It never fails that at least once every Christmas holiday season I encounter an ugly parking lot “situation.” One with an angry driver or stressed out shopper just looking to vent at the most unsuspecting of person. That unfortunately would be me today.
This is how it went. I was trying to find a parking spot in the madness and mayhem of the Boxing Day shopping mall parking lot. I happened to take a little wider turn around the bend as I made my way from one aisle to the next; eyes wide open in search of a free parking spot. This man came around the bend like a bat out of hell and was quite visibly cursing me in anger with his eyes piercing through me like daggers while he yelled obscenities into his glass window. Wife beside him as his audience, apparently unbothered by his likely usual behaviour.
A little perturbed but not shocked, I was thinking ‘relax buddy it’s not that serious.’ I mean, I do drive a big truck but there was enough room for both of our vehicles. Finally I found a spot, parked and got out. As I’m walking towards the mall, who did I see? None other, than the angry man. Stomping as if with each step he was looking to crush some tiny soul. My little inner overruled me and I couldn’t help myself but to say “Really now, it wasn’t that serious. How about a little holiday spirit?” He turned around to face me and went off…continuing his angry tirade and responded with “Well you shouldn’t be driving a big f’n truck if you don’t know how to handle it. Before I could respond he spat out the most disturbing thing I’ve ever heard in my entire 45 years…he called me a “NIGGER BITCH”! But wait, it gets better…he was a BLACK man, with his Caucasian wife in tow. I was dumbfounded, and almost speechless and that doesn’t happen often with me. He proceeded to call me ugly and decided I needed his beauty advice. He suggested I get my face sandblasted! Huh? What does that even mean? Now that one made me laugh. Woke me up out of my shock.
I could have gone off on him and spewed off at the mouth, taking various angles, but instead I played a different angle. I did however, leave him with a few choice comments hoping to get him thinking about his words and actions today. I told his wife that I felt sad and sorry for her if that’s how he speaks to her, but she of course blindly defended him saying “he’s actually a really nice guy.” I left her to believe what she may. Ordinarily, I’d give people the benefit of the doubt or just write such actions off as them having a bad day, but this one was different. His ready anger was not due to simply a bad day. There was a lot to uncover and fix with this man. He needed divine intervention.
Feeling pity that he is clearly in denial about his race, and has this great and apparent hate towards his own people, I suggested to him that he needs help and to seek “guidance.” I retreated and took another entrance into the mall. I did not want to be near the ugliness of that which was his spirit.
The moral of this story is deeper than name-calling. This goes deeper than that. This is about how and why separatism, apartheid, racism, inequality, slavery and the like will never be totally abolished. It’s mentalities such as this man’s that will continuously keep black people down. This is 2019 and my fellow black man is calling his black sister a “ nigger bitch.” Me, a black woman like the one who carried and birthed him into this world. Imagine the lack of respect he would have had for his own mother. Me, a black woman like the ones who cried and begged for the freedom of their black men as they were/are beaten and killed simply because of the colour of their skin, or the associations and presumptions that come with simply having that coloured skin. Me, a black woman…a woman…a human being.
So today, in our modern day society, we continue to eradicate our own race, with the thug killings, violence, gang activity, obscenities used against our own brothers and sisters in music and the entertainment industries, with our ‘woe is me’ attitude to life and living. We can’t even be happy and accept when our fellow black men succeed and do well for themselves; always trying to bring them back down to a lower level. Misery loves company I guess. We don’t need anyone else taking black people out; we are doing a pretty damn good job of it ourselves. And when I say we, people, I mean we! We all have a role to play here. It starts with our own actions as small as you think it may be. It starts with how we raise our children and the influences we put before them. We are in charge of their destiny. Just because we want to believe that we’ve come a long way from the ‘Rosa Parks at the back of the bus’ days and that we are good because we can share amenities such as schools, bathrooms and restaurants, hold top positions in Fortune 500 companies, hold tenure, be elected into parliament, run countries, etc. Don’t think for a minute that we are good! We are better, but there’s a long way to go before we are good.
I’m saddened today. I’m saddened because a black man looked at me, a beautiful and educated black woman, and called me a “nigger bitch.”