A Prevalent Incident Since Trump’s Election

24 Feb

This past weekend was a 3-day celebration for President’s Day. I had arranged to go see Dick Griffin, a trombonist, who lives in Manhattan Plaza, housing for performing artists built in 1974, and located on 9th & 43nd St. near Times Square. Dick lived on the 32nd floor of the 46–storied building. His windows faced East towards the Times Square and the view was blocked by many glassy shiny reflective windows of luxury condos and offices. There were even LED screens advertising to tenants living in the area. The window view was like having a big TV screen to look at. So I was giving Dick a fresh DVD copy of his performance at Alan Kirili’s loft in Tribeca.

Dick was very cordial and we talked about the latest occurrences of fellow artists and musicians. Dick’s apt was very neat with his “out of this world” art filling all his wall space. I was impressed with his neatness where he gave credit to his mother’s neatness and taste. She had passed away a few years ago.

Eventually I had to leave to go to the Lower East Side and do a performance at LaMama. The subways were confusing. The D is running on the F and the J is running on the F while on the M line whereas the D is express on the R line. I figured to take the A to 14th St and switch to the L to 1st Ave. That will give me time to have my business cards printed at The Source on 9th St and then walk to LaMama’s E. 4th St theater.

Enroute, on the A line to 14th St Station, I witnessed a terrible subway incident. As I entered the car, I saw an Asian person with shoulder length straight hair approach a tall Black man who had his boom box on “loud” while everyone else were using earphones attached to their cell phones. The person told the guy to lower the sound and went back to sit. The Black guy went ballistic & berserk. All of a sudden, he started shouting directly at the Asian person’s face, just a few inches from his nose. Then he started hitting the person, I could hear the smack a few seats away. Everybody stood still as the black guy smacked the person again and again. Some had smiles but weren’t sure if they were playing a game or was it for real. The Black guy took the person’s cell phone and threw it on the floor. The person quietly picked up the cell phone and then it was grabbed again and thrown onto the floor. This went on while the Black guy was beating the poor person and making threats. He’d say, “I’ve been homeless. My parents were murdered. And I got 2 knives in my backpack. If I had it in my hand, you will be dead by now.” I was horrified and no one interfered in the argument. Looking around, people were just standing or sitting unmoved. Only one woman shouted, “Leave that person along.” Eventually, the person said something in a deep voice. I realized that it was a HE. He looked Malaysian. Finally the A train stopped at 14th St. and the Black guy ran out of the train with the Asian guy chasing him. As I was walking to the L train through a long walkway, the Black guy ran past me and turned to the right where there was an EXIT sign and stairwell to the L train. I saw his chaser stopped and looked confused, so I said, “He went downstairs”. Meanwhile, I found my seat on the L and waited 5 mins. As the train was leaving the station, I see that Black guy was running and being chased by the Malaysian guy and another guy, a Good Samaritan. I saw no police during this rush hour and wondered where were they when needed? Were they at some Trump rally protecting a national “moron” while many others were causing such civilian havoc in a busy urban environment?

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