It happened at the Apple Store. Launch Day for the iPhone: long lines, no lunch, and everything that could go wrong with my order did go wrong. 4 hours later I was still cool until I had to let somebody know what’s what. When I got home I expressed my anger on Facebook.
Facebook Friend 1: Oh my! What did you say? Facebook Friend 2: Thank God you were there! Facebook Friend 3: Oh hells no! Facebook Friend 4: What. Facebook Friend 5: I REALLY want to know what you said and how that situation turned out. But without even knowing, I’m so glad you were there!!! My Husband: You guys have nooooooo idea who this woman is! And I love her for that. Facebook Friend 6: Boom! Facebook Friend 7: I gotta hear the end of that. Share. Facebook Friend 8: Okay we need details. So beyond proud of you!! Facebook Friend 9: Just ask me how sweet you were in 7th grade.
My Facebook Post: Y’all think I’m sweet. You don’t even know. Just ask that lady at the Apple Store who said to two black young men near me “if you say one more word, I’m going to call the police.” I had no choice but to insert myself in that situation.
Facebook Friend 10: GOOD. FOR. YOU!! I wish you could have spoken to the boys too, but I’m happy you put her in her rightful place! Threatening to call the police over words from teens. With all the sensitivity happening now, she wanted to escalate some sillyness? Smh… Facebook Friend 11: Man oh man. I don’t even know what to say. Ready to call the police? Whats the charge….being black and male? And she said it out loud and has a “brown man?!?” I’m sooooo glad you were there..and not me. Maybe I’m not as calm as I thought because this really disturbs me. It realllllllly does…. Facebook Friend 12: I guess she doesn’t have any “brown” boys at home. Seriously. Be an adult and tell those boys what’s what. But call the police? That sounds like a death sentence these days. Facebook Friend 13: Crazy! Facebook Friend 14: She knew exactly what calling the police meant and was willing to test her societal privilege by threatening their lives simply because she could. Because calling the police on a black man means that he could die, even if he’s the victim…and more than any other time this is irrefutable! Excellent intervention!!!
What Happened In The Apple StoreMe: Picture this: two young men, dressed in polo button downs, nice watches and designer jeans, buying iPhones on launch day with their parent’s money. The woman was….at the end of the class spectrum, to put it nicely. I did not have all the facts, but it seems like the woman and the boys had words the whole time they were in line outside. Then the one of the boys said something smart under his breath when the woman passed him in the store. Yes, he was a privileged little smart-ass, BUT this woman was like 50 years old and these kids were 18 or 19.All I could see was my son. When she said “if you say one more word, I’m going to call the police” at the top of her lungs, clearly for all around to hear, I calmly reminded her that she was the adult, they were kids and if she thought they were out of hand or felt “threatened” as she said (give me a f**ing break, I guaranteed these kids were seniors at Westminster or Morehouse freshman and couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag), tell the Apple store manager to deal with them but to call the police on two young BLACK BOYS for saying things she didn’t like, she needs to check that.And then it got ugly when she said, “how dare you play the race card with me – my husband is a brown man” (standing next to her, he was brown, yes, but not African American). Ya’ll KNOW those were fighting words! “Race Card?!” I said, “Oh, you don’t know me – who do you think you are talking to?” And yup, it was ON and escalating quickly.Many Apple employees intervened to break us up and she ended up in the corner crying “how dare she call me racist” (which I did not). The boys slinked away to the other side of the room. I got distracted and couldn’t find them again, otherwise I would have given them a talking to – while this woman was crazy and wrong for “calling the police” on these boys and really a bully, their smart asses were going to land in jail. Confronted with the situation, a cop would have taken this low-class woman’s word over theirs – no matter who their daddy was. They really needed to know that. They had no clue, during the whole exchange they looked like two deer in headlights.
Me: I saw my son in those boys – not that he would have talked to an adult like that, but just a kid who was in a situation that could have taken a turn for the worse really fast. The boys were clearly in over their heads, smart asses – yes, but no threat. If the police was called, I would have been there with them as a witness, I would not have let them go alone. And if that woman doesn’t think that her husband would be profiled at an airport (he was brown like Middle Eastern or Indian) she doesn’t travel much.Facebook Friend 16: I know! But it’s sad that our kids cant be kids for fear of a situation turning very bad. What did her husband say during the whole thing?
Although my experience in the Apple Store was upsetting and mildly disruptive with shouting and name-calling, can you imagine how this would have gone down if it had happened the week of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner decisions?
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