Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Let me preface this entry by saying that I left the house in damn good mood. This looks to be the last day that feels like summer, I had a good evening, and despite the fact that I have to endure yet another bullshit going away function at my job, I was even ready to handle that. So my mini-conflict on the train this morning was the equivalent of a record scratching in the middle of listening to a bass-less, "When Doves Cry". I was starting to think that these types of things are my fault, but then if I thought like that the evil-doers of the world would win..as would the terrorists. I attempted to get on the train, and this man in a suit with a backpack on(which was the first sign of trouble to come), was in my way. He was reading a book while facing the door, and it was preventing me from boarding. At first I said excuse me sir, and he backed up an inch, which was still preventing me from boarding. Then I used my tried and true tactic of saying excuse me, while gently moving this man out of the way, and he acted like the music had stopped in musical chairs, and I was trying to get in the seat he already occupied. He was not budging, and the "doors closing" voice I was hearing meant the doors were about to close directly on me. So the third time, I "accidentally" re-adjusted my bag, so that his book would fall out of his hands, and I could get all the way on the train. Of course now he was incredulous that I could be so rude, and says, "What the f*ck dude, I was trying to read?"(if he had said bro, I would laughed this entire incident off). And I looked at him and said sorry. He then accused me of doing it on purpose, to which I responded, "I'm sorry, I forgot we were in the library". He then said, "whatever dude", which I took to mean, ok Rashad you can put your ipod on now, which I did. At this point, all the train dwellers are looking at me like i'm naked, not knowing all the events that preceded this exchange. So is this my fault?

My friend Cliff and I have this expression called, "Don't Feed the Animals", which means when you see or hear something that is crying out for attention, just ignore it. There will be times when someone makes a bad joke, and I'll start to laugh, and he'll say don't feed the animals. This expression applies perfectly to Mr. Bill O'Reilly, who basically said he was pleasantly surprised at the civility of black folks in Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem. Could he have phrased this better? Probably. Was this racist? No. Was it a bit ignorant? Hell yes. But either way, O'Reilly has made a living off saying borderline controversial things, and then the media blows it way up, and then a star is born. For once I wish the media wouldn't feed the animals, and watch how quickly his overblown star shrivels. When folks make a big deal out of comments like this, it messes things up for those causes that REALLY are racist.

Marc Cohn - Walking in Memphis

3 comments:

Jamal said...

Your point about Bill O'Reilly is excellent.

Janelle said...

I bet the guy on the train would have moved if you were a woman and were showing a little hot weather cleavage. hahahahahahaa

While everything that is racist is ignorant, everything ignorant is not racist. Bill O'Reilly showing his ass over his dining experience is case in point. His comment is the equivalent of Jessica Simpson not knowing that Chicken of the Sea is tuna. hahahahaha

Miss Black River said...

How do you keep getting into these "physical" confrontations??? Guys are so much more aggressive than ladies. Must be that testosterone.