We were here last week - Papi, Shmolee and me. Stinkapee was at school. Papi, hair uncombed as is his style and his perogative, was wearing the new rock kiss boots I got for him a few years back. Vicarious living through him...that's what I was doing. I wanted the boots for myself. But I can't afford to break my ankle and in my present "what not to wear" camp incarnation, I don't really have anything that would go with a pair of massive black and silver, silver buckled platform boots. So, I got them for Paps instead
So, he's stalking around the library looking every inch the late teenager or early twenty something to the untrained eye who more sees the sparkle in his eye, his slight body, his height and his boots rather than the crop of grey sprouting from his scalp
He goes up to one of the librarians, a grey haired, sour looking woman dressed conservatively. He wants to use the phone to contact someone from craigslist who wants to buy something we've got hanging around. Yes, I'm back on craigs doing stay at home trader again.
The librarian says to him: "Well you're not supposed to use it to call your MOM to let her know you're going to be late or to call about a job
I was sitting a few meters away when the interaction happened and I clearly heard her every word. So, understand she was speaking loudly as she attempted to humiliate, infantilize and dominate Papster
My neck seized up. More interested in the phone than in her, Papi moved through her
She got stuck in my craw, though
He came back and I was like: What was that
Speaking with equal clarity, I named her actions...classism, racism, ageism.
Classism and racism because the library is oddly located in that it is positioned inside a middle and upper middle class area that is adjacent to a government area to the south and a working poor to the south east. This means that the mix of people using the library is white middle class, white upper middle class, phillipino nannies with the children of the afor mentioned white people, a small majority of middle class men, wimmin and children of color, white and of color working poor and working class people.
I know what dimwit thought she saw when she set eyes on Papster. (evil little smile) I know what she felt could do and how she felt entitled to speak to him.
Unh...I think my period is coming...but I won't give all the credit to my hormones. I already said I really hate coming out of the house and dealing with people and their shite.
I got up and went over to the counter. The woman was still there. I chose to address the woman standing next to her. I asked for the name of the woman who had so obnoxiously spoken to Papi. First and last. The woman uttered the woman's first name but said she couldn't give the last name. I said "Fine then I'll have all your names." The air crackled.
She said that I could ask upstairs. I said "I'll be taking this up with head office."
In a carefully modulated, well articulated, clipped voice that let the other woman (still standing nearby) know that she had perhaps chosen the wrong darkie to oppress, I proceeded to explain that the other librarian's actions were completely uncalled for and that she had made massive assumptions about who Papi was and about what she could get away with.
Just about this time the other woman, much more respectfully than she had done with Papi, addressed me explaining that people do try to use the phone to call home or to get jobs. I said that was no concern of mine. I reiterated that she had made a set of assumptions. She said she apologized.
By this time Papi was standing next to me with Shmolee in the stroller. I said that I would be contacting the head office. Papi later said that she looked upset, red faced. I told him I didn't notice. The colour codings of white people's faces are meaningless to me.
I said that she hadn't apologized. She said that she had. I said she had not addressed Papi and had not directed her apology to him. I instructed her to apologize to him. She turned to him and did. She tried to offer her explanation for her treatment of Papi saying maybe he would listen to reason.
I explained that I would be taking up the incident with her head office and that she would have to deal with it. Then we left.
I've been in the library every day since then. I haven't seen that white woman. Hmmm...maybe I haven't looked for her. Suits me just fine. I'm just here to write on my rattid blog not to deal with people's everyday oppressive shite. I just want to type my sentences and keep pretending I don't live in this cesspool of a city.
Don't listen to Michael Moore. kkkanada isn't better than the states. Actually I prefer the honesty of the oppressive warlike gun totting hoard down south.
Here in kkkanada, people smile and chat and invite you out for drinks and hug you and touch your arm in the bulk food store and they expect you to smile back.
And I do even as I know they're nasty, underhanded, insecure, oppressive and completely invested in hierarchical systems of domination.
I think all the smiles and courtesy throws off the amerikkkans who tend to be so overtly rude.
Here the object of the game is to make sure that everybody bows to domination.
Courtesy, silence, denial and rigid control are the norm. Everything must seem a certain way and that seeming is so powerful everyone enforces it for all they're worth. If you don't follow suite they will find an indirect way to nudge you back into line or to harm you if you refuse to go. It's the same in all communities, even communities of resistance which are peopled with folks raised in mostly middle class or middle classing kkkanadian families where this way of moving and dealing is the order of the day.
I guess I could see how that might look like peace and love to the untrained eye. I've been living here for 32 years, though.
For me the appeal has worn thin.
if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.