A few years ago I was sitting at a bus stop, waiting for the bus to take me into downtown Pittsburgh. I was sitting on the street, leaning against the wall reading a book and wearing headphones. Music was playing, but because I was reading the volume was very low. Just a few feet away were two other guys sitting on the steps of a nearby business, smoking cigarettes and talking amongst themselves. They were white guys, in their mid to later thirties. I’m not sure what they were talking about, but then again – I wasn’t paying attention. I was reading my book and enjoying the sunshine. It was then that a group of young, black kids came by. They were talking loudly and laughing. They were wearing the types of clothes that most kids wear these days. One had a collared, pullover shirts stretched down to knees, while another was wearing an “A” Shirt (wife beater) with his drawers sagging low and his boxers sticking up. The third guy had no shirt and sagging drawers with exposed boxers as well.
As they walked past, joking with one another, one of the kids pushed his buddy, causing him to spill out his soft drink right in front of the two, older white guys. No one was hurt, and no one had any drink spilled on them. “Yo – sorry ’bout that, man“. Said the young man with no shirt. The kids kept walking and eventually turned the corner.
“Fuckin’ Niggers!” Said one of the white guys on the steps.
I remember I stopped reading, but I kept my eyes on the pages of my book. I wanted to see what more they would say, so I reached in my pocket and turned down the volume on my radio, but left my earbuds in my ears. When I heard no more, I looked up to see if those guys were still sitting there and one of them looked up at me. “Can you believe those fuckin’ degenerates?” He said to me as he kicked dirt over the spilled soda on the ground. “That’s what you get when animals are raised with no fathers!”
“They don’t have fathers?” I asked coyly – knowing full and well that they were making a general accusation.
“None of those fuckin’ eggplants have fathers!” The second guys said while laughing. I turned and looked over my right shoulder towards the corner to see if those kids were still there and then turned back to the two guys – who had no idea they were talking to someone who happened to be married to a black woman. They simply assumed – because of the color of my skin color – that I shared their warped views.
“My wife grew up with her father.” I stated plainly. But my point seemed to elude them as the stared at me with blank looks in their eyes. “What does that have to do with anything?” The first guy asked.
“Your friend stated black people don’t grow up with fathers and I’m telling you that my wife grew up with a father.” I was just about to turn my attention back down to my book when I noticed their eyes light up as if someone had just turned on the light bulbs. They sat there, staring at me while their cigarettes burned slowly between their pale, white fingers. They said nothing more and when the bus arrived, they remained sitting the steps. As I got up to meet the bus, I turned to them and gave a small wave. “Have a nice day, gents.” I said sarcastically.
I didn’t need to get pissed off and start a fight. I didn’t need to get in their faces. When it comes to racists, cowards like those guys – one does not need to get upset. They didn’t say anything about those kids when they were in ear shot – those guys waited until those kids were around the corner. Just by simply letting them know that I was married to a black woman, it let them know just how ignorant and stupid they truly are.
I don’t care who you are or where you are. Should someone say something to you and it ‘personally’ affects you – say something! I don’t care if it’s old couple who doesn’t understand interracial relationships. Staying silent won’t help them learn anything. Speak out and say what’s on your mind – but do so with eloquence. it makes them look that much more ignorant.
Even if you’re not in an interracial relationship – speak out and let it be known that we are no longer living in the dark ages. This is a new millennia and we’ve learned much over these past fifty, neigh one hundred years. Speak out and help stop the hate.