I Never Thought I Would Let That N-Word Affect Me

I Never Thought I Would Let The N-Word Have Power Over Me:

Tuesday, October 9th around 9:40 P.M. When my next door neighbor whom we shared a wall with began to have "too much fun." First I heard a raucous yell, then a scream and next the shaking of the walls by his fists. His name was Chris and he was our neighbor. 
Chris was a human being just like the rest of fellow man, he had two eyes, two ears and one mouth. 
We shared all the common human features except humanity.
To Chris  however, the only common bond we shared was the wall that separated our bedroom hallway from his apartment living room. Because this was the only bond we shared he used it in an attempt to terrorize me, to sway me from our mental ambiance, to highlight how different he thought I was from him.

"NIGGERS!!!!, WATCH THIS, GOT DAMNED NIGGERS!!!,"Chris yelled as he pounded some more. If the human speech was capable of causing an earthquake they would've found me beneath the rubble that night. 

"FUCK YOU NIGGERS," I heard a second voice yell.

A flash back to the pre-abolotion days would certainly have any person of color ducking or hiding. Well partially true; I had a quick thought to call the police, only because of the earthquake's force and POTENTIAL disaster. However, I pragmatically dialed my landlords' number instead. I wondered if they too might catch glimpse of the broken rubble or wipe away the dust that had settled on me and my roommate's brown bodies.

All silly wonders and hopes vanished when they said, "The n-word is an offensive term," with the enthusiasm and graveness of a tired professor on a subject taught one too many times.

What followed next was a conversation about air fresheners and cigarette smoke. I bet MLK would have died twice had he known that cigarette smoke was equivalent to the n-word. I suppose the two can kill you.

I sat there and watched both landlords attempt to soothe the situation by rationalizing with the tenants, being diplomatic, hearing my side, their side and deciding to mediate. I heard my landlord try to reason with a fool, I saw the end result of the discussion being summarized with air freshener and gasoline. I heard that freedom of speech is allowed in doors, and I also heard that we were welcomed to leave. 

Well I can imagine how Rosa Parks felt being told to move so many times, seat to seat, bus to bus. I do not wish to adapt any more nomadic tendencies and I have had quite a few. I suppose the core of strength would be to stay. 

How can you live next to a bigot? I hear them speak, it makes me cringe. I hear their continued racial slurs being yelled through the wall. But they are not violating their lease, they are not destroying this wall...only shaking it up a bit in hopes that it's dwellers will be scared out.

When they spoke that night about household products and gasoline, my mind froze. Perhaps, I was taken aback from the incident or I froze up, but I was just too shocked, too amazed to respond. I watched my room mate with tears in her eyes sit on a floor after being called a NIGGER. I watched her rise with the difficulty of an arthritis plagued woman and collapse in sheets her ancestors died for; cotton. I wanted to be good, I wanted to forgive and more than anything I wanted to forget. 

The cops told me I could do anything until they physically harmed me. I guess they did not see the rubble from the earthquake on me.

I hoped the landlords would rethink their je-ne-se qouis, laissez-faire type of behavior and call back. But minutes turned into hours, which turned into days. There was no call, there was no email, there was nothing. 

And soon I felt nothing. I felt anger, I felt the need to act on that, I felt disappointment. Why had I not yelled, why had I not fought harder? What had become of my rage at that time? Was I relying on the judgment of others for my sanity for my reparations? 

So many questions, but they lay in the past.  

I never thought I would let the N-Word affect me so much... 
I plan to visit my landlords again... Maybe they would see the dust this time.



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