Sitting in First Class

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.


3 thoughts on “Sitting in First Class

  1. Wu Young, Agent of M.E.

    Dude, you could’ve been wearing a cop or a military uniform the looks will always persist until a few generations die out. Those looks are just reminders to them that things aren’t like they used to be and a lot of folks can’t handle that. (See Obama, President Barack H.)Sadly, I’ve met some black folks (mostly, the ones who ask “What do you do?/Where did you go to school?” Upon intially meeting you types.) who would’ve given you the same looks.

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      I hate to be like this but when this oldest generation dies I see things getting a lot better. I always assume that any white person 70 and over (especially in the south) is/was racist.

      1. Wu Young, Agent of M.E.

        I used to think like that but a few older southern white folks I’ve met have shocked me. The common link is that many of the folks I spoke with grew up dirt poor. Not to say that many poorer white folks weren’t racists but my limited experience skewed that way. I’ll forever side-eye more of the upper-class types until proven otherwise.

        I’ll never forget in JROTC in high school one of our instructors, Sgt Maj Polk an old redneck from a neighboring town was putting on a clinic in spades. So naturally we wanted to know how this old white dude knew how to play spades and he explained that in his time younger folks got over their parents’ isms a lot faster than the parents themselves. He admitted to having black friends but he had to hide it from adults and then progressing more in the army. The world and by the world I mean people are truly fucked up.

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