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?”
I responded. “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
He mumbled something, and I did my, “Why are you enraged, whats
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 prinipals 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.
Its odd because I am both emotional and rationale.
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.