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10.11.2018

The African-American driver was so irritating. Detail

Several times she was my driver to and from medical appointments. A mid forties African American woman, nicely dressed, driving a nice new modern passenger van. On our first encounter she was borderline hostile showing the discourtesy of not hiding her shock at my appearance and alarm demanding that I identify myself. Our second encounter wasn't much better. Cold, detached, dismissive. In my perception. The 15 minutes or so trip was the music of her choice at medium volume, what would be considered fairly sophisticated black radio. Totally mindless, artificially Jolly I thought, irritating. On the second or third trip she made a series of phone calls, the first two to an obviously young African-American male to do with getting up, dressing as she thought appropriately with a belt, and being ready to depart for school on time. And then the third call fairly mindless I thought to who I presumed was her husband. The next visit I was glowing with the goodness just sloshed about in the medical office devoted to homeless people that I had just left. And I simply mentioned something about this as I was getting in the car with the same driver. The floodgates opened, although that's totally the wrong wording. We found immediately such shared passion for people being good to one another. The boy that turns out was her grandson, the third generation of children that she has raised. Among the events that she shared in a mutually enjoyed conversation was how he emerged with $20 one day, she inquired and discovered that a neighbor boy had given it to him, a much much older boy, she spoke to the mom, all the issues of possibly even if unintentionally grooming him as a drug Runner or who-knows-what. I quickly saw that her parenting skills are way way way Beyond mine and her Humanity, a third generation of children that she's raising with such care and courage just shocking and humbling me. And the man that she calls, not her husband, but her father that she calls every morning. I don't know what she hears and that radio programming that I considered mindless but for the first time it occurred to me that it is totally understandable and may be necessary self-medicating, for a person who is non-white in this nasty bigoted white-dominated culture.

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