I wrote over Christmas break, as I was suffering through a 5 hour wait at Detroit Metro.
I have such an attitude problem today.
Sitting in an airport at 6:13 in the morning with no wi-fi (it’s not working for some reason…default to MS Word) and a lingering hangover is just not my idea of a good time. Ever. I actually considered laying on the floor in a corner by the gate, until I saw what was laying on the floor in other corners by other gates, and decided I didn’t want to be a part of it; hence the bloody mary and overpriced pancakes.
I’ve upgraded from “living hell” to “numbness and purgatory”…but there’s bacon, so for the moment I can’t complain.
(Update: the hipster in the next booth just ordered a bloody. The waitress is judging us.)
Anyway, my attitude problem started well before my realization that napping on the floor in the airport could result in AIDS and/or some sort of flesh-eating skin rot (which I would Google and find the proper name for IF THE INTERNET WAS WORKING.) My attitude problem started when I got off the stupid airport shuttle at 5:35 in the morning after no sleep, dealt with the ticketing agent’s crap, finally made it up to the security checkpoint, only to hear this…this woman…approach a TSA agent and ask if “the brown gentlemen” back a ways in line would be subjected to additional scrutiny.
(Update: brown people in the restaurant. My God, you’d think they’d screen these people.)
First of all, whitebread old ladies waddling around with Vera Bradley luggage do not get to call anyone a “brown gentleman.” Second, who says something like that out loud to a stranger? (Who, may I add, was also a “brown person,” and who looked like she was about three seconds away from locking this witch in the glass terrorist box and throwing away the key.) Third…
HOW ARE YOU THAT RACIST? These guys weren’t doing anything remotely suspicious. One of them was pounding his cup of coffee, and the other was questioning the existence of God over an advanced level of Angry Birds.
(Update: the brown people ordered coffee. Brown coffee. I’m not trying to say anything, but……conspiracy. A brown one.)
It was 5:45 in the morning. We all hated each other. I personally wanted to stab every TSA agent in the face with a hand-whittled shiv (Detroit has their own brand of agent…I swear they train them to be ten times more obnoxious than necessary.) But there in that line, in that moment, we banded together—Democrat and Republican. American and foreigner. Farmer’s daughter and hipster youth—under a common message:
“A…a what? She did not just say ‘brown gentlemen.’ No. My…my head is numb. Did she just ask if the brown people would get checked more thoroughly because obviously brown people are more susceptible to the allures of lipstick daggers and experimental incendiary devices? MY HEAD IS ACTUALLY NUMB FROM YOUR IGNORANCE. If I were not afraid of being tasered by a TSA flunkie, I would put my shoes, coat, laptop (separate from its bag, dammit,) bag, and ridiculous baggie of soaps and things into their respective plastic bins and beat you into a pulp right here in the line; and I don’t think that backscatter technology works on bloody pulp, so you’ll be missing your flight, you horrible old hag.”
More than one person said something, both to her, and passive aggressively into the atmosphere. I just hope the brown gentlemen in the back of the line missed what had happened.
(Update: the hipster is playing Angry Birds. We are soulmates, still being judged by everyone.)
(Updated update: the hipster left, and was replaced by a woman who has been reading over my shoulder for the past 5 minutes, and who I am fairly sure thinks that I should have been selected for additional screening. HELLO WOMAN READING OVER MY SHOULDER!!!)
Today, we were all brown people, chugging coffee and cursing the angry birds. The whole experience reminded me of something that I’ve been harping on for almost a year, and that I had apparently forgotten: at the end of the day, we’re all humans together. Jerks are jerks, racist idiots are racist idiots, and in situations like these, it doesn’t matter who’s conservative or who’s liberal, or who voted for whom; the only difference I could see was the difference between the idiot, and those of us who were willing to stand up to the idiot, just to protect two complete strangers from a level of censure they had done nothing to deserve.
And that, I think, is a big, big difference.
We should be more inclined to remember it.
Originally Posted at Pundit League