Black woman why art thou so angry?

January 15, 2010 at 7:44 PM | Posted in Ah C'mon!, Don't be a Dummy, Gimme a frickin break!, Hear me ROAR!, Higher Definition, I have had enough, Please don't be "that girl", Seriously? | 5 Comments

Editor’s note: I had a revelation today.

I hop on the M4, on my way home today. It’s Friday, feeling good and looking forward to a weekend of fundraising and helping in relief efforts. I maneuver my way through the afternoon crowd on the bus to the middle of the bus find a seat, plop down and grab my book out of my bag. As soon as the book hit my lap I hear a an angry voice scream, ” CAN YOU TAKE YOUR BAG HANDLE OUT OF MY BACK!!!!!” Extremely nasty, and extremely unwarranted. I had no clue my bag handle decided to beat the hell out of her. It was honestly unbeknownst to me that any part of my bag was even touching her, but clearly this bag assault seemed to have ruined her life from the sounds of it. So I obliged this lady but I was absolutely incredulous. As a woman and citizen of the world I had to let the screecher know her attitude was uncalled for. In my most even-toned voice I retorted, “Well you didn’t have to be so rude about it.” I then cracked open my book and instantly became engrossed as she turned around and screeched, “EXCUSE ME, WHAT DID YOU SAY???, WHAT DID YOU SAY? YOU SAID I’M RUDE? YOU’RE THE ONE WHO HAD YOUR PURSE IN MY BACK, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT RUDE IS.” She turned to the person sitting to her, who didn’t even bat an eye at her, for support to continue her diatribe. ‘CAN YOU BELIEVE HER??? WHAT…BLAH BLAH BLAH..” for literally, 3 minutes on a crowded bus of people. I wanted no parts of her insidious rant so I remained engrossed in my book and let her show just how crazy she was by yelling at no one. At least no one that was interested in entertaining her childish foolishness.

When I got off the bus I wondered, why the anger, lady? Why was her initial response rancor? Why did she feel compelled to talk to another human being with such venom? A simple, “Your bag is in my back,” would have done the trick. I didn’t know her from a ham sandwich. Did she think I had a personal vendetta against ladies that wear furry hats and glasses and the only way to satisfy this need for blood was to go around on buses jabbing people in the back with my purse handle? Why is it in a city as huge and as crowded as New York, you think you would be exempt from having another person’s property touch you? I’ve seen people fall asleep on subway on the shoulder of the person they’re sitting next to. I didn’t see that unlucky person lash out in the same manner as this lady did. Apparently being assaulted by a purse warranted such a brute reaction. Why would she debase herself and look like a raving lunatic on a bus full of people? Was it worth it? Did it require all of that?

My response is no. Her response would probably be a resounding screech of YES!!! My father’s response was “poor thing.” I paused. “Huh?” He said “She doesn’t know any better.” I thought that was a valid point, but don’t we learn how to speak to others in uh…kindergarten? As aforementioned, her ravings were to no avail because my book was way more important than some crazy lady on the bus. But it sincerely breaks my heart that people like her are the representation for people that look like me. The good, is seldom remembered as much as the bad. So as super-human as Michelle Obama is, the crazy lady in the furry hat screaming on the bus is what people are going to think of when they see my brown face.

Related: Why Didn’t he call me back? Because you’re a f*****g psycho that’s why!
Related: Single Black Female please sit all the way down forever. Thanks



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  1. I love your other posts but I especially love posts like this because it brings the opportunity for compelling dialogue. I’ll preface my comments by saying I’m a black woman in her 30s.

    OK…my opinion: the woman was out of line but… (and I say this with the utmost respect) you were too. Not on the same level, mind you. She was loud and obnoxious. You (if I’m reading correctly) came off snide. Obnoxious x Loud + Snide = 3 minute tirade on the bus.

    A simple apology and removing said bag would have sufficed. See in our quest not to be angry black women, we sometimes agitate a situation that we could squash. By no means did your apology have to be heart felt and I’m sure that everyone on the bus who witnessed said event thought her comments were overblown. Many may even have wanted to tell her to pipe down or not be rude but that would have only resulted in more of what happened.

    Sometimes the way we show people we are different is to do different things. Responding kindly and not in kind would have probably afforded you a quieter bus ride. Volume though annoying has nothing to do with it. You’re smart. You don’t need to be loud to cut someone down to size. And by no means am I chastising you. You did what you felt like you should have done and you are well within your right to do so. I’m just offering an additional point of view that’s hard to see when we are knee deep in a situation.

    Also, clearly this woman was having a bad day. Not your problem, I know but people like that of any gender or ethnicity are ready to pounce. They want something or someone on which to sound off. Again, not your problem. But when your bag handle accidentally touched crazy lady in the furry hat, the problem landed squarely in your lap.

    Let’s say you said, “My apologies or beg pardon” or any variety of apologetic phrases and moved your bag. Even if she continued her tirade, you would have been the Michelle Obama on the bus. Instead your response kinda comes off like an angry black woman in training. Correct in your assessment – yes. The necessity of the comment is where you strayed. Like I’m sorry but I’m gonna tell you about yourself. And we all know that nobody wants that kind of apology.

    I only say this cause I’ve been in your very position and couldn’t understand for the life of me why some black chicks (old and young) had to get so stank over nothing.

    At the end of the day, anybody who thinks they know who you are when they see your color will not be changed by an incident on the bus. You two could have hugged and sang “Cum bah yah” and it wouldn’t have mattered. Black men deal with us all the time and they help to perpetuate it. Comics make angry black women (and therefore all black women) a hilarious punch line with every comedy routine. I used to care but the world is too vast. It’s easier for me to work on what I think of me and let whoever else think whatever else they want to think.

    So let’s say you don’t like my comment. And think who does she think she is? Why does she think she has room to comment? It may piss you off. Well if it does, then you know exactly how crazy furry hat lady feels.

    But I hope you’re not annoyed. I hope my comment brought you the level of understanding which you want others to have. I think you are fabulous! Smart, beautiful and generous. This post was just too good to pass up on commenting. I hope I didn’t offend you as that was far from my intention.

    Thanks for hearing my 2 cents…well more like my few dollars worth but you get what I mean. 😀

    • Haha! I can agree with that. My mother always says when people are nasty to you, your response should be “as sweet as sugar” and then they will see just how crazed they are. I think that philosophy works and for the most part I practice that, but in this case I probably felt this situation was “too good to pass up” too. I was caught off guard and floored at the tone and attitude of the woman that any possibility of being “as sweet as sugar” was replaced with a lesser version of her crudeness. I just could not fathom why she did not choose a more humane tone. It would have sufficed but I can definitely see how no remark on my end would have sufficed as well.

  2. Forget my Gucci bag handle in her back, I would have wacked her in the head with my Burberry umbrella…

    Angry Black Woman… age 28 and a half…

  3. […] is made-up :rolls eyes and walks away: Related: My girl crush Related: Why you so uptight? Related: Black Woman why art thou so angry? Related: NYTIMES: Rethinking […]

  4. […] for a children’s movie and when it was done, she turned to me visibly upset and said “why does the Black woman always have to be screaming and have a nasty attitude?” I didn’t have an answer for her. She was 15 and noticed and wasn’t happy about […]

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