So, I went to the movies, as I usually do. I decided to go see the Solo Movie on a Tuesday night, which is the discount night. Again, this is normal for me... What wasn't normal was what happened when I got there:
When I bought the tickets there were empty seats next to where we were going to sit, but I figured that they would fill up by the time that the movie started because 1) it was a new movie and 2) it was discount movie day (i.e. the day that the tweens buy one ticket and then sneak into other theaters as if we don't have pre-selected seating). I got a little excited at the fact that there was an uneven number of seats left next to my seats, so I figured that at least one would be empty since normally I see people going to the movies in twos.
So I get there, sit down, recline my seat and begin to get comfortable and then...
The theater goes dark, the movie is about to start when I see two guys walking across the room and to the stairs that lead up to the upper level seats where I am seated. In my mind, I say, "NOPE, not this seat, don't let this happen to me". There is one seat in-between me and the stranger next to me by the start of the movie. It was to the left of me, and I liked it that way, BUT I am perfectly fine with strangers filling in the seats when they don't go out of their way to come into the theater looking like a killer.
There is a younger African American male with black gloves that expose his fingers past his knuckles, who is wearing black shorts and socks that come to the middle of his calf muscle and are decorated with white marijuana leaves. He sounds normal so far, right?
WAIT, that's not the first thing that I noticed about him. It started with the fact that he walked into the theater with a mask covering the lower half of his face. This mask was purple, black, white and pointless. He had on a black t-shirt which was on top of his purple hoodie (you know, to tie color scheme together). His hood was, of course, on top of his head and he smelled like marijuana and whatever his mother was cooking that night, and I had to smell that throughout the entire movie (but that's not the point).
Add to that the fact that he was separated from his friend, so he felt the need to text him to, oh I don't know make sure everything was alright throughout the movie, and he kept a peculiar guard over the weird shaped figure in his right pocket. Which turned out to be gummy candies, but COME ON BRO!
Black men, I am so sorry that you have to deal with profiling based on your build and skin tone; and being fetishized by other races based on stereotypes about dating you and being with you. I'm sorry that you are being stopped more often. I'm sorry that you are so judged. I'm sorry that you are so heavily punished, and I blame you only for what you are at fault for.
Young Man At The Movie Theater (a name), I challenge you to be more conscious of who and what you are. I know rappers make it look so appealing to wear your hair a certain way, or add masks, gloves and empty holsters to already ugly outfits. But, think it through, and please be better.
Realize the climate that we live in. I am on Team Black until I die, and I hate any time that I have to go against the Black Man. But, that does not mean that I won't.
So, Black Man, I love you, but on this front, do better.