Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mobile Microaggression Machine

[Let's say I managed to record the last time a man driving an SUV said "get off the road" to me as I rode by on my bike, and then I super slowed it down and this is what I heard]

Hey you on the bike
What are you doing here?
Can't you see you don't look like us?
Can't you see we don't want you?

But sir
I'm not one of them
I know what you're talking about
I'm mad, too, that they don't seem to care
I'm not here to challenge you
But the system you bought into is really unfair

I work hard to buy myself
The nice things everyone wants
A car that I wash every week
That's why I get to own the road
And here you are
No car
Thinking you own the street
I have to wait?
Get out of my way

Why does your car give you the right
To treat me and others like dirt?

Because you've been winning and screwing us all
For centuries and I'm done
You think you can come out and just have a ball
In the street you just met yesterday

But can't you see, it's not me
I'm brown and I'm an activist
I don't want things to go on this way
But the car that you're driving
Is a trap you bought into
It's costing you more than it's worth

You don't know how it feels
To be king of the road
When you get treated like dirt
Everywhere else

I get to be king?
A Chicana like me?
What the fuck happened
To solidarity?


  1. The dialogue reminded me of Huey Long's slogan "Every Man a King", and how a car (or truck or SUV) makes drivers "kings of the road". Consider the typical working man, blue collar or white collar. At work the boss tells him what to do. At home his wife gets after him and the kids give him no respect. But in his car, he has command of scores of metaphorical horses. He chooses the music or talk on the car stereo. He may even entertain notions of quietly packing a suitcase, tossing it in the back seat and leaving his drab, unpleasant life in the rear view mirror. There are even songs about this situation: "Right or Left at Oak Street" by Roy Clark, and "Understand Your Man" by Johnny Cash.

    1. Always nice to see a comment from you, Bob!