Old picture of me with a black person. I couldn't find a recent one.
Something happened yesterday on Atlanta public transportation which confirms my long-held belief that I have more in common with black people than any living white liberal does.
I'm convinced that whoever designed the seating for MARTA train cars is either retarded or a one-legged person seeking to wreak vengeance against all those who dared taunt him in grade school. In each car, there are roughly six seatsall of them window seats rather than aisle seatsthat are positioned perpendicular to a single "crippled person's" seat in front of them. Problem is, the wall behind the crips' seat juts out intrusively in such a way that you'd have to be under five feet tall for your window-side knee to fit in that tiny, cramped space near the window. Your aisle-side knee is fine, but it's almost as if a secret cabal of vengeful disabled urban planners is DARING you to sit there and try to fit your window-side knee in the allotted space. It is probably the most egregiously stupid example of urban design I've ever seen, and I've spent a lot of time in the urbs.
Below is a picture of a well-mannered young black woman who is, by necessity, sitting sideways in the one-legged seat. In a perfect world, she'd be sitting straight forward in the same direction as the photographer. I've used an arrow to point at the part of the wall that juts out and makes it nigh impossible to sit straight forward in those seats. Due to cultural sensitivities, I have respectfully rendered my arrow in the same hue as what I'm presuming might be this woman's gang colors:
Better yet, here's a photo of the ample leg room this seat provides:
Clearly, this seat was not designed with two-legged human beings in mind.
MARTA reminds me of prison, except there are a lot more blacks on MARTA. Everyone's miserable and they don't want to be there, but precisely because of that, no one wants to make things worse with unnecessary drama or mayhem. It's a fucking cattle car, but nearly everyone is respectful of one another's space. Every time I've previously had to sit in the one-legged seat, the laws of geometry have forced me to angle both legs toward the aisle. Otherwise, I'd have to curl up in a fetal position in order to fit. And every time someone sits next to me while I'm in the one-legged seat, they respectfully tilt their asses and knees toward the aisle so that we can both sit in relative comfort. I do the same when I have to sit next to any unfortunate soul whose sad life trajectory has led them to sitting in the half-seatmy legs spill out into the aisle to allow them sufficient space.
I get on the train in Stone Mountain at the last Eastern stop on the East-West line. Most of the time, I'm the only white person in the car. By the time the train reaches downtown Atlanta, there are perhaps an additional two or three white people. Otherwise, it's a rumblin' vat of chocolate.
So when I alighted the train in Stone Mountain yesterday morning, the only open spot was a two-seater with the one-legged seat. So I sighed, crammed myself into the one-legger, and began reading yet another book about race.
Because I'm a fundamentally polite person until provoked, I graciously didn't stake a claim to the outside seat. I didn't want to be a DICK and force the next person to board the train to squeeze past me into that awful one-legger, which would have been the only remaining open seat. That would have been rude. So I sat stoically in the one-legger, the train car's aforementioned retarded architecture forcing my right knee to encroach ever-so-slightly upon the aisle seat's turf.
At the next stop, a white male who could roughly be described as an unpleasant fusion of hipster and office worker sits next to me. He immediately begins shoving my leg with his leg. I push back once. He pauses, then pushes back again.
"DON'T you fucking push me," I reprimanded him.
He pointed to the line between our two hard-plastic seats and demanded I keep my legs to the left of that line. I firmly told him that I wouldn't, because my seat was engineered so that my beefy left leg wouldn't fit there if I was to sit straight forward.
He pushed my leg again.
"LISTEN, you pussy BITCH," I told him, "you REALLY don't want to push me, OK?"
He placed his paperback book down on his seat and began seeking the help of an authority figure. For each of the next three stops, he'd peer out the open train doors beseeching the aid of a MARTA official. At the third stop, he spotted a MARTA worker and demanded that the train remain at the station until the authorities dealt harshly with me.
He was purposely holding up the train. I looked around and suddenly realized I had the support and sympathy of all the black passengers. And so I immediately clicked into class-clown mode.
"Do you BELIEVE this guy? I'd have to be an amputee to fit in this seat! This is the type of guy who'd raise his hand and tell the teacher she forgot to give us homework."
The blacks were laughing.
My white compatriot marched back with a fat black MARTA official. "He's shouted obscenities at me!" he whimpered.
"Yeah, I called him a DICK," I said so that everyone in the car could hear. "Everyone KNOWS you can't sit straight in this seat here. And everyone else is COOL about it. But he insists on trying to squash my legs against the window. Tell me he's NOT being a dick. Give me PROOF this guy isn't a dick."
Everyone laughed again. I believe I also heard a few approving "mm-hmmms."
The MARTA official told the douche there was nothing he could really do. Then he asked him if he wanted the police to handle it.
"PLEASE ask the police to handle it," I said, "because I'd bet they'd think he was being a DICK, too."
After a pause, my antagonist leaned in and said, "You're very lucky I'm not calling the police about this."
I loudly thanked him and said it was obvious he was a man of great compassion and forgiveness. Then, tail between his legs, he sprinted out of the train car at the next stop.
All of the blacks were laughing and nodding approvingly at me. I overheard a "That was ridiculous" and perhaps even a "WOOOO!"
It occurred to me that because of his attire and demeanor, the rude palefaced leg-jabbing poofter probably identifies as "liberal" and is vocally opposed to all forms of "racism" and bigotry. And here I am, with the phrase "Jim Goad racist" automatically appearing on Google when you type my name, GETTING ALONG WITH THE BLACKS. Me and the blacks, we've endured enough discomfort and hard knocks that we know how to act with mutual respect in a tightly packed crowd of sullen people. We all know that only someone with an arrogant sense of privilege would act like a DICK in such situations.
I respect modern blacks far more than I do modern whites. I don't have to listen to their music, embrace Islam, or accept their guilt-tripping in order to be cool to them. But this jagoff didn't have a clue about how to act. And me and the Original People shared a hearty laugh about it.
It's now official: White "racists" mingle with blacks better than white liberals do.