Friday, July 22, 2005

Random searches my black ass...!

A certain United Church of Bitchitude and Latter Day Drunks devotee has made an offereing of…well…decongestants. Damn, my congregation knows how to touch my cold shriveled bitchy heart! Darling, a bitch adores you and will be dropping by to visit the best drug store in town next week…

Two Medi-phedrine (Jesus…they are real!! Glory be to The Devine One!!!), a HUGE cup of java, 2 Excedrin, 1 Claritin and several cigs…

Needless to say, a bitch is beyond disturbed by the announcement yesterday that NYC commuters will be subjected to random searches when they ride the subway. In the face of the London tube attacks this kind of security upgrade seems reasonable. However…

People, and the prejudices they carry within, are the problem.

As a very black bitch, my ass is more than familiar with “security” and “random searches”. My first experience came when I was a wee bitch of ten years old. My mother dragged my reluctant ass to Saks here in St. Louis to shop for neckties and dress shirts for my father. She was trying to match the neckties and shirts to a couple of suits she had purchased from Saks previously. We entered the store, two black bitches and a Saks garment bag, and were immediately tagged by two obvious looking security goons. We were approached over 20 times with offers of assistance. The security goons followed us the entire time we were in the store. A bitch’s mother was not able to find what she was looking for and we exited the store, at which time we were immediately confronted by the security goons who insisted that my mother had put something into the garment bag.

Now, my mother is insane and very bitchy, but she’s no thief. Being crazy, tired, frustrated with her shopping experience and fucking pissed off, my mother proceeded to cuss the guards out…loudly…at the entrance to Saks. A wee ABB was both embarrassed and impressed. The manager was called out and also received a fierce cussing out. My ass will never forget what he said as my mother called him every sort of motherfucker one could imagine…

“Our security does not target black people. Our security is based on observed behavior.”

My mother shot him a certain finger, asked him to observe it then sit on it and spin and marched off.

Random security is bullshit. Security, like advertising, is based on stereotypes and assumed behavior. This bitch has been followed through more stores and suburban neighborhoods than you could imagine. That’s not based on observed behavior. I’m not a thief and like most women of color my ass has been trained from a very young age to shop with care, not touch my handbag while next to anything and move about with caution. Not because The Man is right, but because going off on assholes is time consuming and a bitch has places to go!

I’ve had car doors locked as I walk by. A bitch’s sister has been singled out for full body pat-downs at the airport so many times she has begun to question whether she looks Chechnyan.

This sort of bullshit is insulting and discriminatory. But the worst part is that they ignore the prissy assed sorority bitch across the store pocketing $150 worth of bras. Racial profiling has simply allowed drug dealers to acquire a 20ish blond, put her into a Honda Civic and run heroin from Maine to Texas without a care in the world.

A bitch knows what will happen in New York. Brown people, women in scarves and other ethnic minorities will get hassled. I’ve got $50 for the first blond, blue-eyed faux-Burberry suit wearing Paris Hilton wanna-be bitch that gets asked to open her Kate Spade on the way into the subway.

This shit is intrusive and will not make you safer. Terrorists used airplanes…we increased air security…they switched to busses and trains…we’ll increase security and they will move on to the next huge target our government isn’t watching.

A bitch’s ancestors fought too hard to gain the few civil rights my ass has for me to have them taken away on the pretense that its for my own fucking good!

Fuck them.

This bitch plans to carry a zip lock baggie full of Betsey the sorta-beagle’s shit the next time I’m in New York.

A bitch figures that someone should find WMD…Betsey’s shit is toxic… and you get what you deserve when you dip into a bitch’s bag…!

30 comments:

dmfinny said...

This angry black bith from Brooklyn was thankfully spared the bag check (all they'd find is my water bottle, a whole lotta tampons, a Palm, and the latest Harry Potter), but did notice Manhattan-bound trains running veeeerrrry slow this morning. As for the store-following thing, I once had some White guy ask the Black manager of a health food store to search me b/c I took too much time to look at the shampoo, I had no offer of assistance, until I was ready to leave, a coffee store, run by a liberal White lesbian in liberal Park Slope, and have seen the police, at the request of another liberal White lesbian, routinely harass a homeless Black man for begging, while totally ignoring a well-dressed White guy doing the same fucking thing!

As for racial profiling, surely you've heard that one of the London bombers was Jamaican -- now the police will REALLY do some profiling.

I'll keep ya posted from NY -- holla!

dmfinny said...

I was supposed to say bitch, not bith. Damn keyboard.

Nemebabe said...

Since 9/11 I have been searched everytime I get on a plane - its only been maybe 5 or 6 times...but every damn time. They said it's random based on an alphabetic code or somet shit on your ticket...I just find it weird that in like 3 years I hit the alphabet lottery. I get followed around Williamsburg all the time by these bored ass cops - I suppose it's because most of my friends are black and we are usually all out in my car - but they have taken to doing it when I am alone now. We get the following treatment in Wal-Mart and everywhere else we go too...one night we were wandering around Wal Mart at like 1 in the morning - well after the sidewalks in the burg had been rolled up for the night - and were followed by like 4 people in one department!! We stayed for like 2 hours, just to torture them - with my friends husband randomly yelling "Help this white bitch kidnapped us" every half hour.

No one came to save them :( Wal-Mart people are mean.

:)

CrankyProf said...

The Jumping Bean (a three-and a half-foot tall, auburn-haired, green-eyed rugmonkey) was not only thoroughly searched, but reduced to TEARS when the TSAssholes did their thing back in June. Fuckery knows no bounds.

What pisses me off is the illusion that victimizing ordinary travelers is making everyone "safe." My ASS.

Security is a joke -- at least in Philadelphia. We had a girl raped in BROAD daylight at a subway station earlier in the week.

Shark-fu said...

A bitch forgot about the Jumping Bean being searched! Brown people, women in scarves, ethnic minorities and their friends(Miz Nemebabe), and babies! Yeah...my ass feels so much safer! Jesus!

notfornothin said...

just rememeber not to end up hating nyc, but the people who have caused us to now live this way.

Clipgirl said...

Some guy in NYC came up with the idea of wearing tee-shirts that read "I do not consent to being searched". Here's the link to purchase one. He's been telling people that if you can't afford to buy one, than make one on your own.

http://www.cafepress.com/dontconsent

fahren said...

I'm originally from Gotham and family still lives in Harlem (they gonna be the last black family to leave). Back in the 80s I remember my father got arrested in one of the sweeps they were doing in the subways. Supposedly for not paying fare. Bullshit tactics was declared unconstitutional as they were arresting everyone but the rats. I see times have changed but the song remains the same.

Ian Mac said...

So even the white 'liberal' media here in London is starting to support a reintroduction of our archaic SUS laws - you remember, Search On Suspicion, the rancid legislation we had in the 1980s that allowed any black guy who didn't look like he had a Harvard degree and a job in the square mile to be apprehended by the cops and forced to prove his innocence. Jesus Christ - they yak on about how disgraceful it is that in the US juries don't appertain to the privacy we have here (viz the Michael Jackson case) while talking about protection and freedom of speech. Freedom of whose speech? On the radio we already had dumbass cranks describing how they'd think twice and reconsider where they were sitting if an asian or black person of a certain age was in their carriage. That's freedom of speech in a time of crisis alright. 25 years or so since Linton Kwesi Johnson's poem about the SUS laws brought it all home and how far have we really come? Any day now we'll have Sky News (our version of Fox) reporting with the Clash's 'London's Burning' like some sort of OC soundtrack. I say stay vigilant - but stay angry.

Catherine Vocalist said...

I'm sorry that happened to you and your mom, ABB. Today I was on the train heading into manhattan, when we got a message from the conductor saying that starting today the police would be conducting random searches... You should have seen every little fucking brooklyn hipster checking out all the black people with backpacks. I couldn't fuckin' believe it.

Racial profiling is alive and well in New York. However, I'm only bothered by the Asians in Chinatown but then again, they always think everyone is trying to steal something.

Catherine Vocalist said...

I'm not talking about all asians, let's get that straight ....

Joe said...

Glad you liked your medicine.

But if you come to my pharmacy, we're going to search your bags.

Just kidding!

Love you!

Christopher Trottier said...

I love the name of your blog.

KinkyKub said...

Random is as random does. To remedy the need for "red alert" security each and every damn day, perhaps we could all wear opaque or clear plastic clothing? Shall the TSA also make it known to us that THEY are, in fact, safe? Who are we to trust? Though I cannot truely know what it is like to be profiled (dark haired white boy here), being gay in this nation (with liberty and justice for some, well, for a few) has it's own set of issues...so I feel ya on the "random" bullshit! And some of us DARE them to search our fat asses!! "Come on, give me a full cavity search if you are MAN enough!"

Just trying to push the envelope...yours in the revolution...K.

Da Professa said...

AMEN!!
Halleluah!!
Preach on sister ABB....preach on.

It's Me, Maven... said...

Yet another stunningly well-written post, ABB. Kudos to you! And I add my heartfelt apologies to you and ABB Sr., on your unfortunate Sak's experience.

Being a New Yawhker (by marriage, not by birth), I agree with everything everyone else has said, and will add to that, that the searches are nothing more than a knee-jerk publicity stunt by the mayor's office as an outward sign of doing something, when as is evidenced by London being hit, YET AGAIN, and now Egypt (sympathies all around to your international readership), there is nothing anyone can actually *DO* to prevent this kind of nonsense. And although I do see the searches as being an *attempt* at doing something, sadly it does nothing more than just slow down everyone else in the process, as well as give some crack pot MoFo transit cop with a hard-on for anything non-Caucasian license to harrass.

Power corrupts.

fahren said...

"crack pot MoFo transit cop with a hard-on for anything non-Caucasian license to harrass"

ooooh nugget, i know what i'm using for my new email siggy :)

disgruntled said...

They're doing the same random searches on the transit system down here. I haven't witnessed such patdowns yet but I've seen drug/bomb sniffing dogs trotting along on platforms.

It's only a matter of time before there's a story on the news about someone being humilated/racially profiled!

madgerino said...

ABB, I'm a reg reader and fan. And I agree with most all of what you've written above, except I need to point out -- it's happening to us angry white bitches, too. I fly often for work, and frequently purchase one-way tickets at the last minute, and I've been felt up ruthlessly more times than I'd like to remember since 9/11. At O'Hare last fall, while undergoing yet another wanding, my underwire bra and jeans zipper had to be "resolved" (their word) by a security wench first touching my actual breasts, then putting her hand down my pants, inside my waistband -- to make sure it was an actual zipper, one guesses, and not an explosive device (!) -- while leering male travellers enjoyed the show. I felt like I should at least get some dollars stuffed in there if that many cheap thrills were being had by onlookers.

My point is not to diminish the validity of racial profiling, or the importance of confronting racial profiling. The outrageous execution of an innocent man in London is the extreme example, and I know that shit goes on every day, everywhere. I've seen it, and my friends have lived it.

I just hope to remind you that we should all stick together in saying "bullshit" to this bullshit. I do NOT feel safer, and in fact feel the iron hand of fascism, sometimes right there on my skin. When it comes to "us vs. them" I'd hate for you to think that somebody who looks like me (not Paris Hilton, but still a prissy fair haired gal, despite my efforts to appear more edgy) isn't just as opposed to this crap.

Rufus said...

I think some of it is class profiling too. I get followed around most of the stores I go in and I'm a cracker. I think it's because I look like the poor grad student I am. The other day, I got so sick of being followed around Chapters Books that I handed the security dick the books I was planning to buy and stormed out. If you're middle-aged, white and in a suit, they won't bug you. Otherwise, they just don't want your business. Fuck 'em. I hope they all go broke.

It's Me, Maven... said...

We all might as well wipe our collective asses with the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. I'm sure Ben Franklin et al are all spinning in their graves.

princessdominique said...

Glad to see you're still blogging away...

Jscothammerquist said...

ABA, Grrrrl talk that talk. One of the best posts evah ! Here in Boston, we are not having random searches on our transit system in Boston, because given away 5000 keys to people so what's the point. http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/07/25/mbta_admits_master_keys_tough_to_track/.

monkey said...

i was slightly disturbed to read this by another comment poster...
----------------------------------
"ABB, I'm a reg reader and fan. And I agree with most all of what you've written above, except I need to point out -- it's happening to us angry white bitches, too."
----------------------------------
firstly, i was bothered by the word "except" in that comment. abb's post reflects her experiences with so-called random searches, and the very real devestation of racial profiling. you agree with all of it, "except" she didn't list that angry white bitches get searched too? is it abb's job to be all-race inclusive in her writing? excuse me, but there is just no wiggle room to say you agree with her post, EXCEPT, it's happening to angry white bitches too. list your experience, dear woman, but please note your experience of being searched, however awful, is not because of your race. until you have lived in another's skin, the experience is not the same.
i don't wish to down-play madgerino's very obvious sexual harassment ("search") at the airport, because that in itself is very traumatic and should not go un-checked. it just seemed more like a case of defending whiteness.
the duty of ending racism (even in it's most subtle forms) is not the task of folks of color. most big cities offer free workshops for white folks to start making a difference.

Cynthia said...

We were being watched in a prominent Chicago restaurant and a white couple slipped out without paying. We said that is what they get. Most of the time, it is not Blacks who will do things, but those who can blend in need to be watched.

madgerino said...

Monkey, I'll try to be clearer. I agreed with all above "except" the part where ABB bets it ain't happening to blonde faux burberry wannabe sorority whatevers. These days, it's happening to ALL of us, and no, it isn't race in my case, whoever said that (not me)-- it's fascism, showing its full ugly face.

No, I am not as likely to get my head blown off on the subway. But I'm horrified too, and we're all together in it, is my point, so let's not be excluding me and other prissy-assed white bitches (I can't help it, I wish I could) from being just as outraged, if not as equally victimized and for as long, and let's not let it divide us, freedom-loving bitches all, by presuming that we're not getting cavity searched too or that we are not equally opposed to this crap, whether it's happening to us or to others at any given moment. Is my point.

I'm angry too, and I don't want to be excluded from the sisterhood of angry bitchitude just because when my butt is invaded, it's because of something other than race. The bigger "something" is something we should all deal with, together.

I hope that's clearer, as I feared just your kind of reaction.

Shark-fu said...

A bitch agrees that the problem is "our" problem and that folks need to unify to address it. But my ass does feel that "suspects" are all too often minorities, which I think Monkey was trying to clarify.

We are in a world of shit and we are in it together...you watch my back Madgerino and I'll watch yours...

madgerino said...

I agree 100% that minorities are targeted, and that it sucks and is wrong.

And I have your back too.

And now I will go pour myself a nice cup of shut the fuck up!

L.L.E. said...

just don't act "suspicious". *insert sarcasm*

:)

monkey said...

i appreciate that we can comment and turn things into a mini-forum. knowledge is power and with so many bright and passionate folks here, i know my ass is put on the school bus daily.
madgerino, i am sorry that you were fearful of replies to your comment. i was confused as to your wording, though i understand the content. thanks for the clarification.
what is happening here is something positive, even if we do have to work out some kinks to better understand one another.
it truly is all "our" problem. every time i get that itch to go back to the 'old country', i know i have to put salve on, and not scratch. i can't make a difference if i haul my pissed off ass out of here.
i'm right behind you, watching your back too, in faith that you are watching mine...