Back in the day I worked as a teller. Two years of my life were spent counting out cash and depositing checks sometimes three or four times more than my monthly salary! Needless to say, after while I become dissatisfied with my existence as a bank employee…and the longer I endured the more I noticed the division within the branch. The teller line was made up of five minority women, one from the Philippines, one from Mexico, and the rest were sista girls from the good ole United States of America. But the branch manager and the client services associates who opened the new accounts and certificates of deposit were white…
So when an Asian lady called one of my sista girl co-workers a nigger and drove off because she wouldn’t deposit a 3rd party check for her…the branch management had a difficult time understanding why we were calling Al and trying to hold a march without hearing the customer’s side of the story first. And of course the customer’s story had undergone a few edits when threaten to have her accounts closed… as the customer recalled it she said that my co-worker could have been nicer. Say whaaaaaaaat? Black folks know the difference between nigger and nicer. The woman could barely speak English but she knew how to spew the hate…and she wasn’t on some rapper-drop the “er” nigga tip…it was nigger in all of it’s ignorant glory!
Oh and the moral of the story ya’ll was that after this conversation…the customer’s accounts remained opened. Because really, we all know money talks and bullsh*t walks, and minority folks just have to deal with it when it hits the fan.
Bellini’s post last week got me to thinking about this incident at the bank again and how allegedly we now live in a post-racial society. An era of good feelings-where people see each other as people and by the conduct that comprises their character. Um. But, I still live in America. I know with Obama elected I should be getting over some stuff, but I still think that the prejudices that have patterned the American fabric have become deeper more intricate threads in our societial makeup since the night of November 4th.
Now I don’t know how many of ya’ll have experienced clear and apparent racism, the bank fiasco was the first time that I was aware of it going on so blatantly. But in these days and times I feel like I am the last of the skeptical Black folks left. I Stand on a soapbox in a vacant lot. I feel like I alone still think the man has it out for my fragile community. I guess because I haven’t forgotten Miss Evers’ Boys and I still wonder how crack could devastate generations of families in a decade.
But I wonder if I am just being overly sensitive. In this post racial world, I wonder if I let my angry Black woman unnecessarily ooze out when a white co-worker assumes that my black coworker lives in an apartment when I know she’s a homeowner who drives a Porsche. And the debating continues when an Asian girl at Lee Kim Nail says a college in Richmond, VA has a lot of Black people there. Not that there is a problem with that, but she prefers a school in the country not the city. Hmmm, well if that is your preference, then why not just say that? Why did you have to bring up how many black students attended…if it weren’t a problem? And though I wanted to punch her in her mouth, I wasn’t trying to mess up my $15 manicure. And since she saw me sitting there surely she didn’t mean anything by what she said-I mean no one is that ignorant anymore. Maybe I am just being too emotional, maybe there are a lot of Black people at that school and she was just saying…
Even with Obama-elected and believing in the saving power of Jesus, this girl’s words made me angry. I was offended. And hurt. And I haven’t let it go yet. And in the post-racial world where we all sing Kumbaya, I am confused about what I should do with these feelings of anger I sometimes have as a Black woman living in America and how should I reconcile them with being an American.
See You In Seven
SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot