Yeah, I’m still taking the bus. I refuse to finance a car and as much as I hate to be reminded daily that being a loser involves living in Los Angeles without the means to prove that you are above the “little people” — I prefer to dwell within my means until I furnish the rights to my upcoming bestselling novel.
Not really. I’m just trying to set this off in a non-generic way.
Writing about the racial strife in this country is not something I imagined would become routine.
The reason why alludes me. I am a person of color and I am fully aware of how that translates anytime a White cop stops me with the purpose of probing further.
Yet, it took a growing mountain of bodies to convince me that if I have a forum as a writer — to expose the tales of woe that never end — I better utilize every platform to the max.
So, Freddie Gray’s killers were rewarded for their crimes.
It was concluded that since Black people are known to possess superhuman powers — there is no way these police officers could’ve bent Gray out of shape — to the point of disintegrating his spinal cord.
This conclusion is interesting because the video of this 25-year-old Black man — clearly shows him screaming in agony as he’s tossed into the police van with callous disregard for his humanity.
But, #BlueLivesMatter — and at that moment the Men In Blue were under duress due to the renderings of a wild animal that needed to be tamed — at any cost.
Well, the price was quite high. In fact it was more than any of us anticipated.
I guess that’s the issue here. Why are we surprised every time a person of color is punished for existing while Black? This isn’t a new phenomenon that demands a level of training to get us caught up on the language of the streets.
These times are gangster!
While riding the bus back home after my mandatory physical exertion — I was awakened by loud voices and body movements. Mind you, this isn’t uncommon — but somehow the events unfolding summoned my faculties unevenly.
A group of young and feisty passengers were being indicted our of their seats for failure to prove their rights as passengers of a moving tin can with drawings on it.
If I were to witness on the stand — my opening statement would reiterate that I woke up just as shit was going down — so I am not able to take you back to the exact moment when all hell broke loose.
I did however, peep the two White cops dressed in T-shirts and jeans — point to the perpetrators with privileged disdain.
And out they went. These young folks are a pain in the ass! And if this bus makes the rounds through the terrain of Crenshaw — you best believe that Law and Order is a requirement.
They all got off the bus with humid disbelief. Yes, it was a fucking hot Wednesday afternoon and my iPhone was still stuck on the shitty verdict of the day.
We had to wait until all the hideous humans of society had been offloaded before we could keep it moving.
Once the signal was alighted — off we went.
As we departed our mandatory stop — I could hear the Young, Gifted and Black — challenge their fate. Why in the hell are y’all so involved in our movements? Like, really? Not paying our bus fare is worth the attention that should be reserved for drug dealers taking a smoke outside their headquarters in Miami?
Yes. Black people who board city buses without the correct amount of change — will be persecuted for cheating. Especially when the destination warrants extra attention.
As we tinkered down the streets of L.A. — I tried to discard the recent movie of our time. A blockbuster that breaks all the records and leaves viewers shattered and torn.
A hefty passenger with loads of groceries sprawled all around him — began his rant with fever and gusto. He was pissed beyond measure and as his tone heightened — I prayed that he would be done soon because my negated high was wearing off sooner than I expected.
He went on. And on. And, after about ten minutes — I was hooked.
His peeve was that the bus driver who was a Black man — set up the young and unassuming riders for failure. He willing delivered them to the jaws of their future He helped to propel their capture. Dude! What the fuck! You know what’s up. Why would you allow their arrest when you know that White cops are dying to litter the streets with the bodies of the dying.
They have to be Black. Any age will do.
The bus driver tried to evade the missiles but each launch proved more dire in it’s approach. He explained his position quite well. He has a job that he needs to hold down for at least five years. He works the route that is notorious for bad behavior and organic mayhem. He tries to warn his people about the laws. He gives them the choice to pay for their ride and then he emphasizes the benefits of obeying the law. He can’t force perfection. He can’t pay for every customer of color who claims the virus of an empty wallet.
The passenger was still heated.
You sold out out, son! You knew they were on the bus and you helped them fuck us over. I will never go down like that. I look out for my people. Always.
Yes, we must look out for the ones that are misguided. That doesn’t mean that we rest on the laurels that permit us to disregard the rules that were implemented for all colors of the rainbow.
People of color are being terrorized for sporting melanin in a body that sets us up for adulthood before we even understand what that means. This disadvantage paralyzes our ability to negotiate for our lives.
It is imperative that we pay the fare and live another day.
The special treatment is reserved for White people with money who can continuously rob the meek and poor and literally bring this nation to a standstill — without the threat of a gun battle or civil war.
That bus ride was long and life changing.
When my stop came into focus — I was exhausted and rejuvenated.
Fuck yeah! The angered passenger had a point about how Black people in certain areas are persecuted along with Black people in mixed regions who assume they are above such treatment. Preach on — homie!
And, damn it! Yes! The bus driver kept his word when he made the case for being sick and tired of watching his people succumb to petty shit that can be avoided if only they would — OBEY THE LAWS.
I thanked the guy at the wheel and began my trek home. As the sirens blasted through my earphones — I was amazed at how crisp Tupac sounded as he assured us that Changes only come when we’ve internalized enough shit to kick us in gear.
I’m not sure how to move us forward. I just know exactly where we need to go. I also understand the meaning behind the banner that never leaves my consciousness.