Last weekend, my partner and I drove from South Florida to Charlotte, North Carolina to see Janet Jackson last Friday, visit family, and vacation with her young children on the last hoo-rah before school starts back. It was a long trip, but so worth it.
Janet Jackson was awesome. I’m thankful I got to see her before this legend leaves us. After the show we retired to our rooms to rest up for the next day. After an 11 hour drive across 3 states, it was time to lay it down.
On Saturday, every person that was supposed to link up with us when we hit town let us down, including my son. It was a day of waiting and wondering which left us all antsy.
After about 2 p.m., we decided to visit Charlotte’s Uptown area (also called the EpiCenter). We parked the car in a lot a few blocks away from the main strip and started our exploration. The entire day was marred by the large numbers of homeless people. Like any large city’s downtown area, the homeless were out and doing all the things homeless do, which was not a problem for me. The problem was the homeless were in rare form. Like it was a full moon.
It seems like I was a magnet for the mentally-ill and homeless the entire time we were out. Some homeless men would walk up to me and flirt, and I would engage them. I don’t disrespect anyone because they are homeless, plus I have a background working with populations that include homeless people so I am very comfortable speaking with people who may live on the streets. My partner’s kids live in a sanitized, upper middle-class environment. They are very scary house-kids who need hand sanitizer for everything. They barely go outside to play, let alone see or speak to homeless people.
The kids were born and raised in San Diego, California. They’ve always lived around White folks. They are used to being the only Blacks at school, in their community, when playing Rec sports. But they have never experienced the racism of the Dirty South.
They were christened this past weekend. Blessed with Southern racism.
Unless you’re pretty darn terrible, we don’t meet any strangers. Besides, you never know if you’re entertaining an angel or someone who has fallen on hard times. Treating a person with dignity and respect costs me nothing.
Anyway, I would get done talking to one homeless man, and another one would appear a few blocks later. After awhile, everyone assumed it was me they were drawn too and we all accepted this would be my fate for the day. It was pretty funny.
All that changed though when we finally made it to the Charlotte’s EpiCenter.
We walked around, found a place to grab some cookies, and were sitting outside enjoying the weather as we people watched. The kids (ages 11, 12, and 15) were sitting down and enjoying cookies discussing the good time they had at the concert when yet another homeless man decided to bless us with his presence.
But this one was different. Maybe he wasn’t homeless, but he definitely was insane and a racist who had mad issues with Black women.
This guy was dressed pretty nice. He had clean dress slacks on, one of those vacation print tropical shirts men like to buy when they are going to a tropical place or on a cruise, hard bottom shoes, and his hair was slicked back.
He was standing up yelling at people as they walked by, or if they were sitting having a meal. But I noticed he would only holler at Black people. Black women to be specific. As he got closer, I watched him engage the people he yelled at. As long as the women kept walking when he tried to get their attention, he would simply murmur something incoherent and holler at the next person in order to get their attention.
Well, I could barely understand what he was saying until he came to stand directly in front of my table.
He started out by saying, “Ya’ll niggas.”
I immediately perked up and began paying attention in order to translate for my peeps. I knew some ole Southern racist fuckery bullshit was a foot.
Next, the White homeless bigot told us the KKK was going to kill us and blow up our houses. As I translated, my partner was shocked as were her children. She began to tell him to move on because she didn’t want any trouble.
She’s a federal agent, and he threatened her. She could have laid his ass down with her hands or her glock and been fully justified. Instead, she just watched. She was simply amazed. (White cops always afraid for your lives should take note or get new jobs)
She watched this bigot and apparent coward buck up at Black women and kids who didn’t even know him.
The more she engaged, the louder he got. The more violent his threats became. The kids were beginning to feel uncomfortable. I was not.
I was ready to take my purse and knock the full hell out of him.
I took a deep breathe so not to scare my partner’s kids. I stood up and told him to move the fuck on on before I kick his ass with his bullshit.
At the moment I got up from my chair, after all of the badgering we all had endured, a EpiCenter’s security guard appears. I hadn’t noticed, but he was standing back monitoring the man and project his bigotry and hate onto guests of his city.
Of course, the security guard was White, which is why this man was able to spew his hate and walk on about his day without a police report, an offer to make a complaint, or without the bigot even being arrested. We both just watched in amazement. It was surreal.
The security guard never said a word to this mentally-ill racist harassing us.
Not. One. Word.
The security guard never stood up for me or my partner (two Black women), the kids, or any of the other Black women this deranged racist bullied as he walked through this public space to go back from to the streets from whence he came.
As I got up and moved closer to him (I was ready to be about that life and catch a charge at this point), he began to ease his racist ass on off the premises. As long as he thought we were afraid, he ranted. When it was time to deliver, he had second thoughts and mosey on.
The security guard continued to stand back and watch Uptown’s Grand Puba of the Klan in his mind as if he was shooing away some type of animal he had compassion for, not wanting any harm to come to it. The bigot got more protection than we did. He had the ability and right to harm or kills us over my right to sit in a public place and eat a cookie we paid for in peace.
It’s always this way, and I was so pissed about it. My entire body felt like it was on fire. The crazy racist has more security than me!
This bigot continued to turn around and spew his incoherent hate until he was eventually off of the EpiCenter’s property.
The Icing On the Cake
The armed security guard, after half-assed escorting this man from the property, came back to our table to apologize for “the piece of trash” spewing hate. He called the guy a piece of trash ya’ll. He also informed us that he shouldn’t have been on the property.
Stick a fork in my ass. I’m done.
Not only was the bigot harassing mall patrons with his hate speech, he was trespassing and he wasn’t arrested.
I couldn’t believe this!
This crazy bigot got handled with kid gloves as he harassed and threatened me, my partner, and her kids. Her children’s lives were forever changed last week. Their innocence was stolen on that day, and the person there to protect patrons chose to protect the perpetrator who was walking around with the sole intent of apparently finding Black women to threaten.
He was not harmed, but we were. We were harmed emotionally. It’s always like this. Where is my justice?
My partner is a cop. A gun-carrying, federal special agent. One that is trained to protect her life, and the lives of others. It’s her job, 24 hours and 7 days a week. She allowed this White, racist, bigot piece of shit spew hate onto her and the kids in order to keep the peace and not expose her kids to more trauma from her doing her job.
She didn’t kill him, though he threatened her life. She took his threats like bullets, and he got to go on to harm the next Black people. We saw him sitting at a corner hollering at Black women as they walked by. Most ignored him, but if they glanced his way, he christened their ears with his hate.
We Black women are always expected to keep the peace. Why must we always be the peaceful ones?
We were two Black who were left unprotected. Why are Black women always left unprotected? No brothers came to our rescue. They were out in full effect that day busy with consuming, flirting…distracted. I was quite disappointed to say the least
Apologies are old, hollow and meaningless, especially when coming from those who are responsible for protecting us. The security officer’s dusty apology meant nothing to us.
White people always have excuses for the racists among them.
They usually fall into one of three categories.
#1. Master gaslighters. These are the White people who will quickly tell you that you really didn’t see the racism you saw. You are confused about the bigotry you thought you experienced they tell ya. It’s just my goddam imagination. I gotta question myself because White people are so inconsistent in calling out racism.
#2. Passive Pauls and Pattys. Racism isn’t happening to these White people, so they have no problem sitting on the sidelines and watching it happen to victims. Even if their jobs are to protect us from harm, they still manage to fuck that up. Standing by is what they do. The security guard was a passive Paul, he was perfectly comfortable in his role as by-stander.
He needs to be fucking fired. The last type is:
#3. The apologist. These White people are always sorry you keep having to endure the ghosts of American racism, but they don’t do anything other than apologize. Forever sorry.
I’ll say to you the same thing I used to say to my kids. If you keep apologizing for the shit, you mean to do it… so stop apologizing for it. Your apology is hollow, and it has no meaning. Keep it. You clearly don’t have any respect for me, so right now… the feeling is mutual.
It’s sad I can’t even rely on paid security to protect me from harm when I’m out in public spaces ( even if it’s not physical harm). Black women aren’t safe or protected anywhere.
I’m a former foster kid, so I can handle my own on the streets. I’m used to not being protected and having to fend for myself. I don’t bother anyone, but please don’t try me.
When you cross that line though… well, you know the rest.
It’s not safe anywhere these days. These are wicked times people, and anyone can say or do anything to Black people and get away with it, to include the 45th President of the United States. His supporters have no issues making their hate known, including the racist homeless and mentally-ill.
Black women must be vigilant at all times. We must guard our eyes, ears, minds, and our hearts.
The daggers of racism hurt. They leave wounds, and sometimes they never heal.
So be ready my sisters. The hate is coming at us from all angles. From the bottom to the top. Even racist White homeless men got a beef with us.
This is America.