Bandaid Racism, or New Yorkers are angrier when it’s hot, or You’re not welcome here

May 27, 2011

Yesterday I was walking on Delancey street, minding my own business, studying immunizations. All of a sudden – screech thud – a blue car hit a bicycle. A hipster flew towards the pavement. I ran over to see if he was okay. He got up, blood streaming down his arm. The car window rolled down. A woman yelled from the driver’s seat – “What the hell?! Did you see I had the light! You have to watch where you’re going, you can’t be biking like you own the road,  you A-hole!”

I said to the hipster , “Are you all right?”

The hipster yelled back to the driver, “You F-ing B–ch, you F-ing hit me!”

I said, “Hey hey, I think you’re arm is bleeding, do you need me to call someone?”

The woman screamed back  to the hipster, “I HAD THE LIGHT!…”

The biker said, “Thanks, I don’t think I broke anything.”

The woman continued yelling at him “You could have destroyed my car..”

Then I said, “Hey, could you stop yelling at him, you just hit him with your car.”

She looked at me, “Mind your own f-ing business you b–ch”.

So, I went to the deli, got tissues and a big bandaid. When I got back the woman was out of her car. The hipster and her were in a screaming match. As in where is Jerry Springer when you need him?  Somehow, two men had joined, and started defending the driver, I’m not sure how they got involved. I went to the hipster and gave him my handful of tissues and the bandage. One of the two guys yelled at me – “Oh, that is so F-ed up. You wouldn’t have done that if he was black…” Did I mention the hipster was white and the woman was black and the two men were from Puerto Rico?

“What? He’s bleeding all over the place. You don’t even know me,” I said.

“Yeah right, you wouldn’t have helped a black guy. You’re just helping him because he’s white like you.”

“THANK YOU!,” said the driver.

Then I lost it. I screamed to his face, “You d-ckhead, you have no idea what you’re talking about. I was an HIV tester in homeless shelters. I work at a hospital in Flatbush. You don’t know me, what the hell are you talking about?” (A piece of advice: Never lose your temper in a racially charged argument that really has nothing to do with you.)

The man said, “You dumb racist wh-re, why don’t you go back where you came from. You’re not welcome here! We don’t want you here. You hear me? YOU’RE NOT WELCOME HERE.”

So I told him “F- you” then left. And called the cops to report that there was a bike accident, and gave them the women’s license plate number. Then I bought a pound of cherries and ate all of them while I walked home, grumbling that I wasn’t a racist – he was the racist – until I felt sick.

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2 Responses to “Bandaid Racism, or New Yorkers are angrier when it’s hot, or You’re not welcome here”

  1. Anna Quarles Says:

    If they don’t want you here, you can always go to Vietnam!

  2. Arjun Says:

    Apparently that stuff happens all the time on the lower east side…check out this awesome short story from The Moth:

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