Atta Ikede

May 6, 2008

The racial incident

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 6:21 pm

I witnessed a racial incident recently. It happened on the bus.

We were at a bus stop. A nicely dressed, very tall and strong looking black guy got on. He seemed like a normal respectable guy, but something happened between him and the bus driver. The bus driver was a small hispanic guy. I was sitting at the very back of the bus, so I have no clue what set it off, but within a couple of minutes these two were really freaking out. The driver kept insisting that the guy get off the bus, but the guy wouldn’t move!

We were at a major intersection. The driver got off the bus and went to go find a cop. I don’t think San Francisco is a crime ridden city or anything, but I do see cops driving around quite a bit, especially on major streets and in sketchier neighbourhoods.

The dude followed him out and they were gone for like 15 minutes. All us bus passengers had our faces pressed up against the windows to see what was going on out there. Mainly just a bunch of pacing and what looked like yelling. No cops showed up.

Eventually the driver came back on the bus. The dude followed him back and slipped back into the bus even though the driver tried to close the doors on him. By this time the dude was really mad. He kept yelling about “you’re gonna tell the cops that a well dressed black man was going to attack you? a well dressed black man?” 

He seemed incredulous and outraged all at the same time. The fact that he was well dressed seemed to make him particularly angry! It got a bit scary. He was standing in the middle of the bus, getting more and more freaked out. The little bus driver man was just back in his chair, but refused to move the bus until the guy got off! Some larger male passengers eventually got up and took up casual postures between the black guy and the bus driver. This was smart .. they did it kind of subtly so that nobody got pissed off.

This kept going for another few minutes. A few passengers had been getting off the bus during this time, choosing to walk rather than continuing to be part of this drama. Eventually I got off too. The black dude apparently got off the bus soon after I did. When I glanced back later I saw that he was standing on the curb next to a smartly dressed black lady. She might have been his girlfriend or something … who knows.

Anyway, after the black guy got off, the bus started moving. The bus driver honked at me and picked me up, and later I got off at my stop.


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