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I Racially Profiled a White Man…And He Didn’t Seem to Like It

We all don’t use social media the same way. We can agree on that, right? Some people create accounts which are simply used to follow/stalk certain users. Some people are actually interested in contributing to the discourse on a particular subject. Some people never comment on anything; ever. Others still don the cape of the QWERTY Crusader and believe it is imperative that they comment on every tweet, like or status on the Interwebs.

A decade ago, I myself was a QWERTY Crusader, on my way to becoming a keyboard thug. A few encounters with some people who had no conscience, no line, broke me of that. These days, when it comes to other people’s conversations, I keep my comments light and happy unless specifically asked. This has become the norm on social media these days. Nobody really just butts in on someone else’s conversation…unless they are a troll. That is why I was so surprised to find this guy in my mentions today.

I’ve already told you all I’m not doing Ferguson. I did Trayvon Martin and that took too much out of me. And it hurt. I cannot spare the emotional currency that is going to be required of every person in this nation who sees Mike Brown’s killing for what it is – murder – when the end comes and the officer in question is exonerated and escapes all of this unscathed and nothing changes for another 100 years. So no, I’m not doing Ferguson. I’m burying my head in the sand on this one.

And yet…and YET!…Ferguson seems to find me. No matter how deep I plant my head in the mud, Ferguson always finds a way to locate me!

As the list of Black White Supremacists grows ever longer with that über bootlicking porch monkey Larry Elder leading the charge, I was horrified to find Juan Williams in their company. As a rule, I respect Mr. Williams. I think he’s a great journalist and very center when it comes to his opinion. Except, that is, when it comes to Black American affairs. Larry Elder may be a porch monkey for the establishment, but Juan Williams is right behind him, grinning, slapping his knees and “ham boning” in time as my kids call it.

He made some remarks today about Black people acting like thugs and not being disparaged against if they didn’t act like thugs, etc. This from a man whose son Raffi was described by a former fellow student while at Haverford as a “disrespectful, loitering, drunk, rude ass”. Fortunately, since Daddy sat on the board of this college, young Raffi went on to boast with glee that he could “slack off, because he would get in no matter what.”

But, you know, Raffi is an RNC staffer, so that’s not “thuggish” behavior. That’s just a college kid enjoying his daddy’s influences and his personal privilege. Funny how the same behavior on Crenshaw can get you shot. Funny…

Anyway, I expressed my displeasure with Mr. Williams’ opinion by calling him a Black White Supremacist, as he is indeed pushing the agenda of the KKK and all the baby terror groups and policy that are offshoots of the Klan’s ideology. A few hours later, this dude shows up in my mentions.

race guy

Just read it. It’s funny. Go on!

Now, anyone who knows me – and truly knows me – is aware that I am a habitual line stepper. Was it wrong for me to say the man looked like he raped babies in his spare time? Perhaps. But that’s why you don’t talk to strangers. I am a STRANGER to J Michael Coleman. I’m liable to say anything. So is anyone else on Twitter, which is why I only follow a handful of people. But this isn’t about social media etiquette; this is about Mr. Coleman’s intense reaction to being racially profiled. From what I can tell, he didn’t like it one iota. Nope, not one bit.

You all know I work at a shoe store. Guess what group causes the most shrink – the most loss due to theft – in our store? Hmmm? No, you’re wrong. It’s White women over the age of 40. They will steal anything: the umbrellas from a London Fog twin set, change purses, those god-awful Grasshopper shoes, Kenneth Cole sling backs and anything Tahari. So while my manager is mobilizing her team to chase after a gaggle of “thugs” in the athletic department, Mildred and her pet dog will be walking out of the store with a pair of Ralph Lauren boots this autumn.

Mais, quelle horreur, let’s all gasp at the idea that I or anyone else on the team should shadow an old White lady around the store like she was going to steal something. The crazy thing is, she IS. She’s going to steal something…tonight!

“The boogie man wears khakis.” That’s what Akuba Sheen and I used to say. It’s not the guy in the hoodie and baggy pants you need to be afraid of: it’s the dude in the boat shoes (with no socks) and Dockers you need to fear. These are the men who steal millions of dollars from corporations, destroy families, and shoot up movie theaters. But no, let’s everyone panic when a corn-fed Black kid is walking through a new neighborhood with an iced-tea in his sweatshirt pocket.

I wondered if J Michael Coleman knew what that felt like. You know: to be looked at with suspicion before you had a chance to say three words? Because bath time with kids was done and my blood sugar was relatively stable, I had both the time and the energy to give him a glimpse into my Black world of perpetual assumption and bias .

race guy2

Gosh, he seemed not to like being judged so severely by appearances, or to have someone assume the worst of you because of one attribute or another. Now why would that be?

This article has 19 comments

  1. Tony Blair

    Way to go! Get that corporate-type Lehman thug!

    • Malaka

      No, but for real. The heir to the DuPont trove raped his 3 year old step-daughter over the course of 5 years and got off with a fine or some other slap on the wrist because “he was not suited for prison”.

      Thuggery comes in many forms. Sometimes it wears a suit.

  2. Denene Millner (@MyBrownBaby)

    You get ALL THE SNAPS! ALL OF THEM! LOLOLOLOL! God, I love you!

  3. Afua

    Way to go namesake! you held a mirror in front of him and boy did he not like it!

  4. Afua

    I am Gyekyewaa btw.

  5. Nana Ama

    Well done Ms M! You held that mirror up to him good and proper!

  6. coffeebreak68

    Reblogged this on CoffeeBreak68 and commented:
    Deeply thankful for Denene Millner introducing me to this Diva’s world!
    This is the best thing I’v read in a very long time!

  7. AM

    GHATDAMN!!!! I just threw the phone across the floor, THAT was phakkin EPIC! This conversation should be commodified and sold in every outlet: restaurant, retail store, academic institution, you name it!!!

    I am here for you and your non-diplomacy. They do teach it tho, we need to register for classes, lol!

    • Malaka

      Girl please. You know we’ll never pass the course! Let’s save our tuition money for something more useful, like new things we cannot mention publicly.

      @Steve: My suspicion is the latter. I believe Mr. Coleman has trumped me up to another “bitter, sassy black woman” and will be content to leave it at that. Our interaction reminded me of a fable involving an Evil Queen and an excessively honest mirror.

      • Steve Sauder

        Hehe, and unless he’s a “log cabin” republican I doubt he enjoyed being cast as the queen in this version. 🙂

  8. Steve Sauder

    Well argued! I just wish it were possible to know if the interaction with this man had what I hope are your intended result – to make him rethink his biased opinion, or whether it simply hardened his heart even further.

  9. Ashley

    Malaka, your thoughts need to be available to more people! If only there was a way you could be on CNN. What you’re saying is true. Have you seen the group of white Darren Wilson supporters protesting? It had to have happened. After all, 57% of blacks and only 17% of whites believe Darren Wilson deserves a murder conviction. That made me realize that there’s still a major split between blacks and whites in America. It’s obvious Wilson is guilty of murder, and that this group is merely racist. However, for some reason racist white people never want to admit that they’re racist! Ha. Catch them making good use of the “N” word, and they still won’t.
    Maybe it isn’t like this for every black person, but why is it so easy for us to mourn when a white man is unfairly murdered? We are able to see wrong from right. Yet, when black men are unfairly gunned down there is hardly ever any negative feelings towards it from a significant portion of America’s white population.

    • Malaka

      Oh no. I don’t want to go on CNN. They don’t know where Nigeria is. Show them a picture of Ghana and they’ll say it’s the moon!

  10. Yirenkyiwa

    I’m about to drop my offering here. You preached!

  11. Efua

    When you were profiling you forgot to add that his teenage male son is likely to one day decide to have a shootout in his high school where he will end up killing a few innocent people and himself.

    • Malaka

      Pahahaa!! Right! Or how little Timmy has a meth lab in the basement that his daddy knows nothing about because his son is a “good kid” who was “into science”.

  12. Shia

    I guess you’ll call me some bully term for speaking up, but…. What did you do that so many seem proud of? Let’s be honest for a moment, you treated this man the way we all complain about being treated, and your readers are high-fiving you for it. Why are you all ok with the bullied turning to bullies? Does it make it ok to bully the white man today for the Whiteman yesterday? Is this constant anti-white fight justified now, or was is justified in the past? I’m not sure how many of you know the true history to your family specifically, but I know mine. My family has kept records on a lot and I’ve done research. There are slaves of more than one color in my tree. For those that share my color, they fought long and hard to have the right to walk beside a man like Mr. Coleman in the above article. They fought and died for the right to read, write, go to school, and get married. One watched her husband take his last breath after a fight due to racism. It was a stupid fight between people who didn’t think colors and whites should sit together at a ballgame. The white men with him were attacked by other white men and he stepped in to help. Her husband’s casket was carried by 4 white men (friends)and 2 black men (relatives). It could easily have resulted in harsher feelings of race from her and his family, instead they celebrated the beauty of the two fighting together. Their son went on to a mostly white university and dressed very much like Mr. Coleman above. I choose to feel proud about that, while you high five the racial bullying…
    My point is simply, if they could celebrate a small step in friendship even though death resulted, Why can’t we celebrate how far we’ve come? For me personally, to deny it, would be stomping on the grave of those that struggled for rights We take for granted everyday.

    Every time a POC assumes a white man’s actions must be due to his own racism, we are being racist. Every time we fight over color without the facts, we are being bullies. When we give a person of color the benefit of doubt, while assuming guilt of a white man, we are racially profiling. If we are ok with racially profiling them, but get angered over it, we aren’t being equal. Equality means equal on all fronts. Equality is not contingent on past. Assuming whites be one way based on less than 5% of whites in the past, is no different than them assuming us guilty based on the high percent of people of color that commit crimes in present. Its all futile, as long as we are us against them on race issues, instead of being right vs wrong or fact vs fiction.

    Fyi: No I’m not a traitor, just rational

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