Probable Cause

Metro signs told me the train was only three minutes away. I almost didn’t take the seat on the platform bench. I looked at the two women on opposite ends of the of the concrete seat and all of the space between them, felt my aching knee and decided I would sit. I sat in the middle and continued reading the Washington Post on my iPad. Both women had purses sitting next to them toward the middle of the bench. The woman to my left suddenly felt her purse would be more secure in her lap. The woman to my right had a new inclination to wrap her arm through the loop of hers.

I noticed both actions via peripheral vision while I continued to read an op-ed about Trayvon Martin being profiled.

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4 Responses to Probable Cause

  1. the girl who likes the real stories says:

    ok, i hear you. that has to be an annoyance at best, a soul crusher at worst. but i would like to think that part of the defiance required for trayvon is a radical redefinition of the conversation altogether. racists and politicos alike imho love to keep the conversation confined to color, presuppositions and the supremacy of fear versus fact.

    the trayvons becomes more than scary young thugs in all eyes when we tell the stories that reveal the truth under the stereotype, the truth white privilege (and supremacy) has historically forfeited for this idea that a black man is essentially threat, more animal than visceral passionate rational human being.

    god knows you have something to say about that.

    who is telling the story right now of the tenderness and real live emotion & humanity of the young black man? if this story enters the national consciousness, can we still justify shooting children point blank in the street?

  2. amy says:

    I automatically do that no matter who sits next to me.

  3. I almost went to like this, but I didn’t want to intimate that I liked what happened (only the post). I would say that I do that often when any man sits too close to me. I appreciate that it’s just as easy for a woman to grab my wallet than a man, though.

  4. It all depends on where you’re standing, the experiences you’ve had and the conclusions you’ve drawn. Thanks to a hyper-critical mother repeatedly reminding me my ass is too big, I always move my purse out of the way when someone sits next to me. It is an act of my internal demon, a gesture to make additional space that my ass otherwise occupies. Ugh, I need more therapy.

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