Some white people in Oklahoma wear confederate flag T-shirts and drive pickup trucks.
I know one. My Jeep met the back of her 2007 Mitsubishi Raider like a clashing kiss.
In response, the woman angrily hopped out the driver’s side and stomped to the rear of her vehicle. Her hands went up — SUPER fast. She pointed at me, sitting in my Jeep Liberty.
“You ran into my boyfriend’s truck!”
Her dingy, well-worn, white cotton shirt displayed a crooked image of the Confederate flag stuck sideways like a fingerprint.
“This could go left,” I thought, my mind racing through scenarios.
I wondered if she’d seen my Gov. Mary Fallin video, where I questioned if Fallin wiped “back to front.” She looked like the enigmatic Donald Trump supporter who is always heard but never seen. Most likely, she wouldn’t like that video.
I got out of my truck, assuring her that whatever needed to be done would be done. She agreed and calmed down. I found peace in her fortuitous sanity. I know people who rock the Confederate flag and mean it.
We laughed a little as we began to exchange information before we were startled.
Escalation of expectations
“I SAW THE WHOLE THING!” yelled a middle-aged black woman who had come out of nowhere. “She acted like she was gonna go and then slammed on her breaks. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT, SISTER!”
The excited witness walked to me briskly and grabbed my hand in unity while beginning to yell.
Meanwhile, Confederate Flag Lady graduated from “chill” to “firewater.” I watched her become more and more uncomfortable, like a water balloon beside a lit match. Confederate Flag Lady replied: “I’m about to call the POLICE!” so loudly that I would testify the whole block heard it.
She took off to her truck. I noticed her phone in her hand, so what in the world did she need to get out the truck?
I looked at the middle-aged black woman; she oozed conviction. Me too. I began walking toward Confederate Flag Lady as she angrily opened the door to her truck.
Activists are blood and voice
As an evolving activist, I cannot unlearn what has already theorized and actualized my own experiences and observations as an African-American woman. It’s all blood now. And we all have our own blood.
To be human and have blood and voice can be a bit burdensome. To be black and have blood and voice is to have no desire to call the police for a fender bender.
In that moment, I heard Donald Trump proclaiming he bought rights to a dollar-store bleach solution that will make America great again. The KKK clapped.
I heard moans from Tulsa. I read how Elliot Williams was lying on the floor with a broken neck as jailers threw food at him, taunting him until death.
I saw George Zimmerman, offering to sell a gun that killed a black boy for $100,000.
I felt Megan Hockaday, a black mother of three, screaming after police opened fire within 20 seconds of entering her home.
I saw the face of the black woman who came to the scene in my support. There’s more than a 50 percent chance she had been sexually assaulted in her life. I knew she had.
All of this made our little accident a true American fender bender.
‘What battles are meant to be fought’
About 15 minutes later, there was only me and “Dusty,” with her shadow of a Confederate flag engraved in payment. My supportive witness had left, and cooler heads had prevailed.
Then, a car slowed down as it neared us. A black man leaned out of the window, looked at the T-shirt and then into my eyes. He asked, “Is everything OK?” I convinced him she was not calling the police, and she wasn’t participating in open-carry, at least not today.
We were able to settle the accident. I invited her to my sexy heels class. She told me she had no rhythm. We laughed pretty loudly. I believed her. She despised sugar, beer and cow’s milk.
At the scene, she told me it wasn’t her shirt. It was her boyfriend’s, and she just grabbed it to run an errand. We talked about the shirt. She appeared as if she had no idea. I believed her.
I later met her boyfriend, who informed me he doesn’t eat Chinese food because it is “un-American.” He never looked me in the eyes, but he was cordial.
Understanding stereotypes and racial conflict and trauma should be a byproduct of this story — a cognizance of knowing what battles are meant to be fought.
Note to warrior activists: Dogma is a bully. This entire writing will be interpreted wrong by someone.