Drive By

I’m sitting in my room typing away on my laptop when suddenly I hear tires screeching outside my house.

“I fucking hate niggers!” a male voice screams. “I fucking hate them!”

I leap out of my chair and run to the window. My first thought is some black guy walking down the street’s being harassed by a wacko cracker. But when I look down at the street there’s not an African-American in sight.

“I fucking hate them!” the voice cries out again, drawing my eyes to a rusted out shitbucket waiting to make right turn onto the street in front of my house. I can’t see the driver, but the guy on the passenger side of the car has his arm is hanging out the window with a lit cigarette in his hand. I can hear him laughing.

One of the things I’ve been trying to do to exercise my cerebral cortex is memorizing license plates. As I’m driving down the highway I’ll pick out three cars, deposit the numbers and letters into my brain and note the make and model of the car. Then when I get home I see if I can remember them all by writing them down. So far I can always remember two of the cars. But there’s always one where I can only recall a partial plate. I have to work harder.

I look at the offending car’s license plate. But before my eyes can focus the car screeches away. Damn.

But the again, what could I have done if I had gotten the plate number? Call the cops? Maybe they could bust them for disturbing the peace. But then again maybe not. I’m sure they have more pressing things to worry about then some idiot spouting off vituperative nonsense. But I’d like to see that jerk try pulling that shit in Harlem.

I sit back in my chair and resume typing, saddened that a little bit of the world’s darkness did a drive by in my neighborhood.


Comments

Drive By — 24 Comments

  1. That last line show shy you are such a fine writer; and not a bad human being either. Thanks for being a beacon of simple, non-preening good (dare I say it). Look how many gravitate to what you are putting out there!

    Warm Aloha from Hawaii my Friend!

    Comfort Spiral

  2. Cerebellum – motor control; cerebrum (cerebral cortex) – memory and learning. Thought I could use this chance to discuss some basic neuroscience.

  3. you were probably right not to call the cops. Like you said, they have more serious problems to attend to than some lunatic screaming in the streets. If he was threatening somebody that would’ve been a different matter, then you have to call that in.

    If you still know the guys plate number and make of car I’d suggest you write it down somewhere in case you hear of some criminal activity involving that type of car in your area you can turn it into the police.

  4. As far as the redneck response, I’d rather deal with a redneck any day over a stiff neck. Stiff necks are narrow minded, unyielding and resistant to changes. I’ll take a redneck any day of the week as opposed to a stiff neck.

  5. Is it really any of your business if he hates blacks? America is great because of Freedom of Speech, you should learn to tolerate the views of others – even if you disagree with them.

  6. ah, but the language used is what he’s objecting to. the use of that word is so divisive and hateful and hate filled that any normal, rational person would find it distasteful.

  7. He’s not stiffling or objecting to freedom of speech. Since the man is out front of his home, on his block, I think it is Waiters business. If the man in the car were engaged in a serious disscussion about his stance on different races that’d be one thing. However hanging out a car window and screaming garbage like that in the middle of a street is just crass.

  8. Waiter Rant,

    Hi, my name is Benito Mario, unemployed blogger and student debtor. I currently write for

    http://www.mydebtorsprison.com

    I am thinking many of your readers might also be student debtors and benefit from our sometimes serious sometime satirical look at student debt. Anyway, if you’re interested, please link up with us, and of course we in turn will link up with you. Please comment on one of my posts if you are interested.

    Thanks!

  9. Jeremy
    I agree that it is crass, boorish and even offensive behaviour. But it is not and should not be illegal thanks to that wonderful creation – the Bill of Rights.
    Object, oppose and correct, but do not stifle speech.

  10. At no point did Waiter or I say that speech was , or should be , illegal. And the Bill of rights is hardly a wonderful creation; it is a document created by people at a time when all the rights were vitally important to spell out and uphold.
    These rules were never meant, applied, or enforced equally or fairly. Even in todays society the inequality under the law is one of the largest problems the US has to face when speaking of any other countries behaviour on a social level.
    The Superpower that is supposedly the US still has starving homeless children on its street, racial crimes committed daily, and such an alarming income gap that anyone who believes that the law is applied equally is clearly asleep, and many other issues that stem from people bending the rules to suit the needs of themselves.
    Maybe if people thought about how these rules could help others instead of helping themselves, that wonderful Bill of rights might actually be held up as an example of how to change the world for the better.
    As long as people use the Right of free speech to allow, and in effect condone, any kind of hateful words in such a situation as Waiter described nothing will change, nothing will improve, and nothing will keep the darkness from pulling drive-bys on all our lives.

  11. I believe in free speech, even for those people who hold beliefs I can’t stand. Sometimes you have to let the Klan rattle of it’s nonsense so one day you can speak your piece.

    Having said that, to quote Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. [...] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.”

  12. I find it amusing that Andrew @10 says you should tolerate the views of others even if they are different from you. Clearly those guys shouting obscenities were not very tolerant of the beliefs of other folks :) Also, on another interesting paradoxical note, asking an intolerant person to be tolerant is in a way imposing your belief on them thereby contradicting your own stance, heh!

  13. agree with retrovirus. i grew up in a town with racist jackoffs and hated having to listen to it, but they had the right to say it. I always some quick reply like “you don’t have to have dark skin to be an ass.” that yell can be compared with yelling fire, especially if the men were beaten for their hate speech. and as far as freedom of speech goes, if what your saying causes me to want to slap you across the face and is meant to cause me to do so, the legality of yelling it on a street corner is questionable.

  14. Its really sad when things like this happen. It frustrates me … being a woman of color … having been on the receiving end of a rant like that as well. I’d like to think that people are becoming more evolved over time, but some people I guess never do.

  15. i’ve often been bothered by drivers and thought about writing down plate numbers myself… but i would much rather look up the plate number and send a nasty letter to the house the car is registered under. it always seems like much more fun. even a post card would be nice.

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