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Nick’s Day
Getting Stuck Up on the Way to Work
Saint Patrick's Day, 3/17/16
A former black coworker of mine was leaving for work yesterday morning, turning the corner from Penn onto North Avenue at 10 a.m. on a sunny early spring day, on a primary street shared with the Northeast District Courthouse, when a younger, innocent, unarmed, black man, wearing a ski-cap on this 80 degree day, pulled it down over his face into a ski-mask, came face-to-face with him on the sidewalk, presented a gun from a close draw [holding the bent elbow of his gun hand close to his ribs] pointed at Nick’s belly, and said, “Empty yo pockets, yo.”
Nick turned out his pockets, which contained his keys, a stick of gum, his cell phone, and one dollar and twenty seven cents he had pocketed to buy a soda at work.
He was then told, with a wave of the handgun [an automatic of a type he could not identify, which seemed kind of small to him], “Walk on, yo—git up da way.”
As he resumed his walk to work, an effort that would not cover the replacement of the phone, his keys rattled down the sidewalk behind him, so he turned tentatively and picked them up as the robber jogged away down the sidewalk.
Nick made it to work on time and his manager bought him a soda.
Nick’s day was a typical day in the life of a working black man living among black criminals, a secret life with no meaning, for Nick’s terrorized life does not matter, unless, of course, it is taken by a white man. But since Nick is a working man, and gives himself precious few opportunities to fight police officers and does not attack white men, it is very unlikely that he will ever matter in Urban Plantation America.
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