As I was walking to my car last night I could hear loud male braggadocio coming from around the corner ahead. One voice clearly belonged to the leader, and he was proudly proclaiming, "You are my Niggah!" to the less than pleased protests of the rest. It's a common enough phrase among young black men, and I heard it at home once in a while among the foster kids (which I quickly forbade - the word feels utterly inappropriate to me and appears alarmingly dangerous for a white child to be throwing around, frankly).
I cleared the corner and was slightly surprised by three twenty-something white men, dressed in 'wife beaters', low pants and visible boxers. A few paces behind, but clearly part of the group, was a well-groomed, neatly dressed young white woman.
As I entered the car, the 'leader' of this group of young men began addressing this young woman. "Hey, My Bitch!" etc. It was clearly part of an ongoing argument.
Here's the polite translation:
"Yo! My Female Dog! Bring your Rude Female Parts over here NOW and apply oral suction to my Big Richard" (Pointing with both hands in case there was any doubt about where this body part was located).
She turned around and began walking the other way.
"Yo! Mother Dog! The Mother Dog I OWN! If you don't like it I can find some other Female Dog to force intercourse upon!"
She crosses the street, and he and his moronic minions follow. By this point I am in my car, doors locked, and ready to U-turn toward home. I'm tempted to run them down. I refrain. In executing my turn I lose sight of the girl, and I'm more than a little concerned about her. I can see where the men are going and realize that she has gone up a side street. I consider options, drive ahead and circle the block, coming back around as they are coming up the side street. By this time, she has crossed THAT street to avoid them and is headed back for the main drag. The Big Chief Idiot has circled to get in front of her, and the minions are some way behind.
I roll down my windows, express my opinion of the men's behavior, concern for her safety, and offer her a ride.
She's a little startled. And clearly puzzled. She smiled, "I'm safe, don't worry." And she walked toward her harasser.
Sigh. I know I'm of a different generation, and likely a different socioeconomic class. And I freely admit that I cuss, considerably more than I should. But if I thought ANY young man was EVER speaking to one of my daughters in this fashion he'd need to have his Big Richard reconfigured in an ER when I was done with him. The obscenities weren't the real problem: It was the sense of disrespectful ownership. And the fact that she felt 'safe' in that environment made me want to weep.