Don't let the bougie fool you. For all of our high-steppin' and high-fallutin' ways, the black and the bougie roll with a BlackPass like all our mocha, caramel and chocolate brethren. Black and Bougie leads with Black. And in case we get too insulated and try to forget our Blackness, there is always someone too happy to remind us. Some BougieTales as example:
- Breathing While Black – Now I am already WAY over this story but the fact remains that a large portion of the population (myself included) believes that had Skip Gates been white, the officer would have taken his ID, thanked him for his time and left. Dr. Gates is a 5'10" sixty-year old man who walks with a cane, has PhDs, and a house in Martha's Vineyard when he doesn't hang in Harvard Yard. If ever there was a less threatening man of color to be had, this is it. Yet and still, he was perp-walked out of his home, cuffed and processed through the justice system like a common street thug. His mugshot was blasted all over the Main Stream Media and before his statement was released, we were told he was acting in a dangerous, disruptive and disorderly fashion. I call bullshiggity on the whole mess.
- I'm sorry Doctor – BougieOlderBro is a trauma surgeon in the Southeast. He works at a hospital where there is ONE other surgeon (neuro) of color employed. BougieBro is 6'1", bearded, caramel-colored, in shape with an improbable love of Dockers-style khakis and striped Ralph Lauren button down shirts. The other black surgeon is 6'4", clean-shaven, coffee-colored, overweight and attached to his wrinkled scrubs. Yet and still, at least twice a week someone calls my brother by this other person's name. And then apologizes saying, "I'm sorry, Dr. Bougie; I don't know why I called you that." Aargh! We really don't all look alike people… we really, really don't. And we are not interchangeable. You don't get hot swappable black folk; they don't make us that way.
- Did he just "shush" me? – On Thursday night's Lou Dobbs Tonight, Lou brought in Roland Martin and some Republican talking head (hey, I don't have to be fair and balanced and I'm too lazy to look up the guy's name) to discuss this ridiculous Obama birth certificate legitimacy ("birther") issue (whole other topic). In the middle of Roland's rebuttal, Lou Dobbs first scolds Roland (said he was getting "excitable"), proceeds to cut him off twice and then told him to "pipe down." I didn't want to make it a black-white thing except that he never stopped Congressman McWingnut from getting his rant on. Some of my blog cousins were saying Lou did everything but tell the brother, "And while you're quiet, shine my shoes." Ouch.
- I'm just trying to buy salmon – So, I was at Costco getting my wholesale shop on the other day. I was standing in the seafood section analyzing my salmon and rainbow trout choices. An older Caucasian woman sidles up and reached around me. I decided to assume she didn't see me and murmured, "Oh excuse me," and shifted to the left. She scooted over to reach in front of me again. Picking up a package of catfish, she turned to me and said, "How would you fry this up?"
I thought, Oh, I gotta be the authority on fried catfish cause I'm black? I again decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and said, "My mother's recipe is to soak it overnight in buttermilk and seasonings. Then you coat with cornmeal and fry."
She THEN said, "I had a maid who used to make it just like that." The woman was at least seventy; I decided not to take her there but she just compare BougieMom to her maid?
I replied, "Did she now? How nice." Head down, looking for my salmon.
She smiled, "Yes and she made the best cornbread and collard greens in the world!" Dammit! I didn't reply or smile or look her way, I tossed some salmon in the cart and rolled out.
Truly, I want to embrace the post-racial of it all. I really want to stop seeing prejudice where I least expect it (or even where I do). But we are just not there yet people.
So for everyone who thinks that living the Bougie Way grants you an exemption from racist nonsense… let this post be a lesson to you. My Aunt Violet once said, "Baby, sometimes all they see is the black."
Any BougieTales from the Black side to share?