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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Colorful Language

Irvington Village Assisted Living, Portland, Oregon -- We enter via the main doors, the place is crowded with typical lunchtime hubbub. People in wheelchairs floating up and down the halls, walkers, canes, a million things going on. And the lunchroom is filled with people. Maybe 100 or so around tables for 8 or 10. Irvington Village is located along MLK in Northeast Portland -- one of Portland's more African-American neighborhoods. So, all of that to say that this place is filled with a lot of African-American people. We were there on a quick visit to check it out for my Mother in Law. (She has since decided on another place.)

I dart into the restroom, unzip, ppeeeesssstttt, and in the middle of this whole gig, I hear yelling outside somewhere in the hallway. I can't quite make it out. It is muffled And these sort of facilities are known for a wide variety of people with an equally wide variety of physical, mental and emotional issues going on. You just never know what's going to happen next. You see, this was last Friday -- the beginning of Yom Kippur. So, I'm hunkered down with my pants undone in an ethnic neighborhood at the beginning of a Jewish holiday with all sorts of nut jobs in the building and my nuts hanging out. Why was I there? Why!

I venture out into the hallway, and can see through the glass windows into the lunch room. A man is at the microphone reading something Jewish, celebratory, historical, pleasant, enjoyable. Lo and behold, from the far other side of the room, this old Black man is pushing himself up from the table. He's dressed in a blue and white robe sort of thing, with big 4" wide blue and white stripes on it. He's wearing a hat and giant sunglasses. And he's irritated. I was really quick on identifying his emotion. Yikes. And he's headed toward me......I was in the doorway. And his blessed little potty mouth was uttering some combination of the following words and phrases:

"Mother f***ing Jews, I don't give a god da*mned flying f**k what holiday it is those son of a bi**ches had better watch out. I don't have to sit here and listen to this f**king Jewish s**t...."

Shall I go on? He was yelling it. And headed toward me. I moved to the far side of the hallway. To a table filled with literature -- little brochures and pretty things to occupy me while he passed behind me. Shall we say that MIL is not going to be living at this property. And not because she's not Black or Jewish. It's because she's a woman of high refine -- and her ears could never take the filthy language.

3 comments:

Ur-spo said...

Perhaps the fellow had dementia. There is a sort of dementia that make people completely tactless and grossly bad in public.
Still, it is awful to hear such, even if it orginates from dementia.

Lemuel said...

My thought is that those were his real thoughts perhaps buried in his subconscious for years by the strictures of proper behavior - now let loose. So sad, too, that a black man who represents a history of being oppressed should lash out in such a way against Jews.

Anne said...

uhhh brother? i think she probably birthed some of those words; however, would NEVER put them into a sentence to degrade anyone else.

*$%#)(*^%$ people........