Wednesday, July 20, 2005

What Would You Do If This Happened To You?

I’ve been meaning to write about this for awhile, just getting around to it, I had to get my head clear. About a month or so ago I went out for a beverage or two and shot pool with my boy K-rock. I had a good time, after an hour and a half it was getting late so we left. As we’re walking down the street to our respective vehicles a car with some young white guys drove by. I heard one of them yell something from the car, I wasn’t exactly sure what he said at first, but I knew what it sounded like. K-Rock stopped for a second, I asked him if he heard what the guy said. At the same time we both turned around and starting half running up the street after the car which was stopped at a light about 150 yards away. Yes he called us niggers, not as an affirmation of friendship I would add.

While I’m half running up the sidewalk I had 2 thoughts. One, I’m educated, a college grad, got a decent job, why in the world did these guys I don’t know calling me a nigger really bother me that bad. I mean some black folks (not me) use it all the time. But I couldn’t get this one thing out of my head, I wanted to see if they would say it to my face. That’s what pissed me off the most, that they were cowards, if your gonna say it, say it to my face. Don’t be a punk about it.

Second, how far would this go? I was pretty sure those guys would run the light before getting out and confronting us. I’m also 99% sure if they were walking by us on the street they wouldn’t have said anything to us, I’m 6-2 and other than a bad knee in pretty good shape, K-rock is 6-1 or 6-2, a former football player, powerlifter and bouncer. But if they did confront us, would it be worth whopping some redneck ass? I’m not generally the fighting type, I was in a few fights in college and that generally involved trying to drag a friend out, also now I generally don’t go to places where the odds of me having to throw down are really high. This is a legit question, was it worth possibly going to jail to kick some redneck’s ass for calling me nigger (again in the heat of moment that night the answer would have been yes, man that sounds stupid to say).

About halfway to the car the light changed and they took off. K-rock and I walked into this pizza joint and cooled off for a bit. I keep thinking, why did it bother me so damn much at the time. Would it have been any different if they did say it to my face. I’ve seen much worse than that, I mean I’ve walked in parties where I know everyone in the room through, why is that nigger here? (I was invited that’s why) I do live in the deep South, certain attitudes seem to never disappear, it makes you wonder about this place at times. But again why was I ready to throw down? I wasn’t trying to be macho to impress some female. I didn’t hear them talk about my momma. I will say this, as honest as I can be, at the time it would have felt good to fight those guys. I do feel slightly ashamed, I should have been able to let that slide, but I just couldn’t than night. Now I didn’t lose any sleep over it but it made me think, more power to people older than myself who had to take comments like that with a smile at one time.


Blogger The Underdog said...

You know, the more I think about this, the more passionate I become. But first here's a story....

I live in Kansas City, MO. I was walking form work Wednesdayto go pick up some clothes over my lunch break. I'm crossing this street, Grand, one of our main thouroughfares. On the other side I see what I believe is a Muslim lady. She was dressed in ful garb. Flowing white cloth drapping her body. Headware such that you could only see her eyes. I say Muslim and not Arab because her skin tone looked to be as dark as mine, but that is where mmy own ignorance comes into play. Well as we are crossing, some rednesck female driving a truck passes us and yells "towelhead!" I was thrown by this and wanted to say something but everything had passed before i could utter a word.

So I say that to say this. No matter what the situation, there is a difference between being called stupid, dumb, ignorant and nigger or towelhead. Those types of phrases speaks to the core of hatred. You know you're not stupid or dumb. But how do you know you're not a nigger or towelhead. What is the comeback to that? Those type of derogatory remarks are at a different level than any others. I've neever been called a nigger before, but I would kick someone's ass if they called me that. Why, because the work nigger in that usage speaks not that the person using it is just a moron, but they have utter disrespect for your presence on this earth. To me, someone calling me a nigger is kin to wanting me dead or not around. Totally disregarding everything i've worked for in my life. I can't have that.

Should you truly have to let that go. Nope. Don't feel bad. That's some emotionally charged verbage and being called that by a gaggle of cowardous white boys who aren't man enough to say it to your face and let you prove them wrong or whip there ass is embarrassing. You probably wanted to strike back so bad that night becasue you knew you didn't have the opportunity to.

The Deep South, the Midwest, stupid is stupid everywhere. If i was there i would have done the same thing.

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