So I’m in Detroit Metro Airport standing next to this sign in the US Airways Preferred Access ticketing line, when a not-black woman who was also checking in walks up behind me and taps me on my shoulder. “Your line is over there ma’am. This one is for elite.”
What in the ENTIRE hell?
In the dream sequence that played in my head, I bitch-slapped that lady and then stood over her like I was Ali and she was Sonny Liston. In real life, I gave her the big eyes/forehead crinkle combo and said, “I am flying first-class, thank you,” and then gave her my back. But what I what I was feeling, what I would have said if I’d had half a second longer to think about it is, “How f—ing dare you!”
How dare you look at me and just assume I’m not entitled to be exactly where I am! How dare you not even consider the possibility that in this scenario we could be equals?
I’ve been called “nigger.” And “nigger bitch.” I’ve been told by a friend that I was not welcome in her parents’ home. I’ve experienced in-your-face racism. But what happened to me today is no less racist. The immediate assumption that I didn’t belong — it’s the same kind of ugly.
When I got to the counter the agent thanked me (loud enough for her to hear) for my loyalty. I glanced over my shoulder at her and threw all the shade I could muster.
She couldn’t have cared less.
And I guess that’s all there is to say.