is life in North America.