Stand up to bigotry, even from your own!

Not too long ago (18th August to be exact) something out of the ordinary happened. On my way home on the bus a ‘black’ lady, I’d guess in her early 20s, was getting harrassed by a ‘black’ guy, maybe early-mid 30s, who kept walking back and forth up the bus. Let’s call him Dumbshit. He was shouting a loud and pointless tirade of insults, mainly against the (presumably African) driver about how he hates Africans. Everything else I couldn’t really hear. This particular 20-something-year-old, though, he took a liking to ’cause she was admittedly pretty and sitting alone at the front. Eventually he got bold enough to try sticking his hand somewhere around the region of her legs, and she was trying to shrink away. Deciding he was getting on my bloodclaat nerves, I jumped to the front and got in between them, cutting off his access to her.

He didn’t like that.

And of course he spurted out the whole kibbutz of insults at me: n-word, African (not an insult but whatever), gay, sellout, tryna be ‘white’, monkey, posh, etc. Now that I think about it I’m happy he thought I was African. Thanks Dumbshit!

He behaved like it was his right to assault her uninterrupted so he got rough. At that point I made him back up into the bus’s back door and held him there. The driver started getting scared and called the police, saying there were 2 men fighting. I told her to open the door to let him off; after all she was right beside the woman and getting cussed off to her face by him. You’d have thought she’d want to get rid of him more than anyone. But no; it took the man himself opening the door to let himself off, at which point she drove off.

To be honest I don’t want to focus too much on the incident itself. What catches my attention are the dynamics that were playing throughout.

  • Sexism/ sexual assault: How he thought it acceptable to just push himself on a lone woman at all is beyond me. He didn’t smell of anything but normal sweat so booze & drugs can be ruled out, and he was mentally alert enough to register my presence. Maybe he was frustrated at getting rejected?  Maybe he was a rapist in training? Not to mention that it took me, a man, to make him stop. I think the driver tried to talk him off but he just called her a dirty African and carried on. What would’ve happened had she done what I did…?
  • Racism: like I’ve said many times before, I don’t just call out ‘white’ people’s racism. ‘Black’ self-racism is just as bad – more illogical but just as damaging. He was calling me the sellout in the same breath as saying how much he hated Africans. Obviously the Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome was playing out in him, but what specifically triggered it in him? In fact, I’ve anecdotally noticed an increase of ‘blacks’ hating other ‘blacks’ recently. Are these guys making headway…?

  • Homophobia: Dumbshit thought I was gay, or more likely tried to provoke me by calling me gay, simply because I “talk posh”. That’s not new to me. It could also have been due to the fact that I was defending the woman; maybe in his mind “real men” just grab pussy not protect it.
My kinda ni- I mean, guy
  • Limited understanding of ‘blackness’: proven by his “sellout” and “tryna be ‘white'” comments. The most satisfying response to that would be:

(I’m not going to lie though, he is the exact type of person I have no problems calling the n-word: living the stereotype of the self-undisciplined infantile nympho, can’t tolerate criticism or see past his own immediate desires)

  • Inaction of other passengers: all they did was sit and gawk, like their eyeballs were meant to stop him. After I trapped him by the door I heard a few fearful gasps, then after he got off they were grateful. An elderly ‘white’ couple beside me called me a gentleman and shook my hand. An elderly African on my other side retold he’d seen that same guy doing the same to another lady at the bus stop sometime before I boarded. A European couple wondered what the hell happened (they’d boarded the bus mid-incident). I was too tired to condemn anyone but I did point out to anyone who was listening that all it took was meeting force with force, that people like him need to be physically confronted to be stopped, and his frustrations at whatever need to be dealt with at the source not projected onto innocents. It was cowardly.

Fair enough a lot of them were old and admittedly somewhat frail-looking, but someone could’ve at least spoken out before me. At least tell the driver to chuck him off. Or the driver taking the initiative to just kick his ass off herself; why was she sitting right beside a fellow ‘black’ woman and not defending her? And taking his anti-African rants? And calling the police on us (they never came but still) instead of just him?

Bloody hell the old stiff upper lip has to loosen up soon or it will be the death-knell of England’s citizens.

2 thoughts on “Stand up to bigotry, even from your own!”

  1. I’m going to just have to say it. Most Africans do not identify much with American Blacks. They view Black people of American not only separate from them but have a mindset similar to white Americans when it comes to Black Americans. Therefore, this African bus driver saw herself separate from this Black woman because unlike this young, Black female passenger, she’s not Black, she’s African. Skin color does not unite us. I reckon the mindset is that we don’t share a similar history or upbringing and therefore those differences supersede everything else. But, I can almost guarantee that if the female that was being harassed was identifiably African to the bus driver she would have stopped the bus for the Black, male agitator to get off of. I find, mosr times the only time Africans are willing to associate and congregate with Black, non-Africans is when they can somehow benefit from us. The concept of pan-Africanism is not an original African thought process and philosophy. It’s originally a Caribbean concept. Please understand this is not to disparage Africans, this assessment is from years of experience and observation.

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    1. Possibly. However, this all happened in London, England so it had nothing to do with Americans. Here Africans and Caribbeans generally get on, apart from the older more colonised generations and a few others. Most likely it was plain old bystander syndrome, the fear of standing out in a threatening situation.
      Besides, the area of London it happened in has a very high number of Africans so it’s very likely the passenger was African too (though it was hard to tell; she dressed like any other 20-something London girl and had a native-born English accent).

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