Sometimes a volume of revelations can be gleaned from a brief life experience. A window into human nature and the symptoms of our cultural decline, if you will. This happened to me just yesterday at the gym.
It is important to frame this anecdote in proper context, and the reader must be familiar with the unspoken/unwritten rules of gym behavior. So let’s talk for a few minutes about “gym etiquette.” These rules are almost instinctual, at least for the ethnic demographic from which I am derived (for other demographics, it is a different story). On the one hand, you have “good manners,” which have been passed down from generation to generation since European knights created the concept of “chivalry.” On the other hand, you have the “law of the jungle,” the roots of which are self explanatory.
The rules of gym etiquette are pretty simple. Wait your turn, ask to “work in” on machines that are being used, when the user is in-between sets, don’t tie up multiple machines and weights, etc. A gym is a “commons” facility, and as such, all paying members have equal right to access the facilities and must share them accordingly.
Yesterday, as is my ritual, I stopped at Planet Fitness on my way home from work (snicker if you want, I’m a single father on a budget and that gym is cheap). If you are familiar with the equipment at Planet Fitness (from this point forward, PF), then you know they typically have 3 pulley machines, with the assorted row machine, fixed pull-down, adjustable pulleys for fly exercises, etc. The adjustable pulleys on each machine are positioned in a way so that the user can stand in-between two of them, connect hand grips to the braided steel rope via a snap hook, adjust the height of the pulleys to suit them, and perform chest fly exercises. In effect, the user is tying up two separate pieces of equipment, because each pulley can be independently used for other exercises. But, it is understood that when someone is using these two adjustable pulleys for fly exercises, others should wait until one or both pulleys are free (when they are finished), before proceeding to use either pulley.
When I finished doing my dead lifts on the Smith machine, I walked over to these 3 sets of pulley machines to do ab exercises. The fixed pull-down is a good set-up for doing resistance crunches from a kneeling position. All you need is a double grip rope, which PF furnishes. I saw that one of the fixed pull-downs wasn’t being used, it had a bar connected to it, but it was free. A boomer aged black “gentleman” was doing chest flies with the 2 aforementioned adjustable pulleys at a right angle to the fixed pull-down. Other men and women were using various other positions on the machines. I grabbed a double grip rope from the rack, disconnected the bar from the fixed pull-down and connected my rope. The black “gentleman,” who was about 6’3″ and 275 pounds (give or take), fit for his age, and yes, imposing/intimidating for a man of my shorter stature, said, “I’m using that.”
Well, he wasn’t using “that.” He was using the adjustable pulleys for flies. What he actually was doing was tying up 3 positions on the machines, and in his mind, he had “marked his territory” on the fixed pull-down and was intending on going back and forth between it and the fly exercise. The problem is, this isn’t how gym etiquette works. If there were only 3 people in the entire gym, and there were just the two of us at the pulleys, then yeah, it would be appropriate for me to assume a position at another fixed pulley (there are 2 more). I would be a “d*ck” myself for not moving to another one. But, it was a crowded gym, and there were people occupying almost every position. The bottom line is, he had no claim to 3 pulleys on those machines at once.
So, I looked him in the eye and said to this black “gentleman,” “Your’e doing flies, so I’m going to use this.” I didn’t budge. I didn’t punk. I did my ab exercises and then I moved on. He murmured and laughed, in his mind believing he had some privilege over me, when the fact is, my money is as green as his. But, he also backed down.
Despite my assertiveness, here is the sad truth. I’m going to pull a number out of my ass, but I’d put money down that 9/10 white guys would have submitted to this man, said “oh OK I’m sorry,” and avoided any chance at confrontation. 9/10 white guys would have “stood down.” Maybe not quite that high of a ratio at a “regular” gym, but certainly at Planet Fitness, which has a reputation as a “safe space” gym for “low T” SJW types, this would be the case.
This doesn’t just apply to gym etiquette, it applies to every aspect of our lives where white men and black men are competing in public spaces. White men are “standing down,” submitting, even cowering to black men. And, guess who sees this? White women. Want to see a woman’s ovaries shrink up and her legs lock together like Fort Knox? Punk yourself in front of her. That will do it every time.
There were no women around me (who were paying attention) when this incident happened yesterday. But, there could have been. And, even had there not been, my own psyche is just as important as the impression I leave on others. I don’t go around looking for fights or confrontation, but I’m always going to stand my ground when I’m in the right. Backing down isn’t the answer. No matter how much Hollywood and media propaganda says otherwise. Women (and, just as importantly, other men) do NOT respect a man who submits in this way. Sure, it may defuse a situation to walk away, but the damage to your self esteem is going to be immeasurable.
What is the worst that could happen here? He physically assaults you? What are the chances that he’s really going to assault you right there in the middle of a crowded gym over a piece of gym equipment? And, if he does, you have grounds for a lawsuit. Nobody is going to fault you when a guy 5 inches taller and 75 pounds heavier gets aggressive as long as you don’t punk out like a “b*tch.”
But alas, just as sure as I am writing this, white men across this country are assuming submissive postures to black men each and every day. White women are watching. White children are watching. White society is crumbling.
What are you going to do about it? When you’re in the right, stand up for yourself. It’s the least you can do.
-By Dixie Anon
Oh, I'm a good old Rebel, now that's just what I am; For this "Fair Land of Freedom" I do not give a damn! I'm glad I fit against it, I only wish we'd won, And I don't want no pardon for anything I done.