Up until yesterday, the last time I was made aware of how offensive my black skin can be to someone, was nearly 6 years ago on a bus in Australia. This week however I was again prompted with how ‘disgusting’ I am when a grown ass woman repeatedly screamed ‘black bastard’ at me on a bus in Dublin. Although her words and actions nearly made me cry in public because I'm super tough... and stuff, it was the inaction of those around me that upset me the most.
When I get on the bus my only motive from start to finish is to listen to some music on my headphones, stare out of the window and judge everyone who I pass. I don’t wanna look at anyone or engage in conversation with cute old people about the weather or the economic collapse of the country. I just long for a simple bus journey where I’m left the hell alone! However on Tuesday morning whilst heading into town, I was compelled to stand up for a fellow man of colour which resulted in me trying to blink back the tears.
The lady in question (let’s call her a fucking asshole for ease of this writing piece!) began interrupting my peaceful journey by shouting directly into the face of a black man opposite me “I’ll fucking kill you you black bastard!” I had no idea what her issue was but she was shouting loud enough to drown out my music where the 'Scissor Sisters' were trying to have a KiKi. I felt I had to intervene. After a few pacifying “woah woah wooooahs” from me, I told her she needed to calm herself right down and at this point her crazy went all the way live! I’ve never heard someone spit so much hatred and venom without taking a breath. She then turned her ‘black bastard’ taunts on me and told me how horrific I am, how my hair is horrible and looks like Michael Jackson (no idea where she was going with this!) and the awesome “what ARE you anyways… I can’t tell if you are a man or woman! You’re disgusting!” Now I know I dress like a crazy person at times and my ‘look’ may not be ‘conventional’ whatever that means… but I have breasts damn it! Bountiful breasts that not only get in the way when trying to wear a seat belt BUT are large enough to be fashioned into a floatation device for a small Asian family!
This insult was of course then followed up with a few more ‘black bastard’ shouts.
I was stunned. I sat there just staring at her but no words came out. Not even words of an explicit nature which is very unlike me indeed. I’m not sure if my lack of retaliation was due to the fact that I believed the fucking asshole woman in question was genuinely mentally unstable, or because I just felt a little broken by what she had said. I have never had someone be so publicly vile to me and that kinda hurt. It’s like she had just performed a hate monologue full of racial slurs and nonsensical insults… and if anyone interrupted her performance she probably would have cut you! The back of the bus was hushed into silence and as I looked around for someone or anyone to show me support or even a knowing sympathetic nod… there was none. Not even the black guy I tried to help in the first place offered me backup. Everyone just continued to stare out the window or involve themselves into whatever was happening on their phone. It was then I felt the tears coming but I would be damned if I was gonna let anyone see how visibly upset I was. I was shaking with rage and would have enjoyed kicking the bitch in the vagina with much gusto, but I just sat there.
After an inevitable social media rant and much persuasion from my awesome friends, I reported the woman to the bus company and the police; however I knew nothing would really come from it. The last response from the police lady at the station was “I’m sure you will laugh about this soon!” and then she smiled. That’s when I knew nobody of real authority would take this seriously.
After an incident like that you begin to doubt yourself. “Am I just making a big deal out of nothing?” “Was it actually my fault the crazy lady started on me?” “Does that t-shirt make me look like a man?!” And what the hell is wrong with people who avoid confrontation just for an easy life?! Why is it that certain folk in society refuse to help out another just so they can continue being oblivious to the shit around them? Have we all lost a sense of humanity or a programmed command inside of us that sparks the courage to speak up? Someone is being racially abused right in front of you and instead of showing some support and a united force against the bully, you turn the other way. News flash people… life isn’t fucking easy! Avoiding shit just exacerbates shit!
When I get on the bus my only motive from start to finish is to listen to some music on my headphones, stare out of the window and judge everyone who I pass. I don’t wanna look at anyone or engage in conversation with cute old people about the weather or the economic collapse of the country. So if I had my Tuesday morning journey again would I still involve myself in helping another person’s dispute against a bigoted heinous of a human being… damn bloody straight I would.