Most of the time, the Grand Rapids Transit buses are full of economically disavantaged people. I know that I'm broadly generalizing, but the white people on the bus are usually either drunks who've had their licences taken away, crazy people, x-cons, the retarded and me. But the majority of busriders are African Americans. Then there a smattering of Asians, Indians, and Mexicans. So does this mean that the black peoplem on the bus are usually drunks, crazy, x-cons, retarded or like me. No. If you ride the bus it means you do not have access to a car. The black underclass tends to be larger BY PERCENTAGE than the white under class because they are culturally and economically more isolated from the mainstream, so you are going to find more of them riding the bus. So whenever I am riding the bus, I tend to find myself surrounded by a lot of loud-ass black people.
Except today. At certainly times of the day, the retarded people ride to wherever they have to go together. Now this is the cultural dissonence that I have noticed. Black people tend to shout quite a bit. I'm pretty sure this is not just a vicious stereotype. Black people "tend"..and I say that word to stress that not everybody is alike...not everybody conforms to their percieved sterotypes...ok so all you politically correct types just SHUT THE FUCK UP. But I've seen many black people have lengthy conversations FROM ACROSS THE PARKING LOT. White people just do not do this. Unless they happen to be retarded or crazy. Like the hillbillies on the bus.
When I first boarded the bus today to come here to the community media center where I can get free access to computers all day long so I can pontificate on Live Journal because I am aN econonically disadvantaged POET and broke-ass cabdriver, there were these two black guys talking. Nothing unusual. Except I'm squirming because I find this annoying. These guys are four seats away from each other, but are having an intimate conversation.
"Hey, little Ritchie, my man, HOW YOU DOIN'!"
"I'm alright."(not ah-ite because these are older guys)
"Man, you seen Queeta. I ain't seen her since I last saw you."
"Naw, man, that bitch gone, man. I don't think she live here anymore, man."
The whole bus is drawn into this mundane conversation because they are fucking shouting at each other. Why don't they just sit right next to each other and have their talk and let eveybody mind their own business. Black people do this all the time and I'll never understand why. But that's ok. It's a cultural trait...theirs to be loud and mine to be uptight.
Then the retarded hillbillies get on. There are four of them, two guys and two gals, I don't know, maybe they were double dating. They were all deformed in some way, fat, talked slowly and awkwardly, and were LOUD. Right away the start almost screaming at each other.
"Hey, I'm from Mississippi, y'all. Huh-huh."
"Hey I'm from where Tanya Tucker is. I lived with her from ten miles away."
"I lived near Conway Twitty. He's from Mississippi."
"I like Johnny Cash, but he's as dead as a door knob now."
"I like Willy Nelson and he's a good an actor as he is a singer."
"Wasn't he in Coal Miner's Daughter. That was a good movie."
Then the bus driver, who is a twisted monster, chimes in.
"Hey, Sara, you like to sing country songs, don't you?"
"Oh, yeah...DOOOOWWWWN IN THE VAAAAALLLLEEEY....."
"Wow, that's just like hillbilly hiphop."
I was ready hang myself with my belt. Everybody is quiet and frowning, especially the two black dudes, who were slumping in their seats. I heard one of them mumbling.
"Man, the mothafuckas drunk and it ain't even noon."
Now here a prime example of cultural dissonence. There is a perception, a prejudice, that black people are not as intelligent as whites. I think that perception exists in part because black people speak in public so loud and direct. It's just the way their culture has developed, isolated from the white mainstream. It's why integration in the 60's and 70's was seen as the key to solving the problems between the races, instead of this defacto segregation that we settled on now. When some white people see black people talking to each other, they look for associations with-in their own culture.
"Hmmm. White people are reserved, the only white people who scream at each other on buses are retarded hillbillies, soooo therefore black people must also be retarded."
It's simplistic thinking, a mistake in logic. But that's the level alot of white and black people are on. The working classes are not educated very well and that will always be the basis for alot of racism, stupidity, profanity, and talking loud on buses. I will just have to put up with it until I grow up and get a car.