So, the last few days have been . . . ahem . . . eventful.
On our way to a block party Sunday, there was an elderly woman sitting on her walker asking for change at the subway stairwell close to our home. We politely apologized after she solicited us. As we made our way downstairs, she made reference to my being married to a white woman. She most likely assumed I did not hear her. But, I did. I then said that she would not receive money from my family, ever. Sure, I was angry. But, how did she know that we weren't going to purchase a Metrocard to ride the bus? Perhaps we intended to return brandishing our newly purchased Metrocard and give her the change left over from the purchase? She didn't know this. She went right to a hurtful comment and certainly lost any potential support in the future from the family of which she so vehemently disapproved.
Today, I decided to return home while my daughter was in school. Not surprisingly I missed a crosstown bus. The MTA likes to cluster the buses for some reason, so there were two leaving at the same time. I was justthatclose to avoiding what I am about to describe. So while I waited for the next bus, my mother returned my call, and I begin speaking with her while I entered the bus. Apparently, I chose to stand in front of the wrong person. I infuriated him by speaking on the phone using a respectful volume and gave him the opportunity he was clearly pining for to share a diatribe of hate. I missed most of what this man was spewing toward me because I was speaking with my mother. Against my better judgment, I decided to end my call to see just what this guy was talking about. I assumed he was saying something asinine. I was right. Turns out he hates black people. I mean really hates black people. What I did hear was basically the definition of ignorance. One of the highlights was when he told me that all blacks were uneducated. Yes, this man told me, an educator with a Master's, that all blacks are uneducated. Nice try, buddy. He was clearly an attention seeker, not the type of person one can talk to, reason with, or enlighten in anyway.
The coup de grace happened not long after that bus ride. As I was walking home, a woman walking in front of me decided to spit and came inches from actually spitting on me. Actually, inches might be an understatement. I stopped and gave her a puzzled look. She responded with an angry, "What?" I informed her that she nearly spit on me. She provided this retort. "I don't have eyes on the back of my head." Despite its accuracy, this was not the response I envisioned. I said she might avoid spitting. She said that she needed to spit. Yes, she needs to spit, on New York City sidewalks, spreading germs. I begged to differ and walked away thankful that my daughter missed the last two episodes.
New York, I have stood by you. I have defended you. I am loyal. But, when you question who I can love with my child within earshot, and throw racial slurs my way, and attempt to spit on me, well, remember this. She is watching.