39 Seconds of Illustrative Privilege

What up, folk –

I’mma save y’all the flowing introductory statement that I normally provide in my posts. There’s so much to unpack here that I just need to get right to the Ox Tails and Rice on this one.

So last night I’m on the train here in the city headed to the MLS All Star Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium. The train is beyond packed with folk going to the game. Suddenly there’s a gentleman hurriedly pushing his way through all the people in the train trying to get away from something/someone. All I can see is a hand reaching through the crowd to grab the guy’s shirt due to all the people pressed together on the train. Naturally I thought that a fight between train riders was about to pop off but then saw that it was a city of Atlanta police officer that had grabbed hold of the guy. Unfortunately I missed the first 40 or so seconds of their interaction but here are the last 39 seconds for your viewing pleasure. Have a look and then we’ll discuss…

Fun, right? Let’s play…

0:00 – “When we step out you need to put your hands behind your back.” Extremely courteous considering Tanner was on a packed-as-hell train pushing and stepping over people trying to get away from him only moments earlier. However, the dude had been relatively polite while the cop had his arm gripped up so he couldn’t get away. Guess he’d earned some benefit of doubt.

0:04 – “Come on, man. This is not necessary. There’s no reason for this!” Oh, but that’s where you’re wrong, Bradley. Running from the cops, given current headlines, is the most deadass of reasons for you to have your arm grabbed by a cop at the very least, you lucky as a triple-7 on a slot machine that you didn’t catch 2 or 3 hot and louds in your back. But you didn’t because, well, you know. Let’s move along…

0:07 – “He’s giving you an order, do what he says; he’s a police officer, do what he says.” Sven from Kennesaw, resident train helper outer, was standing nearby and tried to get Kyle to calm down and follow instructions to save from getting thrown down a stairwell at the next stop. But then I tapped into the private school part of my brain and it allowed me to read, or listen in this case, between the lines. What Sven was really saying was “Dude, hush, you’re white. Keep your head and play along and you’ll be in your seat at the game in no time. You might get an escort.” Okay, probably not (maybe) but still, he really wanted Kyle to keep his head

0:13 – (Sven again) “Sir, sir…just stop.” Translated: “Kyle, shut the hell up man. For real. Don’t let those seven Natural Lights at the tailgate get you hemmed up. We better than this, K.”

0:14 – (Kyle to Sven) “Why are you talking?” Translated: Man if you don’t mind your business and leave me alone and let me handle this business like the true suburban gangsta that I am! Let me do me. You stand over there and take notes.

0:17 – “What did I do? What did I do? Did I kill somebody? What happened?” Here’s where Big Daddy Dustin’s privilege starts to come to a boil. Forget the fact that you were audibly told to stop fleeing. Forget that you ignored that and was in the act of pushing and stepping over people to get away. In Dustin’s eyes, the only thing that he should ever be asked to comply for is murder. Murder on the Orient Express, I mean, MARTA train, style murder. If Dustin runs afoul of the law but came short of murder then don’t even consider coming for him. He doesn’t have the time or energy for you, Copper..

Now if you’ll notice the look on my face around this time, I’ve gone directly into “What would be happening if this was me cutting up like this on the train” mode in my brain. I can see me getting hemmed up and beaten with a club, the butt of a gun, a flashlight, a spare Watchtower pamphlet, a shoe borrowed from a passenger…basically everything, beaten with everything in arm’s reach.

0:20 – “Tell me what the f*ck I did! Come on, man! This is bullsh*t” – Raging inferno level privilege here. You tell Cooper right now what he did or there’s gonna be consequences and repercussions due to this madness. You tell him right now what is going on and you tell him right now, Mister!

0.21 – The groan you heard from me was actually feeling a kick to my ribcage had I raised my voice and “asked” a police officer the same question in the same tone and pitch as Wyatt did. I actually felt the boot and the simultaneously the wind being robbed from my lungs as I was choked out on the floor of the train. The chances of me getting out of that exact situation unscathed are the exact same odds as finding a white girl named Shaquanda.

0:23 – The laughter you hear in the background was from a Black lady about my age in the seat to my right. You can’t see her face but it was an almost amazed face like a kid that just saw a live giraffe for the first time. Her entire face said, “Why hasn’t he caught at least one accidental elbow at this point? Doesn’t he deserve to have an elbow at least graze his cheekbone? Come on, just a little.”

0:24 – “Give me something!” Yeah, Mr. Officer, give him a two piece snack square on his chin bone. For the love of Rodney King, what is taking you so long?

0:25 – “Tell me what I did, dude!” Sorry, Luke, he ain’t tellin’ you what you did. Actually, he did quote some city ordinance that he broke which was the cause of all this earlier in the interaction but that wasn’t good enough for him because, AND I QUOTE, “I didn’t know that was an ordinance so you can’t hold me for it.” Apparently in Luke’s eyes, if you don’t know a law is a law and you break it, you have immunity when you get called out on it. I’m going to try that! No I’m not, I like my legs unbroken. Additionally, how many times can you call a cop that’s displeased with you “Dude” or “Man” before he at least thumps you really hard?

0:27 – The sound of handcuffs. We all know the sound due to either to the law or an adventurous lover, or maybe we just listen really well when we watch Law and Order. But that unmistakable sound in this case and on this train was because the cop had FINALLY reached a fracture point.

0:29 – “WORLDSTAR!!” – Okay, can we talk about the universal prevalence of the reigning king of all things horrible to human brain cells, that being the website worldstarhiphop.com. They’ve so saturated online society with acts of mind numbing foolishness by Tyrones and Tanikas that a train 80% full of Hollys and Cotys first thought at this evening’s offering of crazy was to scream out “Worldstar!”, first at :29 and then again at :34.

Finally at 0:37 the doors open and Hunter is ushered out of the train car. There were 2-3 additional officers waiting on the platform when they stepped off, maybe they were just there anyway, or perhaps dude had called ahead so they could get busy. Who knows. I shared a knowing glance with a few of the brown faces in the train. We said an awful lot with expressions without having to say a damn word aloud. It was the same telepathic thought between us all, some variation of “Would have been a candlelight vigil outside the train station later this evening had it been one of us.” Then we all nodded and went back to minding our own business as the train rolled merrily along.

~thanks for reading

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  1. 🙄😶😑…really need an emoji that expresses “this be that continuous bullshyt & its f’n sickening”
    Great writing btw

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