So, I had a pretty odd, unnerving incident this night on my way home from work, and if I don't write about it here, well ... what's the point of the blog, right?
(Don't answer that.)
Anyhow, I'm going over the Richmond-San Rafael bridge, which has two lanes. I'm in the fast lane, and from the slow lane a reddish Karmann Ghia pulls FAST into my lane, in front of me, then immediately pulls back into the slow lane. It was an erratic move that accomplished nothing, and as I sped up to pass the car I noticed the driver was a very average looking white guy with a goatee, baseball cap, etc.
A bit further up, as usually happens during rush hour, we hit some traffic. I noticed, apropos of nothing, that the Karmann Ghia was behind me. (I happen to like these cars, which is probably why.) Gradually, I realized that as I inched up each time traffic eased, the car would lurch forward, almost as if he was quickly accelerating, then braking.
The odds here of him rear-ending me seemed pretty high. And then, I noticed the yelling.
Over my music, I realized I could hear what sounded like a man screaming. I paused my iPod, and looked in my rearview -- indeed, this driver was yelling. He wasn't looking at me or anyone in particular.
Wow. That dude is crazy.
Because anyone yelling openly, not at anyone, repeatedly - well, that's the sign of a crazy person.
These were my thoughts. So, I wrote down his license plate, figuring if he DID hit me, he'd be a little risky for providing me with all his insurance, etc.
Then ... I got curious. I wondered what he was saying.
(By the way, this is where it gets disturbing.)
He was yelling - yelling now:
KILL THE N**GGER! KILL THE N**GGER!
OBAMA SUCKS! OBAMA SUCKS!
KILL HIM! KILL HIM!
Truly, this rocked me back. I've rarely seen such hatred on display, and it was horrifying. I often use that word casually, but it's pretty much the most appropriate one I can think of. You may hear that word tossed around casually, but I do not and I'm thankful for it. Who was this guy yelling at, or to?
And then, I thought ... is he yelling at me?
I do have an Obama sticker on my car, as does over half the autos I see driving, but I can't imagine this is what set this nutjob off.
As we eased into more fluid traffic, he sped by me and veered SHARPLY towards me, sticking his arm out the window, flipping me the bird and screaming, once again, "OBAMA SUCKS!"
A few things.
One, I'm inclined to go with my original hypothesis -- the dude is crazy. I don't wnat to paint all Obama haters with the same hating, racist brush.
Two, I reported him to the Highway Patrol and provided a description, license plate and all the relevant details. I doubt it will come of much, but at least somewhere there's a record on this guy. Edited to add: I reported him for reckless driving and, if it mattered, making public threats against the President. Our country ahs conducted 'harsh interrogation techniques' on folks for less than this.
Three, the more I thought about it, the more I realized he was trying to incite me. What would have happened if I had reacted the way I thought of, to get out of my car and yell back at his racist jeers? I'm not saying I was bold enough to actually do it, but I thought about it and wish at some level I had. But ... it kind of freaks me out to think of what a guy like that would be capable of.
Hate is so ugly. And really, I know there are some folks out there that don't like what President Obama is doing but seriously, this is insane.
As is the driver of that car.
Anyhow, freaky evening.