Today as I parked my car at Walmart and began to exit my vehicle I happened to look over at the car next to me (something I should do more often) and noticed that there was a man sitting on the passenger side of the car. I immediately noticed that the driver of the car was missing and that the passenger was drooling over a Colt 45 (tall can). I looked over at the man, did a quick review of my doors to make sure they were locked then proceeded to exit my vehicle. When I looked back up at the man in the car he seemed to be quite annoyed that I had checked my doors…maybe he thought I had feared he would break into my car….maybe I did! Not only did the guy look at me as if he was insulted, he did what seemed to be a man eye roll. He then turned up the can of beer and guzzled more of it down.
Now being that I am an African-American female myself and the passenger of the car was also an African-American maybe he assumed that I should have no fear of him or maybe I shouldn’t assume that he was dangerous in any way, BUT he was guzzling a Colt 45 (tall can) at 1:45 in the daytime…now that may not be enough to say that he was dangerous, but for me it was damn sure enough to say that he could possibly act a damn fool because I don’t know too many people who drink Colt 45 in the daytime who don’t act like a real fool. Colt 45 is known for having that effect on people!
Could the feelings, thoughts and preconceived notions I had concerning this black man possibly be the same thoughts and preconceived notions others had when they stereotyped and often feared black men? Was it his Colt 45 or was there something deeper behind my double-check of my car doors and double-check of his positioning to reassure my safety and the safety of my vehicle?
Over the weekend I viewed an episode of Law & Order in which a wife was killed and the husband was accused of her murder…sounds familiar doesn’t it. I am sure it does, but as usual there was a wonderful twist in the plot that takes this storyline from the generic husband kills wife over (insert motif here), to wow that was a surprising twist to that story. In this particular episode the wife had actually been killed by the husband’s ex-wife because she did not want the current wife to change her mind about giving her child up for adoption. Did I lose you? Well to make a very long, interesting story, short and sweet, the husband was African-American but had been passing for white for the majority of his life and the baby he and his wife had recently given up for adoption had been black; and I don’t mean pale, Colin Powell black, I mean Hershey’s Kiss, James Brown black. When the uppity, white, ex-wife found out about this chocolate baby, she was enraged when she found out that her ex-husband and his wife had decided to cancel the adoption plans and regain custody of their brown baby. This would ruin the ex-wife’s whitewashed world and now all of her uppity friends would know that she had once been married to a black man and that oops she also had a black child (yes, she too had a child with the “passer” but their son looked Caucasian) To stop the secret from being revealed, the ex-wife gave the current wife a swift push over the balcony resulting in her death.