Reracism | Front Porch | Indy Week
Pin It
To confront each and every slip of the tongue, sideways glance or snub is to risk my sanity, not to mention my unsullied reputation as a fine, upstanding Negro. So I just let some shit slide.

Reracism 

I tend to give white people the benefit of the doubt. They often do little things that betray a tacit compliance with our great American culture of white supremacy, but to confront each and every slip of the tongue, sideways glance or snub is to risk my sanity, not to mention my unsullied reputation as a fine, upstanding Negro. So I just let some shit slide.

But a recent press release from the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough reminded me that a little outrage can go a long way. The Alliance, which is dedicated to preserving Hillsborough's historical and cultural heritage, announced that the National Trust of Historic Preservation named the quaint little Orange County seat one of a dozen distinctive destinations, citing its Southern charm and natural beauty. Congratulations, Hillsborough!

However, my encounter with its historic preservation had nothing to do with renovated buildings and old trees.

It was a sunny January morning. I'd just finished a wonderful pot of French-pressed, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee at Cup A Joe, the forenoon social center of town. A friend and I were standing outside the shop engaging in a ritual conversational dance. We toed the pebbles in the cracks of the sidewalk and ambled about in circles, gleefully talking and prolonging a get-together that was supposed to end when we finished our coffee. Then a cop car drove up and stopped.

The officer, who was white like my companion, lowered his passenger window and beckoned my friend closer. It looked as if the cop wanted to ask for directions.

"Is that guy bothering you?" the officer asked, intentionally speaking loud enough for me to hear.

"Excuse me?" my friend said, a bit baffled.

"Is he bothering you? I saw him talking to you and I thought he might be soliciting. Mrs. Lloyd just called to complain that someone was soliciting in front of her store."

The cop's volume was clearly meant to send me a message: "Keep it movin'." He must have expected me to walk away, having been caught in the act.

I laughed loud enough for the officer to hear, hoping that he understood my subtext: "Fuck you, motherfucker." I don't think he did.

"He's a friend of mine, who happens to be a journalist," my friend said. "We were just talking."

My friend told me later that the cop then looked surprised. I imagine his eyes got wide and he clenched his jaw. Or maybe he parted his lips a little bit and let some air out. I wish I had seen it because the sight would've been the closest thing I got to an apology. Without a word, the cop raised his window and drove off. We stood there trying to figure out what had just happened.

"The old South lives on," my friend said. Some places more than others, I thought.

"Time for me to go back to Durham," I said.

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Front Porch

  • One vote

    • Nov 12, 2014
  • Box of one

    Was I paying to be helped or to feel important, a bona fide expert on only myself?
    • Sep 24, 2014
  • The Old South (Hills)

    • Sep 17, 2014
  • More »

More by Mosi Secret

  • Finally free

    Wrongly convicted of robbery, Erick Daniels served seven years before he was exonerated
    • Sep 24, 2008
  • Local LGBTQ movers and shakers

    Eight Triangle gay activists who are leading the way
    • Jun 25, 2008
  • Bordley wins Durham school board seat

    With less than five percent of Durham's registered voters showing up at the polls yesterday, Leigh Bordley won handily over Jonathan Alston in the runoff for the at-large seat on the Durham Public Schools Board of Education.
    • Jun 25, 2008
  • More »

Latest videos from the INDY

Twitter Activity

Comments

Nobody will be surprised to learn that Hocutt never went to Nam. He was in the Navy but washed out …

by Jefflenter on Raleigh bad boy no more (Front Porch)

I see his concern. Yes, it was a well written story and showed his caring side for sure. But not …

by Linda Bates Terrell on Motorcycle men (Front Porch)

Most Read

© 2015 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation