The Time A Black Man Got Into A Cop’s Face and Didn’t Get Arrested…Or Beaten: A Small Victory For America

January 22, 2013  |  

This year my sister, her boyfriend and I decided to take the ride to D.C. and be a part of the inauguration festivities. Though we spent nearly an entire day in the cold, and wasted so much money to get there and back, I can honestly say that I’m glad I had the experience of being there to witness history. The vibe and the energy amongst the people standing outside in 45 degree weather was excited, unified and altogether jovial, despite the unfavorable conditions. Inauguration volunteers greeted us with “good mornings” and “thank you for comings.” Large groups of teenagers kept each other entertained with card games and trivial chatter; even the little kids managed to tough out the extremely long day with hot chocolate runs and waving the free American flags volunteers were passing out. The energy was charged with anticipation, yet simultaneously calm and relaxed. It was truly beautiful.

But umm… as soon as the president took his oath and Beyoncé sang, folks started acting out. Trying to get thousands of people out of the National Mall, after they’ve been there all morning long was no easy feat. In fact, it was such a task that military agents were stationed from the mall to each of the nearby Metro stations. And believe me they were needed. Before we even got to the street, men were cussing to no one in particular about trying to get out, women started shoving their breasts into backs trying to force people forward. The vibe had shifted. While the vast of majority of people were still content, on a high from what they’d just witnessed, others were “ret to go.” Naturally, no one in their right mind would have thought to drive that day, so most people in attendance, took the train. So that meant that thousands of people had to strategically be ushered down into the subway platforms without overcrowding it. That meant we spent over two hours making our way to the Subway station. We were in line for over an hour  trying to get into the Federal South station. Initially, folks, myself included, tried to find ways to wiggle themselves through barricades. A few women tried to negotiate with the military officers before eventually deciding to give up the fight and just wait in line like everybody else.

Most people were waiting patiently; but there were a few people, and one man in particular, who felt the military and the police didn’t know what the hell they were doing. First, there was one man who jokingly started a chant with the group of people on our side of the mass, “What about us? What about us?” Making sure the officials remembered to move this side of the line as well. . After the one solider assured us that he hadn’t forgotten us, laughing at our small protest, another man, an older black man, with a baseball cap and a gray goatee, who looked to be in his 60s, started barking orders at the officers, both local police and military, instructing them on how to do their job. “Move this side here and filter us onto the stairs!”  At first they humored him, telling him that they were doing the best that they could. The crowd thought he was joking like the other man. But he wouldn’t stop. The officers had stopped listening. His wife was pulling on his arm, suggesting he keep quiet and the crowd around him finally started to realize he was making an already bad situation, ten times worse. Once the man realized everyone had stopped dignifying his comments and certainly weren’t going to listen to his instructions, he started insulting the officers…loudly. “You idiots, you don’t know what you’re doing anyway!” 

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