Tuesday, June 23, 2009


A few weeks ago I wrote about my experience at the opera. I was stereotyped as "the black woman who was on her phone" because I am a black woman who happened to be turning her phone off before the opera started. I was devastated because the person who stereotyped the situation to be true was a black woman. Without regards to my nature she assumed I was THAT black woman.

This morning I found myself in her shoes. I happen to be at a gas station that is frequently covered in drug users trying to pump your gas, wash your windows, scam you for change any which way possible. I am at this gas station at least twice a week and I would sit and listen to stories just for entertainment as it takes forever to fill the tank in my truck. I hear stories of how they lost their jobs and how the system wouldn't help them so they turned to drugs. I even heard a story of a man who told me his car was parked in the corner and all he needed was $10 to get to his ceremony as he was going to be ordained as a priest. Of course I saw him there several weeks later trying to use the same spill to me and I laughed and told him to go away. With such stories you become almost hypnotised by the so called master manipulator of the drug user. My mother always told me to help when I can because you never know when you are helping an angel. So, I would often give what I can without judgement once, and if I saw them again in the same situation, I would bless them and move on.

This one particular morning I happen to be in a crap mood and I was not ready to hear the stories so as I pulled up I told them all to go away and fuck off. One guy was pretty persistent and approached me anyway. He said, "Mame I'm coming to you because I ran out of gas on the freeway and I really need to get to work. I really need this job to support my family. I have my work I.D. and all I need is a few more dollars." I turned to him and said, "Why would you leave home with no money knowing you didn't have any gas? It makes no sense and you need to come up with another story to get a piece of my check to support your drug habit." He said, "I don't do drugs and I promise you any money you give me will go toward gas." I laughed but I thought about what mum said and through him a few dollars and told him I better not see him there again or else. Or else what? I don't know I just said it because I was up going to my place of work while men, black men where out there making money and tax free, to give to the drug man. I pumped my gas with a grim look as to keep all the others away and got in my truck and hopped back on the express way. As I hopped on the express way I saw a car on the side and the same guy with a gas can putting gas in his car.

At that moment I realized why I was experiencing the situations I have experienced. I judged the usher woman at the opera who judged me and I became the judge in a situation where one of our black men were in need of assistance. He lowered his pride to ask me, a black woman, for money so that he may get to is job to support his family, this had to be hard. The crap I gave him by stereotyping him with all the others as was done to me at the opera, must not have made his day any better.

This situation had me thinking. Maybe the woman at the opera was having a crap day. Maybe she had situations over and over with black woman being rude and on their phones at every event and she was tired of it and my one night was her astounding wake up call to not judge every situation the same as this one morning is mine.

This is a lesson learned. I truly understand it and appreciate it. This will help me to continue my self awareness and self improvement so that I can understand all people and life a bit better.

The moral to this story is, love everyone no matter what their situation might be and the love you give you will receive in return. Oh yeah, "Today I shall not judge." I didn't say that this morning and look what I did. hmmmmm....