Trayvon Martin, Checking Entitled White Folk & Why #MoveMojito Feels Like A Victory
In this day and age when the news consists of videos of Black bodies being beaten and murdered in broad daylight, when Black folks, rich and poor, male and female are being tested and tried daily, and in a country, where Donald Drumpf is the Republican nominee for President of the United States, it’s very clear that we’re living in racist, xenophobic, hate-filled times. And it’s not just the people in the news. It is the folks who live in regular cities and towns throughout the country who have subscribed to these hate-filled ideologies and are perpetuating that hate in their everyday lives.
A recent incident from South Florida shows these dangerous ideals at work. Thankfully, this incident ended justly.
It happened when a young Black woman, who goes by the name “HeyMrsAmerica” on social media was out walking her dog in Florida. An older White woman saw her and started following her. Eventually the young woman stopped and asked if the elderly woman would like for her to leave her property. She told her it wasn’t her property but still made it very clear that she didn’t want the young, Black woman there.
The interaction escalated from there.
Take a look.
For those who can’t watch right now, be sure you check this out when you can.
But in the meantime you can read the account from HeyMrsAmerica herself, via her Tumblr.
Ok, so I’m walking the dog around the corner from my man’s new spot right, and behind there, there’s a little creek so I walked her along there up until you couldn’t walk anymore. All but two houses going down that way have their backyard fenced or gated, but there’s a definite distinction as to what is people’s backyard and what isn’t so I stayed as far off to where it’s obvious that it isn’t backyard as possible.
Mojito is chasing iguanas and I’m talking to my mom and out of the corner of my eye I see an older woman coming my way. My first thought was she must be telling me to come move, understandable, whatever.
I let her get a bit closer, put my mom on hold for a second and in the most respectful way literally said “I’m sorry m’am, am I trespassing? Would you like me to leave?” Because if I was it was totally understandable ya know?
That’s when all holy hell broke loose.
This butter biscuit proceeds to start pointing her finger and talking shit for literally no reason. I couldn’t make out what all she was saying at first, because I’m steady listening to my mom in my ear tell me to walk away, and then of course I started yelling back at her because she picked the absolute worst time to try me. BUT IM WALKING AWAY.
She starts following me and at that point I told my mom I had to call her back so I could record this woman, because she was going bananas.
She wasn’t making any sense. Telling me I’m from south Miami like I even knew what that meant, literally getting in my face, following me as I’m trying to just walk away.
This kumquat actually admitted that I wasn’t on her property, yet continued to talk shit so I’m like you know this is harassment, right? If you just admit that I’m not on your property, then tf are you bothering me for?
SHE THEN PROCEEDS TO GRABBING AT ME AND MY PHONE LIKE A BANANA NUT MUFFIN. NOT ONCE BUT TWICE. I gave her two grabs before I punched her dead in her head, AND THEN IM SUDDENLY THE BAD GUY. To make a long story short, this is Florida, she was the aggressor FOR SURE and she got arrested for assault💁🏽
The funny thing is is that I wasn’t going to press charges initially, because she’s well into her golden years and just got clocked in her dome by an angry black stick. You would think that would teach anyone a lesson, right? Naw.
The cops went and got a statement from her and came back and one was like….are you SURE you don’t wanna press charges? She was literally telling them that they couldn’t arrest her and all this noise so NO, she didn’t learn a lesson.
If you’re wondering where the hashtag came from, the Black woman’s dog, named Mojito, had moved toward the elderly woman, and as she was walking away from the scene, the Black woman called, “Move Mojito.” Hence the hashtag.
Afterward the Black woman called the police and the White woman ended up in handcuffs.
I’m sharing this video for a number of reasons.
This situation reminds me of the incidents surrounding Trayvon Martin’s death. Like Trayvon, Mrs. America was minding her business, walking her dog, on the phone with her mother, like Trayvon was on the phone with Rachel Jeantel. And based on the color of both of their skin, a White person feels like they don’t belong there. Even though Trayvon was in his father’s neighborhood and MrsAmerica was visiting her man. Said White person wants to confront the intruder to let them know they are not wanted. Then when the situation escalates to violence, suddenly the White person who initiated the altercation, plays victim.
This older White woman couldn’t believe that this woman hit her after she grabbed her, just like George Zimmerman couldn’t believe Trayvon was defending himself after he was following him, after he likely attacked him.
The only difference in this situation is that MrsAmerica had the good sense to record the altercation. Which is another argument for not only police body cameras but for recording hostile situations with people who are clearly racist, who clearly feel entitled to space that does not belong to them.
This is also a lesson to White folks. Keep your muthafriggin’ hands to yourself. It was a lesson we should have mastered in kindergarten but obviously it either didn’t take or was overridded by privilege and feelings of entitlement. Either way, let this video and the aftermath, the woman in handcuffs, serve as a very necessary reminder.
I can’t help but count this video and the message behind it as a victory for Black folks and Black women specifically. I’m very proud of the way MrsAmerica handled herself in this situation. I don’t advocate violence but I also don’t believe in letting someone unjustly manhandle you, while you stand idly by, waiting for and accepting whatever they want to give you. I’m proud that she didn’t cower to this woman. I’m grateful that she thought to hang up with her mother so she could record. Heaven only knows what would have happened if she hadn’t. And honestly, I’m thankful for a video that corroborates what Black folks have been saying since we were first kidnapped and brought to this country. More of than not, it’s not a Black person breaking a law, behaving badly or intimidating a White person that ignites their ire and indignation. It’s us seeking to live our lives in peace, in their presence, that makes them and their space feel threatened. And this video lets folks with that attitude know, it’s no longer going to fly.
I’ll be anxiously awaiting my #MoveMojito t-shirt.