Boundaries and race.

Recently I’ve noticed that I have different boundaries for different people based on their race. One prominent example I still won’t write about. But yesterday on the train I had an experience.

I was sitting there minding my own nevermind when I looked out the window and noticed a reflection of a guy looking at me and… gesticulating with his hand. I… thought “Surely he isn’t doing what I think he’s doing.” But I turned my head and yup, there was his cock out.

I sat there for a few minutes and thought about what I wanted to do. I didn’t feel like I was going to be accosted, there were at least five or six other people in the same train car and I always sit in the car closest to the driver of the train. I never ever sit farther back in a train.

So I decided to look at him kind of fiercely and flounce to a seat where I was facing him and looking none-too-pleased. My back was now directly to the train operator. If dude had continued I could have reached my hand back to tap on the window. Instead he got off the train at the next stop while carefully not making eye contact.

This was remarkable to me specifically because… he was black. I had a whole thought process around, “He’s got bigger problems than some white woman objecting to seeing his cock.”

If it had been a white man I would have been banging on the driver window and calling BART police. Because my experience with white men is that if they cross some boundaries they will cross more.

I feel very weird about the fact that I will not willingly bring a person of color to the attention of authorities… but I won’t. I’ll throw a white person under the bus, sure. They’ll get a “fair hearing”. Statistics strongly indicate that a person of color won’t.

Life isn’t fair. But I get to decide how I’m going to interact with that. Did he hurt me? No. Did he scare me? Not really. Did he irritate me? Yes. Do I want to see that? Nope.

But me not wanting to see something doesn’t mean I should work to ruin his life. That’s an over reaction. Being caught for flashing means a permanent record of being a sex offender. It means impact on jobs, housing…

You know what? I’ve had sex in public. I’ve totally done things that could make me a permanent sex offender and I just wasn’t caught.

I can’t turn a black man in for something that minor. I just can’t. Even though I feel weird about ignoring it. I know I wouldn’t for a white man. Why? Because I’m a judgmental as fuck asshole who is fucking sick of white men treating me like a piece of meat.

I can honestly say to the best of my knowledge this is the most boundary crossing a black man has ever done towards me.

Why am I willing to give non-white people a pass? Because the whole system is set up to fuck them and if I turn them in I’m part of the system of oppression.

Why am I so willing to throw white men/women under the bus? Because the system is set up to judge you as fairly as possible. So take your medicine. You did what you did. Suck it the fuck up if there are consequences.

In my experience and in my understanding of the world… the consequences for people of color are never fair.

So even though I had an experience that was maybe “not fair”… I’m not hurt. It’s ok for me to suck this up and move on with my life. I don’t need to end his life over this.

I’m not that important. What he did is not that important.

Context matters.