Yesterday while boarding my connecting flight from Denver to San Diego I experienced something that I have grown accustomed to. I bough my ticket with Southwest and they don’t have assigned seating so I try to check in right at 24 hours so I can get an A boarding group pass. This way I can get an aisle seat or sit in the emergency row exit. I lucked up on this trip and got boarding number A17. I was able to sit in the front row and stretch my legs out.
As the other passengers began to board the plane this older Caucasian woman (approximately 75-80 years old) looked upon me with such contempt that I wondered if I was sitting in her seat. I held her gaze until she eventually averted her eyes. For some reason old white people have a habit of looking at me like I personally slighted them. It wasn’t as if I was loud and obnoxious or dressed inappropriately. I had a book in my lap and I was wearing dockers and a button down. The only thing I can muster from these types of interactions are that they simply are threatened or don’t like black men.
It’s easy to try to cover up racist speech and overt actions but those subtle actions and facial expressions are a dead giveaway.
Yesterday reminded me of a J Cole lyric from his song Sideline Story:
Up in first class, laugh even though its not funny. See a white man wonder how the fuck I got money. While he sitting in coach hate to see me walk past him. Young, black, pants sag, head phones blasting. Know what he asking “how did he manage? With all the cards against him he used it to his advantage.” Slang we be speaking probably sound like Spanish then I fuck their heads up when a nigga show manners.