You Can Stay All Day

You Can Stay All Day

I love movies. I mean, I love movies to the point where I recite some of my favorite movie lines at the most appropriate times. Example, I was at Kroger a few weeks ago and both I and another lady were trying to park at the same time. From her vantage point, it appeared that I was trying to pull into the same spot that she was going to park in when I was really going to a different aisle. However, because she just had to have this spot, she pulled in so fast that she almost ran into a pedestrian. I just shook my head and said “don’t nobody want your punkass bike cuz”. That’s a Baby Boy reference just in case you missed it.  

The opportunity to quote another popular movie line presented itself this week when I watched the video of Hysterical Becky in Central Park yanking her dog up by the collar while trying to intimidate a black man. See, Hysterical Becky was upset because the black man, who happened to be enjoying a beautiful day of bird watching, asked her to leash her dog because, I mean, it’s the law. Instead of apologizing to him and following the law, she decided it would be best to drag the dog around the park while making up a story that he was trying to attack her. After the video ended, the only words that I could come up with were “You can stay all day”.

We all know who Ms. Sofia is so there’s no reason for us to break that part down. The reason why this line popped in my head however is because Miss. Millie presented herself as an ally to Ms. Sofia but as soon as she couldn’t get her way, she turned into a victim who was close to turning those men in the scene into the movie versions of Emmett Till. Because Amy Cooper aka Hysterical Becky aka Miss. Millie Jr. knew that her white woman tears would yield a fast response from the police, she truly attempted to have this man killed or at least attacked. This is a prime example of white privilege. Think about BBQ Becky. This lady really called the police on a man that was trying to BBQ in the park. I mean, have you ever had a BBQ at the park? It’s the most family friendly thing you can do. Now imagine some stranger with an unruly ponytail and windbreaker telling you that you can’t enjoy your sunny afternoon because it’s against park ordinance 3.2.4. Lady get out of here and leave me the hell alone!

I’ve always had a pretty outgoing personality so it’s been easy for me to make friends and just meet people. My closest friends are people who come from a similar background as mine but I also have friends who are German, Mexican, Indian and Filipino. I love when we get together because we talk about the things that girlfriends talk about. Kids, work, husbands and just bullshit. But other times we talk about cultural similarities and differences. One time my German friend and I were talking about Ellis Island. I told her about a visit that I had taken there and how I was disturbed by the experience. Although it was a beautiful museum, I couldn’t help but be angry thinking about the fact that my ancestors weren’t given the option or privilege to put our names in those books. We got off of those ships and had to completely forget who we were. She looked at me and admitted that she had never thought about it like that. In that moment I appreciated her being honest but I also recognized the ignorance that we have towards differences.  There are however thin lines between not knowing and being willfully ignorant. Not acknowledging our differences and having this idea of I don’t see color is bullshit.

It happens at work all the time as well. I can’t count how many times I’ve been called blunt, spicy, and yes, emotional. I almost got fired after my boss called me emotional because had I been a man he would’ve called me passionate, but I will reserve that conversation for a later blog. One of my peers has had 10 positions within our organization and has yet to produce any positive returns, but she continues to move around and up in the organization. I have never seen anyone more mediocre be rewarded so often. It’s interesting but not confusing as I know the power that she has is not given to people who look like me. It’s a little thing called privilege. People who don’t agree will debate that it’s not about race, but race is present even when we don’t want to see it or acknowledge it, which makes its presence that much bigger. Bottom line is, if we admit to seeing our differences we don’t have to hide behind imaginary fear.

So Karen, please stop calling the police on us when we don’t do what you want us to do. It’s dangerous and we’re sick of your shit. Also, please stop addressing us as “hey girlfriend”. We don’t really talk like that and you’re actually making a presumption about us that makes us cringe. Another thing, if we’ve created a friendship, please don’t look at me like one of the “good one’s” and please don’t let those words come out of your mouth. The idea of “good one” is extremely offensive and makes us ball up our fists like Arthur.

In closing, make sure that your culturally different friends do not behave like these women as they completely understand the power that they have. If you however have the opportunity to educate your friends, then you should do so, but it’s not our responsibility to teach them how to be humans. Be cautious, keep those phones charged and recognize an ally versus Miss. Millie.