Years ago, I was politely waiting in line at a bank when I noticed a commotion. A few customers ahead of me, an obese woman of color was losing her cool. From what I could gather, she seemed confused that a counter party was unable to cash a check for an amount that was higher than what was in her checking account. Quickly, that confusion erupted into profane, vociferous rage. After slamming open the doors on her way out, she turned around to cuss out everyone in the bank.
I remember wishing silently to myself that I could engage in such behavior because it must feel so cathartic. My town was over 50% black. So yeah, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing plenty of these temper tantrums. They’ve never been directed at me so I don’t take them personal. In fact, I tend to find the spectacle amusing.
Trouble is, my white privilege leads me to suspect that nobody would put up with it if I did the same thing. If I launched into a tirade at a bank, I’m pretty sure a SWAT team would be on its way, but perhaps that’s the burden imposed by the tendency to anticipate future consequences from present actions.
It feels so constraining sometimes. Wouldn’t you love get the wrong order at a fast food restaurant and yell “You cracka-ass honkey mutha fucka you bout ta lose yo job!!!” as you knock over everything on the counter? We had a city councilman with a penchant for this sort of behavior and he’s been in office for over 20 years. He don’t take no shit from the “crackers” as he’s referred to his colleagues when irritated. Must be nice.
The times however, they are a’ changing. The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Now a white man can do this kind of thing with impunity if he’s willing dress himself up (quite poorly) as a white woman. That’s what this dude in this video did, and boy was he able to make the hapless employees at GameStop feel his righteous wrath for “misgendering” him a few times. He looks he like played linebacker in college, but now he’s not “sir” but “ma’am.”
Look, you don’t even need to go shopping for a dress. A wig and purse will suffice for your sword and shield, mighty implements that will confer invincibility from even the mildest criticism. Sure, you might get it from some cowardly keyboard warrior from the safety of his parent’s basement but in public, everyone has a camera on their phone and everyone has a job. All it takes is the courage to run roughshod over them.