I swear to God I could not make this shit up.
I mean I could, but I didn’t.
I’m pretty much a hermit these days. I mean, even before Trump’s “China Virus” crossed the Pacific ocean and put the entire country on house arrest, I was in a quasi self-quarantine of my own. I don’t hang out; I don’t really leave home unless I have a good goddamn reason to. I’ve been this way for a while now, really since I came home from prison.
When I first came home of course I wanted to see people and be seen by them. I partied hard and even went to a few clubs with my then future wife. This really was never my scene as an adult. I like to get drunk at home in my bathrobe and blast my own damn music.
I ran the streets and the penitentiary system so rampantly back in the days that it really doesn’t thrill me anymore. Fortunately, I guess.
Overall I’m really never comfortable in social settings, I have no idea why. My cousin recently suggested to me that we self-medicate in order to be able to deal with our social anxiety, which made a lot of sense to me. My cousin is a smart dude; he’s basically my older brother. I’m getting off track tho lmao.
My point is, my family knows I don’t do social gatherings unless absolutely necessary. So when I decided to go with my wife Julia, my oldest daughter Laninea, and her future husband Quan, to our cousin Kareemah’s 43rd birthday party, I’m pretty sure they were surprised af.
Long story short we get there, the party is lit, Kareemah is in rare form, which is a sight to see lmao. Drinks were flowing, the food was delicious, everyone was having a good time. I’m sitting on the edge of the lawn facing the party, drinking my Dragon’s Milk lager, quietly solving my Rubik’s cube.
Yes, I can solve a Rubik’s cube. I’m not braggin, it’s just a fact, lmao. Nah I’m braggin lmao. Anyway I can hear off to the side of me Quan talkin to this guy who happened to be white. To be more specific, he happened to be the only white guy at the party. Which is really not a big deal, don’t get me wrong. It’s not uncommon for there to be white folks at my people’s parties, because we have white people in our family. Jungle fever does still exist, after all. Who am I to judge. Whatever.
What I overheard this guy saying tho, was very unusual for us. Apparently, the man lived a few houses down, and after hearing the music, he decided to come on over and join the party. Totally uninvited. You know, like, “Scooby-dooby-doo (in my white-guy voice) lemme go see what the Black people are up to”.
My antennae immediately went up. I’m listening intently now.
“Oh yeah”, ‘random white stranger’ goes on to say, drunk as a sailor, totally and completely unbothered, “I was having such a good time, I went home and filled up my drink twice already hahahaha… Hey!” He says suddenly, looking in my direction, “is that a freakin Rubik’s cube?”. He picks up his lawn chair and repositions it directly beside mine, smgdh. Quan is just laughing listening to this shit, as am I. The guy is physically not intimidating, he’s not causing any trouble, and I can tell he’s not packing. Fuck it; keep the party going, right?
“Here, mix it up”, I tell him, handing him the solved cube. He takes it and starts to mix it up, but distractedly, his attention clearly elsewhere right now.
Over to the left of us, Kareemah is in the process of opening her gifts, after which she hollers for the DJ to turn the fuckin music back on, and gleefully starts to clap her ample cheeks appropriately to Cardi B’s newest hit ‘WAP’. Kareemah is a sweetheart; it looked like she was having a ball. Peripherally, I can see that the ‘random white stranger’ is fixated on her impromptu dance routine too, and he catches me catching him looking. “Is that the birthday girl?” he asked, grinning in genuine interest.
See, now, I’m beginning to get a lil warm.
“Yea that’s our cousin”, I tell him, hoping he’ll take the hint and stop leering at my people that way. ‘Random white stranger’ is fuckin oblivious. “Oh, when I got here I walked into the house to use the bathroom but she asked me to leave”, he said.
“Waimminit… You mean you walked into her house, but you don’t know anyone here, and you made it back out?” I asked, actually astonished by this. “Yeah I did”, he said, oddly still unaware of the gravity of his misstep. “Hahaha I don’t think she liked that…”
Now see, as far as I’m concerned, that right there is a free body. Meaning if an absolute stranger has either the absence of mind or the spiritual audacity to walk into my home uninvited, whether he’s white, black, or Marvin the mufuckin Martian, he’s going to meet whatever deity he chose to worship. All this money I spent on these goddamn guns? I wish a mf would. I mean that shit sincerely.
So I’m definitely starting to simmer now. The novelty of ‘random white guy has completely worn tf off, and I really want this person to be as far away from me as possible. I mean immediately. I get up, and walk over to my wife who’s sitting five feet away from me, talking to our daughter and my mother in law. I bend down so she can hear me over the music, and i asked her, in all seriousness, loud enough to be heard:
“Julia?” I said.
“What, Kwesi.” she replied.
“Um… who’s white man is this?”
Now to be fair, one could reasonably suggest that I may or may not be known to have ruined a family affair or two, mostly through no actual fault of my own, but also quite possibly due to the fact that I maybe have a tiny bit of a temper.
On one such occasion a few years ago, I threw a small costume party for my wife’s birthday, which is close to Halloween. We went as Batman and Catwoman. Full regalia, I’m talking cape and tail, mask and whiskers, the works. It was absolutely fuckin awesome. No bullshit.
For context, know that I’m sauced already, feeling like a Black Bruce Wayne out this bitch. I mean I just pulled up in a Blue Benz SUV, wearing a complete Batsuit, with my very own Catwoman on my side; mfs can’t tell me shit right now, lmao. At one point, I saw a dude in a Superman suit, and I mean… it was ight, y’nahmsayin, it was official, but he was running his mouth about something I didn’t really appreciate so I had to press him.
Real talk, his girl (who wasn’t even dressed as Wonder Woman, if you can believe that shit, smgdh… amateurs…) had to pull him away like “are y’all even serious right now,” lmao. I mean I did have the Justice League BVS Batsuit on, I don’t know wtf dude thought was gonna happen when he saw me, lmao. He ain’t want no smoke though.
Yes, I’m totally aware that I have strong tendencies to be kind of an asshole. Yes, I’m working on that. Moving right along.
We’re inside partying now, I’m posted in the cut smoking a blunt, Catwoman is sitting her purrrrty lil ass not far from me, staring at her phone, playing a game probably. There’s a dude in a teletubby costume standing directly in front of her, rolling his own blunt. I don’t know this mf, but the simple fact that this grown ass man actually came out of his house in a goddam teletubby suit was already pissin me tf off.
What was way worse tho, was the way this dude was staring at my Catwoman, like she was some kind of stray he wanted to take home with him and keep. This dude didn’t even see the whole 5 foot 11 inch tall Black Batman scowling at him from the corner. He really didn’t see me though, he was too busy eye-banging my wife, who was simply grooving to the music, paying this man no mind whatsoever.
So, I slide over on some smooth shit, tap homie on the shoulder and I’m like “Bro can you back up please, you a lil too close to my kitty cat…” Which I feel like is a totally reasonable request if you’re a man who’s hovering 12 inches in front of my wife, lickin your lips like you’re ready to risk it all. You slippin, I’m not into that.
Of course the teletubby gets unnecessarily indignant, like dudes who don’t really want smoke will do, drawing attention. A guy dressed as a prison inmate, I bullshit you not, a guy dressed like a fuckin inmate with the white jumpsuit and the black stripes on it walks over, apparently on some peacemaker shit.
The convict’s mistake was when he tried to like, shove me to the side a lil bit; you know how you wave your arm and push someone back with it? I don’t like to be touched, I’ve said before I have social anxiety, which is why I generally will forgo these functions. The convict is standing to my right, on my shoulder really. The teletubby is standing facing me. I reached across with my left hand, grabbing the convict by the wrist he was trying to handle me with, twisted it, and pinned his hand up against the wall on my left side. This was a reflex, but by doing this, I inadvertently now had the convict’s arm stretched across the teletubby’s throat, both of them neatly pressed up against the wall now. No bullshit, lmao.
The person whose house we were in shut the party down immediately.
My wife was mortified. Personally, I don’t think it was all that serious, I mean, I had a goddamn ball. Anyway, this type of shit is the reason why I’ve developed a habit of just staying my lil Black ass in the house.
Ok, end of sidebar. Now, back to this ‘random white stranger’.
“Um… Whose white man is this?” I asked aloud sincerely. I’m trying to find out if what this man just told me is actually true. I don’t know everyone at this party, Kareemah is something of a socialite. For all I know, ‘random white stranger’ might actually be here with someone and too drunk to know it.
“Kwesi we don’t know that man”, she says. “What is he doing here?”
“Julia I have know idea but somebody needs to get this man away from me.”
“Kwesi please…” she starts to say, her eyes already getting wide. I know what she thinks. I’m better than that. When I want to be lmao. So I go and sit back down in my chair. “Gimme back my damn Rubik’s cube”.
He hands it over, and begins to babble on about something; I’m solving my cube, which he couldn’t even manage to mix up very well, trying to ignore this uninvited idiot. Quan is having full recreational activity with this mf, lmao. I hear ‘rando’ say something about not wanting us to think that we had a Trump supporter in our midst.
“Nigga but you voted for Trump though, didn’t you?” I ask, him.
“Yeah, hahaha, I did, hahaha”, he cheerily admits.
“See,” I say, “I knew that. Don’t worry buddy, we don’t vote in this family; we’re not Americans. I for one think Donald Trump should get 4 more years in office.” Which is my honest opinion, but the drunken random white stranger I’m saying this to can’t tell if I’m serious or not.
“Really?” he asks.
“Oh hell yea”, I say laughing. “You white people went through 4 years of this orange asshat dismantling and eroding the pillars of your society, and y’all couldn’t do shit to stop him”, I say to the ‘rando’. “Another 4 years of this and we might finally be free from y’all”. I’m laughing as I’m talking, but I could tell he could tell I wasn’t joking.
“What do you mean you’re not American? This is America; you’re an American, just like me…” he says, honestly trying to present a cogent argument through the hazy brain of a man who’s drunk too much whiskey.
“No,” I correct him, “I’m a descendant of the Africans who were enslaved by America. There’s a big goddamn difference.”
As soon as I said the words ‘Africans who were enslaved’, I could see in his face he knew he had messed up. Now… you know you done fucked up, right ? (Detective from Juice voice) Lmao.
“Maybe I should just be going now…” says ‘rando’. Like DUH. Who tf raised this mf.
“You don’t have to leave”, I tell him, still trying to be diplomatic, “but you really don’t want to discuss politics with me. Just chill tf out and drink your drink bro”. And of course, instead of doing that, this mf proceeds to try to explain to me all his reasons for whatever tf. I don’t even care by now. I look to my wife, who’s been watching me like a hawk this whole time. She can tell I’ve about had it. “Somebody come get this white man please” is written in Zulu tribal print all over my goddamn face.
And then ‘rando’ touches my shoulder, trying to get my attention.
“Nigga don’t touch me. I don’t like to be touched.” I tell him. I hear my wife in the background, saying “Kwesi…”
“No it’s okay, I’m a good guy,” ‘rando’ says, and he does the shit again. Hand right on my damn shoulder. Yep. I’m guessing you know what happens next right?
I get up, grab my Rubik’s cube…
And walked to my muthafuckin car.
That’s right. See, back at the costume party, where everyone involved was a Black person, my reflex was to react defensively when the convict touched me. I had the same instinctual response in this situation. I really want to wrap this guy’s arm around his own goddamn neck right now. But this is a white man, at a Black party that we happen to be throwing in the middle of a pandemic.
If I so much as startle this random white stranger, who so casually took it upon himself to crash my cousin’s party, I’ll either be in jail tonight, or dead. I know these are my options. I have a legal and registered gun in the car. If the police stop me I have to tell them it’s there, that’s the law to which I’ve agreed to abide by. I just saw Jacob Blake get shot in the back 7 times while his babies were in the same car and all he had was a fuckin knife. I had one of those in my pocket too.
“E.J.” Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., a 21-year-old black man was shot and killed in an Alabama mall by police responding to an active shooter call. The cops showed up and shot him, and he wasn’t even the shooter. His gun was legal too.
I’m not trying to get executed in front of my family over some inebriated idiot who really isn’t presenting any imminent threat. He can’t possibly be armed wearing swimming trunks and thong flip flops. Fuck ‘rando’. I went to my car because as a Black man in America, I know for a fact that the law is never on my side. I grew up across the street from the 40th precinct, a mf can’t tell me shit about a cop. There are no good cops. If there were good cops, they would arrest the bad cops. Until that shit starts to happen, I don’t want to hear about all these so-called good courageous cops. FOHWTBS.
In any interaction I’ve ever had with any law enforcement officer, I knew my life was on the line. I have experience dealing with these people, I know how to handle myself. But the best way to stay alive when you’re Black in America and police are concerned, the best way to survive contact with them, is to not make any.
Think about that. I’m a tax paying citizen, my tax money funds my local police dept. I can’t access their services because I don’t want them to show up and shoot me. Or my wife. Or one of my kids. Like, in the event that I happen to catch that free body one day, even if there’s a random white stranger in my house uninvited, if I kill him with a legally owned pistol in defense of my home, I’m more than likely going to jail, or getting shot on sight whenever the police get there. Even if I’m the one who called them.
In Rochester NY, on March 30,2020, a Black man called the police to come to the aid of his mentally ill brother, Daniel Prude. 5 months later a video surfaces showing him somehow mostly naked in the street, handcuffed, with a white bag over his head. An officer is holding him face down on the ground. Daniel Prude died right there on that street.
As a Black person in America who descends from the Africans who were enslaved in and by America, I do not and have never had equal protection under the law. Never. So there’s no fuckin way in the world you’re going to convince me that I’m an American.
Let’s turn the tables around. Say it was me who wandered uninvited onto some white lady named Karen’s lawn, crashing her party, invading her home, pestering her belligerent and legally armed white friends and family. We already know how that would turn out. Julia would be printing ‘Free ErbnArt’ or ‘RIP Kwesi’ shirts and apparel if I had done that (available exclusively on Erbnart.com. The marathon will continue, with or without me).
My point is, that is the essence of white-privilege, encapsulated in a single unsolicited encounter with a random white stranger. This is why I say that I’ve never been an American, and based on my knowledge and experience with the history and the behavior of the people in question, I never wanted to be.
Julia came to get me out of the car. She was proud of me, she knows how hard it is for me to contain certain shit. That made me happy. We walked back to where we were sitting, and I moved my chair away from ‘rando’s’. He was currently over by my car, looking to see if I was still in it. Maybe he just couldn’t believe that I drive a Benz and I can solve a Rubik’s cube. IDK. All I know is he needed to get tf away from my car or I was going to lose this enlightened mood that I was enjoying.
‘Rando’ eventually comes back over to me, I swear to God; determined to apologize, really testing my Zen by now. I can see him approaching me. I’m mentally preparing myself for this.
When totally and completely of his own accord, ‘rando’ falls over a goddamn lawn chair.
You know how when a person is falling, but they’re trying to catch themselves, but that shit ain’t working? lmao. ‘Rando’ goes down hard and fast, but in slow motion tho. We were in tears.
“I didn’t do it”, I said immediately, although everyone already knew this. I didn’t care; someone could have been watching from a window or something. No sir, not I, not tonight. I immediately moved over to where Kareemah was standing. When ‘rando’ got his shit together and left, so did we. I love you Kareemah, your party was lit af, and I had a wonderful evening all things considered. This Halloween we’re throwing a costume party in my backyard. Be there or be square cuz.
By the way, if you decide to bring a Superman with you, make sure you at least dress up as Wonder Woman, ok? I’m just sayin, there are rules to this superhero shit, lmao.
I’ll get back with y’all later. Be safe out there.