I began to emerge from several days of migraine pain this afternoon, so I cleaned a bit around the apartment and set off to mail a bill.
Such a beautiful Saturday... clear, cool, and bright. People were out in force: shopping, playing drums on street corners, chatting with one another, and spending time with their loved ones. I had several interesting interactions: one with a man at the bookstore who is studing micro-biology and one with a woman who does spoken word poetry.
But after I dropped my letter, I spotted out of the corner of my eye a woman with a blind person's cane. She was crossing against the light and having trouble navigating some construction.
She was already under the construction walkway when I caught up to her to ask if she needed any help. Another woman came up behind me and very rudely said "Excuse me, EXCUSE me." I moved aside and she saw the woman's cane.
She stopped, looked at me and said "oh, were you asking her if she needed help?"
"Yes." I said...
(with my don't-you-feel-like-an-idiot-now-and-if-you-don't-you-should look in full effect.)
"Oh, that was so nice of you"
Then she turned around and said "Besides, who knows if she's even blind?"
The blind woman was black. The rude woman was white.
I shot her a dirty look and the woman tried to explain... I shook my head at her and quickened my pace. She kept looking over at me as if she wanted to say more.
No, ma'am... no need to explain. I understand perfectly. You are racist. You are so racist that you see a black person and immediately they are under suspicion. You think that woman was pretending to be blind so she can take your stuff.
Well ma'am... you can have your stuff. You can have all the stuff you want... take mine too. I don't want it, if it means that someday I'll act and think like you. I'm ashamed that you and I are alike in any way. I'm ashamed that you felt you could spew your hatred and that you thought I would agree.
I wish I would have said that to you - you racist bitch.
In a perfect world, a blind woman would have no concept of race. But I bet she does. I bet she is fully aware that she is black - you remind her of it often enough. I cannot imagine how difficult it is to be blind, especially in a city like Philadelphia, but I especially cannot imagine how difficult is is to be blind and black, and to have to deal with women like you.