Just when I thought the world was actually changing for the better I’m faced with someone judging me by the color of my skin and my gender.
I met a man today who needed direction to a place in the city. He told me he was from Georgia and had come to my city to settle his father’s estate. He asked me for help and insisted that he wasn’t begging. Then he proceeded to show me a fist full of bills. I was stunned no one does that anywhere. I immediately told him to put it away; I didn’t want anyone to see that and try to rob him or me.
I asked him what he wanted. He asked if I knew where he could find a place he had on a piece of paper that he handed me. He said he couldn’t read. Oh my God! He looked to be about fifty, worn clothes and smelled of alcohol at nine in the morning. He had no transportation and came to the city by bus. He added that he had to stay for 5 business days to complete his affairs before he could go back home.
I told him to get in the car and I’ll take him where he needed to go. “I know, but I felt he needed my help.” I didn’t recognize the street on the paper, having live here all my life, so I looked it up for him. I wasn’t surprised that the street wasn’t here in the city. He then told me that a woman told him that he could stay at this place for free if he gave her $200.00. He gave her the money and she dropped him off where I found him in a shopping mall. “Wow, people can be so lowdown!”
Now I had this man in my car with a load of money and nowhere to take him. He wanted me to read a notice he receive from the lawyers handling his father’s estate. He still didn’t understand what he had to do to get the money. I read it to him and explained it as simply as possible. It stated that he was going to get over a quarter of a million dollars in the next few days.
I asked the man if he wanted to put his money in his bank until he went home. He told me and these are his words. “My White Boss said that niggers can’t go into a white man’s bank. I’m going to give my money to him so he can give it to me twenty dollars every week, like he always done.”
OH MY GOD!!
That blew my mind for the obvious reasons. This man was literate in so many ways. My Great grandmother was born a slave, yet she had common sense. She taught herself to read, pay her own bills and purchase a house. We are in the 21th century and this man believes those archaic notions. I could hardly believe my ears. Yet, try as I might, I couldn’t convince him to think otherwise.
I found him a place close to where he could catch the bus back home and get to the lawyer’s offices. On the way he said he was hungry so I took him somewhere to get something to eat. Once I we got there, he decided that a man, although black, was more qualified to help him. The man was a so called ‘preacher’ and it was obvious to me that once he saw the wad of bills, he was going to take advantage. As soon as the thought crossed my mind this preacher was talking about how he could help him keep his money.
Although I felt sorry for this man, my words of caution fell on deaf ears. There was nothing else I could do to help, because in his mind I was less than him, I was just a black woman. He now was dealing with a man. I left them, leaving this man to his faith. I did what I could, but when you don’t have at least common sense the world will take advantage of you. My conscience is clear, I just hope the preacher take him somewhere he can stay for the five days he has to remain here.
To say I’m stunned by this man’s beliefs is an understatement. This isn’t the 1800’s how can someone of color still have these beliefs is beyond me. Doesn’t he know woman and African Americans have been liberated from second-class status and that we have a black president! It’s amazing that in this day and time this man still have those ideologies, but then I’m reminded of our last presidential election.
Copyright © 2013 Glynis Rankin