Today on the bus …

There was a woman on the bus this morning—the first morning of Trump’s days as president-elect. She was on a tear. Not yelling, but she couldn’t seem to stop talking. (Turns out she’s a preacher’s daughter, so once she started testifying …)

She had a lot of justifiable fear and anger:

  • “This ain’t our home. We built it, you know what I’m saying? But it ain’t our home. We were stolen.”
  • “They paid the Indians for what was done to them. When they going to pay us for what was done to us?”

And an interesting perspective on bibilical literacy:

  • “You know, in order to be a pastor, you have to read the whole bible, and the bible says ‘bronze skin and hair of wool.’ So why I go into a church and there’s a picture of Jesus with fair skin and flowing hair? Hair of wool don’t flow, you know what I’m saying? Now the pastor knows the truth, so why’s he gonna have that picture on his wall? That’s a lie. I’m never coming to your church again.”
  • She also cited Deuteronomy 28 in some context. I looked it up. This is what she lives with: Blessing for Obedience, Curses for Disobedience.

She had a steady patter of inclusion, as well: “of course, that’s just me. I respect all people. I love all people, because the maker loves all people, I love like the creator. Of course, that’s just what I believe. You can believe what you want, I’ll still love you.”

Interspersed with a string of “us vs. them” and “right way” rhetoric: “The fact is. And that’s the truth. I’ve read the bible I know the truth. I’ll still love you, but the truth is …”

And some rather outlandish beliefs about world history:

  • “Why you think they had us breast-feed their babies? They saw there was something in our milk that made their children strong and dominant.”
  • “Who are the chosen ones? Us. It’s a fact. You know the Jews, with the noses, they that claim to be the chosen ones, but the real Hebrews migrated to Africa before the trans-Atlantic slave trade. They rounded up everyone—you know there’s all sorts of people in Africa—and called them all Africans. Some were and some were the Hebrews. We suffered because we fell away from God and started worshipping idols and false gods.”

And some poignant thoughts on the future:

  • “We all need to come together. They call us minorities, I don’t believe it. I don’t think of myself as a minority. I’m made perfect in the image of my creator. If we all come together, we’d outnumber them all.”
  • “I don’t care what you think of me. I’m not afraid of anything. You can go and get a gun right now and I’d just stand here. I’d lay this body down for my Lord.”

She engaged with one woman at the front of the bus (also African-American), who nodded and smiled.

Then the preacher’s daughter got off the bus with her two children.

The other woman turned to her friend across the aisle: “I agree with her, but …” And then something I missed and then “Like Michelle Obama said, if she can’t control her husband, how’s she gonna control the White House?”

My bus ride did not make this day one jot less painful.


NOTE: The quotes above are not direct quotes (I didn’t not tape my bus ride), but preserve as much as I could remember of her tone and vocabulary when I wrote this upon arriving at work.