"I’m not moving this bus until you stop playing that music," the bus driver said to a young Hispanic man last night. "I’m so sick of punks like you playing that music.” In the city, you are used to this scene when someone’s cell phone speakers become a post-Millennium boom box.
But the man wasn’t listening to music on his cell phone. He was texting or browsing or something else. Not that. No, the music came from two young White men.
And as the bus driver left his seat and faced the passengers, the two men quietly slipped their phones away and said nothing. And then the driver began to yell and the young man said, “Yo man, that wasn’t me.” And I chimed in, “It wasn’t. It was them,” pointing to the two white men. And another black woman nodded her head and said, “Yep,” but the bus driver didn’t care.
He looked back at the one man and glanced quickly at the two men and got back into his seat, as if nothing happened at all, as if he couldn’t be bothered to know the truth. Or maybe he understood the truth, but couldn’t be bothered to stomach an alternative to what he normally faces on the bus. The next time, he probably thought, the next time I will be right because I am always right, because this is how I see the world.