Monday, August 29, 2016

Yes, this exists. (Did my white privilege just get revoked?)

For illustration purposes only. Not actual motorist.
This morning I'm leaving McDonald's on foot, through its parking lot, when I hear a car rolling up behind me. I do not turn around to look at the driver, but I merely make the familiar waving motion to my side and slightly aft, indicating for the driver to proceed and exit before me. Momentarily the car pulls up alongside me and stops. The driver, a middle-aged black woman, rolls down the window and gives me what-for.
"I don't need your damn permission to drive where I'm going, white motherfucker. You people don't tell me what I can and can't do! No more you don't!" 
She uttered a few more choice profanities in the same vein, then rolled up the window and eased out of the lot, still muttering into her rear-view mirror. For the record, I'd said nothing the whole time. I stood there open-mouthed. Speechless. To the best of my knowledge I have never seen either the car or the woman before today.

We can debate this woman's sanity. We can talk about her being an outlier, which she probably is, at least in terms of the openness of her feelings. But this is out there, folks, even in sane people. And I submit it's out there even more since the advent of Black Lives Matter. (I'm not saying that makes BLM a sinister force per se. I'm saying it means BLM has some sinister aspects/corollaries.) Some of us may have invited this kind of wrath through our own scurrilous behavior over the years...but I'm not one of those someones, and in any case it is Racism, every bit as vile and virulent as anything spoken by the types of people who carve swastikas into their foreheads. It's every bit as unacceptable, too...even, I submit, when covered in a thin veneer of sophistication and/or politesse, a la the like of Charles Blow and Ta-Nehisi Coates. 

We must address both kinds of racismthe original kind and the reactive/resentful kind I encountered this morningbefore we can bridge our yawning racial divide. 

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