Black And Male In OttawabySamuelx©
What is bigotry to you? I've experienced so much of it, and I think it's part of life if you're Black and male, but I am not a believer in self-pity. I believe in fighting back, but I do it the smart way. One thing which never ceases to amaze me, and that's white male insecurity. You'd think a group that gets handed so much power and privilege would show a little more fortitude in the face of adversity. Seriously. The day I started my criminal justice studies at Carleton University in the City of Ottawa, Ontario, I read an OPED about a white businessman in the City of Winnipeg, Manitoba, who shot his wife and son and then killed himself, a month after losing his job as a bank manager. Apparently, unemployment can trigger homicidal and suicidal tendencies in white males. Imagine that.
If us brothers turned murderous and suicidal every time we lost a job, we'd be extinct. We don't kill ourselves over stupid stuff like that because we're a strong breed. We have to be strong to take and survive all the shit the world throws at us. White guys fold like toilet paper in the face of adversity. Murder and suicide are their only options. Wow. I pity the women who still think of these ridiculous bozos as demigods. Their time has come and gone, just like the T-Rex. Make way for the new breed, and yours truly is a proud member of that category.
I walk through my university campus, a six-foot-two, dark-skinned and burly young Black man. The campus is quite diverse, you see lots of Chinese, Indians and Arabs walking around. You see girls in hijabs and girls in miniskirts. You even see short-haired, buff chicks in guy clothes. You see all kinds of guys too. Nerdy Asian guys, alert, suspicious white guys and cool, laid-back Arab guys. You spot the studious Hindu guys, always looking vaguely uncomfortable for no reason. They need to learn to relax, seriously. Drink a beer and get laid or something. Anyhow, the one guy who always gets the stares is the Black guy.
As I walk through campus, wearing my Obama T-shirt with pride in the aftermath of his successful bid for re-election, the white students ( and others ) at school are staring. Let them stare. I am the new breed of Black man. I don't play basketball, I don't rap and I don't have a record. I can outperform you in the classroom, the boardroom AND the bedroom. Worst of all, you know it. That's why you fear me. I go to class, and the professor, this bearded white guy with beady little eyes, ignores me when I raise my hand, for I'm the guy with the answers while the rest of the class is stumped. So I shout my answer, and the short, blue-eyed blonde chick sitting next to me smiles, and she wonders aloud if I've taken this class before. I smile at her and tell her that I'm a new student, just like her. Class ends, and I wrap up. Time to go to the library to get ready for my next class. The blonde chick next to me smiles, and I smile politely. She wants something. The question is...what? She introduces herself as Beth, short for Bethany. I'm Raphael, I say. She looks surprised because most of the Black male students at our school have ethnic African or Muslim names. I'm neither an African Christian or a Black Muslim. I'm a Haitian man, don't get it twisted.
I shake Beth's hand, and the professor looks on. He's not the only one looking on. There's this tall, curvy Black chick named Mira whom I spoke to a couple of times before. We're like the only Black folks in this small classroom. I found Mira cute, and I liked how she seemed smart. I thought I'd get to know her better. She shot me down the first time I tried to say hello. Clearly, she wasn't interested in me. So why are her eyes shooting daggers at me as I speak to Beth? The expression on Mira's face mirrors that of the professor. Why is it that white males and Black females, both of whom oftener than not hold the Black male in contempt, hate seeing Black men with white women? Beth and I just met. We're not going out. Stop staring, please. Thank you!
I exit the class, and Beth and I walk through the hallways. The library is right next to the building we're exiting, and since it's early on a Monday morning, competition for available computers in our refurbished library is going to be fierce. I wish Beth a nice day, and hurry up the ramp leading to the library. I rush to the second floor, where there's a lineup of students waiting for computers. Great. I stand in line, and toy with the crucifix hanging around my neck. My mother gave it to me while I was visiting the island of Haiti last summer. Mom's a proud Catholic, and dad is a lapsed Protestant. Me? I'm a secular human being who believes in God, but rejects the religious nonsense associated with those who claim to speak for Him.
As I twirl my crucifix, I notice a pair of eyes fixating on me. They belong to a tall, skinny Arab guy with dark eyes and reddish hair. He makes a face while looking at my crucifix. I stare at him blankly. What's the matter with this bozo? I wonder. I get so many stares throughout the day that it's hard to keep track of them all. While heading to the university center, I ran into a trio of white chicks who were chatting away happily while walking. As soon as they saw me, they seemed to tense. Wow. Black man phobia huh? Sheesh. What's the scientific term for that one, I wonder? I wonder what my cousin Ricky would think. He's in love with every white chick he sees, and seems oblivious to the fact that there are a lot of racist white women out there. They're just as bad as the bigoted white men, and they can get away with it more easily. Of course, Black guys who crave vanilla cream won't be deterred. Hmmm.
I think I know why the red-haired Arab dude was staring at me. It's not because of my skin color, or anything like that. It's because of my crucifix. Suddenly I remember the TIME magazine article about the persecution of Arab Christians in Arab countries like Egypt and Lebanon. I think this red-headed Arab bozo is Muslim, and he can't stand the sight of my crucifix because he hates Christians. Well, buddy, you moved to a predominantly Christian country where your Muslim ass is the minority. If you don't like it, that intolerant redneck Stephen Harper will happily send you back to the desert. I don't like him but he's good at dealing with religious crazies from exotic places. Me? I was born in the City of Montreal, Quebec. I'm a Canadian citizen by birth. They couldn't get rid of me if they tried. Stop gawking at my cross, Ahmed, or I'll find you.
All these thoughts run through my head as I wait in line to get a computer. Right behind me there's a fat Hindu chick getting off from a computer terminal. Since I'm at the back of the line and there's nobody standing behind me, I'm the only person who notices her leave. I quietly tip-toe my way to the computer, sit down and log on. The ten or so students who were standing ahead of me are none the wiser. I smile as I add a wallpaper to my computer screen. I'm the only student who does that. It's one of my favorites. A picture of Obama smiling at Romney while taunting him with a popular meme in the form of a question. I love this man, may he live long and prosper. I wish Obama the very best. He's the hope for any Black man out there with ambition and intelligence who believes that through education and hard work, anything is possible. Let the Black self-loathers and the white racists hate on me for that, I don't care.
I operate in an academic environment full of racist white guys who think they run the world, angry Black women who think any man who isn't Black must be made out of gold, naïve and bigoted white chicks full of sexual curiosity about any man who isn't white, and Arab nutcases from desert countries with unpronounceable names who want to spread their rigid faith and dominate the world. What's a Haitian brother to do in such a hostile world? Fuck all the haters, man, I'm doing my thing. Peace.