by M.Dot, originally published at Model Minority
Yesterday I was in the train station not feeling too hot. The outfit was fly, but I just was not in the mood for the juvenile attention that the outfit seemed to provoke. As if clothes provoke behavior. These young men all have home training, whether they choose to use it is something completely different.
As I stood on the platform, alone, as I just gotten off the express to get the local, a young buck, approximately 17 years old Black male, grazed my book and said “Why you touch me?”
“What? You touched me”.
Then he walked up on me.
Typically, I would be all for the teaching moment. Or even challenging him on some “Fall back ock.”
I had had a long day. Mercury is clearly in retrograde, as I attempted to go to a meeting, but it that was actually on Friday night, not Saturday morning. Then I went to brunch and I realized I left my wallet home. The wallet was in another bag and I failed to transfer it back over. I tried to put together a little “Welcome back M.dot” get-together for Saturday night, but I had to cancel it because of conflicts with schedules.
I was bummed out.
So yeah. I had had it and it wasn’t even 2pm yet.
But the day had improved because I got a few books from the library, one of which was. “Shadowboxing, Black Feminist Representations” by Joy James, which is what I was reading when the young man bumped into me. In fact, at the time of the incident, I was reading a sentence where Angela Y. Davis, was speaking on the need to eradicate the prison system as it exists today.
So back to the young man.
He walked up on me, and both I paid it mind, but then paid it no mind. I had been getting harassed all day. Sad to say, but I was partially desensitized.
He mumbled something, and I did my, “Why are you enraged, what’s the problem?” Looking back at that moment, he was slightly
pacing like a lion.
There was no one else in our area of the platform.
Then it changed.
He walked up on me again, and said, cocked his head, and said “Don’t touch me, I will do something to you.”
My inner M.dot said, word?
Hood training stipulates that, at that moment I needed to have agency.
Run or Knuckle up.
I immediately thought I am over here, by myself, with two bags and a four books in my hand.
No one else is on this part of the platform.
I turned and ran up the stairs, I looked back. He was following me.
I proceeded to the police station, looked back and he was still following me.
I walked into the police station. He followed me in.
I didn’t want to do it ya’ll. Right now I am working on a position paper to address the Preschool to Prison Pipeline and one of the major things that I am advocating for is for support and intervention for young men that doesn’t involve the police as the primary method of intervention.
The idea is for the young men to interact with two or three people before the police gets involved with the notion that once they are involved in the courts, the dehumanization process has started and that there is very difficult to recover from that.
So, I walked into the police station and said, this young man is harassing me.
Get this, as soon as I said that, he started speaking over me saying that, I was harassing him.
I kid you not.
It was like it was a game for him. Like we were both high schoolers and going to the principal’s office to tattle.
NYPD is not a game.
The burley white officer says, “One of you’se wait outside”.
I sat down on the bench in the station.
The young man waited outside.
Popo comes over to me asks what happened. He is all business. It’s odd because I am both emotional and rational. I hesitate because I can’t believe I am sitting there, as the words come out, I realize emotionally what just happened and it f*cks me up a little bit. I am sitting on the bench and the officer is standing over me, and another Latina officer, in plain clothes joins him, as an observer. She is quiet.
He first asks me if I know him. I tell him what happened. The whole time I am thinking, I don’t want to be here, I don’t want
to be talking to him, I just want to go the coffee shop and work on my blog post and short stories.
The officers asks if I want to him to be held.
I am thinking, “Man, I live over here, I might see this kid again”. But then, the young man is wild enough and presumably unstable enough to follow me into a police station, him being held is irrelevant.
Potentially seeing him again is something I have no control over.
I tell the police, that I am just going to remove myself from the situation and go take a bus on the street. They tell me that they are going to hold and question him anyways, “Just so that, you know, he can tell his side” and I think to myself, why did they asked me if thats what their procedure was in the first place? I got up. Walked out. The young man walked in. I proceed to the bus stop, noticed Filth called and called him back.
Ironically, when that crane fell on Thursday, my momma called me to see if I was okay. I was like “Momma, there is more of a chance of something happening to me in Oakland than here” as Oakland had been experiencing a series of BRAZEN daylight robberies by teenagers.
I now eat my words.
I am okay.
I am grateful for my intuition, my god given intuition which told me to have agency when the young man said “he would do something to me”.
*I checked Mercury’s status while editing this piece.
It’s comforting that I was accurate.