Ladies’ night was at the Rolladium last night, and someone passed around body glitter while we were lacing our skates. Iï¿½ve showered twice since then, and I’m still finding glitter in some inconvenient places. Like under my contacts.
This morning’s commute was eventful. I was sitting next to this kid who was booming hard-core gansta rap in the back seat of the bus. Needless to say, the mostly 35-and-over crowd was none too pleased that the music was so loud, or that every other word was an expletive. Finally, someone near the middle of the bus yelled, “Turn that thing off!” The kid turned his boom box up and yelled, “Who said that?” No one answered, so he laughed and turned it up louder. Meanwhile, all of his friends were slumping lower in the kind of perfect embarassment you can only experience when youï¿½re 15. A big, red-faced guy in his mid-50s stood up and charged through the packed aisle screaming “I SAID IT! NOW TURN THAT F—-ING THING OFF!” Whereupon the kid made some rather threatening gestures in return. The older guy yelled, “Stop the bus!” and got off. The kid grinned and turned the radio up louder so all of us could enjoy the full impact of the word “niggah” reapeated 15 times per minute on a bus that had suddenly become rife with racial tension. The kid was black, the older guy was white, and let’s just say the anger was a little disproportionate on both sides. Fab.
The music fan obviously felt big about having dominated the bus. Apparently, there’s a real sense of power in being the gangsta king of public transportation. Right. What he failed to notice was that his actions just reinforced every racist attitude that anyone on that bus ever had about black people. All his friends, who seemed like decent kids, were lumped in with him because they happened to be sitting next to him. I wanted to smack him upside the head and have a discussion about greater responsibility. However, I’m the whitest white girl that ever walked, and he didn’t seem like much of a listener, so I kept my mouth shut. Now I’m stewing about it instead.