BLACK RAGE – Dangerous and Unnecessary

| March 5, 2011 | Comments (3)


It has happened too often to me to be written off as a series of isolated incidents. While I have never been mugged or shot or worse – murdered – I have been assaulted and insulted by black males too often to dismiss these unpleasant encounters as atypical.

The latest confrontation occurred less than an hour ago. Perhaps, still in the heat of the moment, I should not write about it. But if I don’t, I will probably just “file it” in my “forgettable” dossier  and try to block from my mind that it even  happened. I don’t want to do that. I need to talk about it.

Let us review who I am. A rather non-descript 72 year-old white man who I hope presents  a reasonably respectable and non-threatening appearance. I am the type of person out-of-towners and tourists often approach on the street  asking, “Where is the Empire State Building ?”

I am a writer and a journalist and am told I present a “tweedy”, bohemian image. Perhaps a bit unkempt. Rather shy, people say.  Whatever….

This Saturday afternoon around 5 PM the uptown subway was uncharacteristically crowded. Even my selecting the last car did not yield a seat, so I settled into my stance eyeing passengers  trying to discern who might be getting up soon and surrendering their place. That lady with Saks Fifth Avenue shopping bags must certainly be exiting at 77th Street? The gent in the Brooks Brothers Chesterfield, was he bound for his club near 59th Street?

My passenger speed-reading was interrupted by the arrival in the car of a panhandler, well-fed and well-dressed, who bleated about his misfortune shoving his way down the crowded aisle. Reaching my backside, he suddenly and forcefully  pushed me to the right, in front of a large black man who was seated in a forward-leaning position as though he were sitting on the throne positioning himself for a major bowel movement. Propelled by the beggar, my coat tail must have touched the black guy who shoved me and said, “Get your dirty coat out of my face.” I replied saying, “I’m sorry, sir,  it was not intentional. It is a crowded train and  I was shoved in your direction.” 

The black man glared at me saying with a decidedly threatening tone in his voice, “I don’t care about the train. Get your  fuckin’ dirty coat away from me!” I am not a rocket scientist, but I do know when confronted with a situation like this in the form of a 280-pound line-backer, silence is the better part of valor.

This unpleasant happening brought to mind another occurrence, even worse, that took place a couple of weeks earlier. I was boarding a bus in Harlem on 125th Street and there was a rather long line of passengers snake-ing to the door of the bus. As I was about to raise my foot to step into the conveyance, the passenger in front of me, a large, young black man, suddenly slammed his elbow into my solar plexus. The pain was so severe, I reeled for several seconds, sputtering and gasping.

To the best of my knowledge, this action was totally unprovoked. I was not touching my assailant and had not spoken to him. Indeed, I cannot say that I saw his face. I boarded the bus, it moved on and I got to  where I was going to. I want to think that these two nasty incidents – and others  I have experienced – are isolated, random  events, but I doubt that they are. I’m beginning to believe there are a lot of  blacks who are white-haters out there.

I feel a tide of anti-white racism welling up in New York City. And no wonder such poison is spreading. I believe it can be traced directly to the media and what I feel is its unbalanced reporting. The media’s constant drumbeat of  “racism” in a country that has  a black president, is unconscionable and dangerous, provoking racial hatred which explodes in ugly incidents which have become all to commonplace for me.

It is neither practical nor desirable for me to pack a glock or hire a platoon of security guards. At 72, with multiple medical complaints, I am not about enroll in a black belt karate class either. What does a senior citizen do to alleviate  the feeling of insecurity that inevitably flows from  such threatening encounters ?

I am at a loss  to supply an answer. I can only speak directly to the media – printed and televised – asking that they be more balanced in their reporting and not  so quick to brand as racism many things so categorized. If blacks are constantly told  they are still victims in a country that fought a  bloody Civil War to give them freedom, the understandable human tendency to lapse into self-pity and hatred of their alleged (white) tormentors can only lead to a resurgence of racial strife.

The riots and looting that consumed British cities this past summer have not occurred in the U.S., but some  talking heads are saying that if Obama loses the election in 2012, there will be turmoil in American streets that will make the recent British disturbances seem like small stuff. After all in a country where you can buy a firearm at Walmart’s. the stakes are higher and more frightening. 

All I can say at this point is: it’s time for the media to stop peddling hate.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Candace Laws says:

    This is the unfortunate price we pay for enslaving people. Of course they resent and hate us and now with a black president feel more able to exhibit and fulfill that hatred. Not all – as is always the case – but some disenfranchised citizens feel like taking it out on you. As you say, you are 72 – hardly a big fight.

  2. jim arrigan says:

    Dear Sam, Sorry about your brief encounter. Was in the library this morning when i first read your blog and I started to go on and on in answer to your distress only to have the time run out and everything was lost. After I was glad because just a short reply is necessary; Think of all the white people who hate the blacks then Thought of your book cover cute white kid being watched by the blacks. Whats to understand Sam, there is alot of rage out there, why there isn’t more is whats really strange. And yes the right media fuels alot of hate too. What about your Buddhist background in nonattachment, and turning incidents like the one you suffered into an opportunity to turn it into something else. I take the no. 6 train downtown every morning and back every night and am always struck by how much tolerence there is on all sides. Have learned lots of sure fire tricks on how to stay out of harms way too, which I will share with you. Just remember we all get kicked once in a while. My black wife never grows tired of bad mouthing her people while I tend to find the good. Have you ever read black like me? Ever wonder why blacks have a higher rate of high blood pressure? There was a great show this morning on Being on how to turn these bad experiences into something positive. will forward next. Also, checked out Equinox and you can walk in without joining. Be well and be assured you are not alone.

  3. Roger Cranse says:

    For someone who participated in the civil rights movement, this is a troubling tale, although I do not doubt its veracity. Several years ago I had a different experience. I was at a higher education conference at Howard University; most of the participants were African-American and other minorities, effectively putting me in the minority. I feel in with a group of 8 or 10 new friends, again, mostly African-American. At the end of each day we went out for long meals with lots of drinks in Georgetown and other D.C. spots. I felt, in a strange way, that my friends were looking out for the guy from Vermont. About the best conference I ever went to. A new book, Disintegration, The Splintering of Black America, by Eugene Robinson, lays out a conceptual framework for understanding this topic. Robinson sees African-Americans divided into four groups: a “Mainstream middle-class majority;” a “large Abandoned minority;” a “small Transcendent elite” (Oprah, Obama, etc.); two “newly Emergent groups:” mixed race and recent black immigrants. The book has strong explanatory power, although I still find Sam’s story deeply troubling. Hard to understand NYC up here in Vermont! RC

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