For the first time in years I was terrified. Terrified that I would be accused of a misdeed. Concerned that I could be linked to a horrible crime. Petrified that my character could easily be dragged through manure if Ms. White Lady yelled: RAPE. This was where my mind was the other day as I received neck and back treatment at a physical therapy office.
I just can’t stop thinking about ‘what if’. What if this physical therapist decided she wanted to do me in? Literally destroy my life! Again, all she had to do was say to a police officer, ‘That’s him. Number 4. He sexually assaulted me.’ What was I suppose to think while alone with her? No receptionist. No nurse. No one – but the two of us. A black man and a white well respected PT. My word against hers: I would definitely lose!
Losing is America’s predicament at this very moment in time. Here we are 10 days away from electing the BEST candidate for president of the United States, and we are dolefully rediscovering that many of America’s people have yet to relinquish the dirt spot that has not been washed away by what this country prides itself on: Diversity. We just can’t get rid of the demoralizing and sickening stain! I thought we were moving in that direction when we witnessed Lilly white Iowa unify to uplift Barack Obama during the primaries. I would be lying if I said I was not hopeful. I, with caution, started to believe what my fourth grade teacher told me: “This is America. You are somebody, and the color of your skin does not matter.”
Sadly, my black skin was of relevance on this day of painful backrubs. My therapy was going great – but I thought about the DANGER I put myself in. I should have told the physical therapist, ‘I do not feel comfortable in here alone with you. It’s not that I am afraid you will harm me. No, I am afraid that if something tragic was to happen to you after I leave your office they (the police) will come directly to my house; and I would be a person of interest.’ Yes, I agree that anybody would be a suspect (white, black, or brown) under those circumstances. Nonetheless, who do you think the detectives would lean on the heaviest?
We all know the answer: The Black Man.
I mentioned in a previous commentary that Barack Obama cannot run from his blackness. It is the number one fear factor in America’s despicable and embarrassing atmosphere today. Some try to camouflage their racist bias with allegations of Barack being a Muslim which is an attack on Islam, with attempts to connect him to a man Fox News is calling a terrorist, and the same lame effort to resuscitate Jeremiah Wright. Again, they are desperate.
But, perhaps not as desperate as I was all evening yesterday. As I watched Atlanta’s crime-riddled news, all I could think about was: ‘I pray that there is not a report of a young physical therapist murdered in her converted home-based doctor’s office’. Paranoia was definitely settling-in. However, being paranoid was not farcical. This is Georgia! Being black is a constant reality here if a black person ventures 30 minutes outside of the black hubs: Covington HWY, Redan Road, Old National HWY, and Cascade Road.
Barack Obama left the mainland this week to visit his ill grandmother, Madelyn Dunham. I wonder if this eighty-six year old matriarch is aware of the changes the United States have made? I wonder if she is aware that her grandson is still judged by the color of his skin and not by the content of his character?
America, the Greatest Disappointment.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by recognizing the danger I was in the other day.