When you’re homeless, the train is your bedroom and just as I was dozing, I was startled by the pillow talk that included some frogmouth nigga, after he’d cleared all other voices with his dramatic urgency, saying “Obama is the First President to EVER Have Anybody Deported”, then challenging anyone who didn’t believe him to “Google it”.
I felt like laughing.
I mean, right away, I thought to myself Lucky Luciano was deported, and that was when? The 40s maybe?
So I sat upright and looked at the dude, waiting for someone to give a refutation.
Then I thought to myself, if Obama had been the first president ever to deport anybody, then the term “deport” would have originated with his presidency as we coin actions with words and not the other way around.
Meanwhile, the topic had changed and still nobody had corrected this dude.
Then I thought, they’d tried to deport Slick Rick and that had been in the early 2000s, right?
The conversation on the train mostly involved three people; the nigga that had slandered Obama, some other toothless Black man whose main point would ultimately be that, by being head of the CIA, George H.W. Bush had ultimately killed JFK and Dr. Martin Luther King, and some brown-skinned girl with a phat ass and a squeaky voice, the type chick that never has to perfect her politics because ultimately, brilliant perspectives aren’t volleyed too often in her social circle and any guy tryna fuck her because of that ass wouldn’t risk offending her via contradiction.
Her parting shot to the convo was that slavery was still in effect “till this very day” due to “mass incarceration” which, comparatively of course, was actually not bad at all.
I remember around 2006 and when I was still a bike messenger I wandered into a conversation with this young Puerto Rican dude and somehow the war in Iraq came up.
“If bin Laden wasn’t from Iraq we wouldn’t even be over there” he said.
I was, of course, stunned.
Then however, I’d patiently explained why we were actually in Iraq and though the young Puerto Rican had listened carefully and flashed enlightened eyes, something told me he’d round back to his own way of thinking if, out of nothing else, habit.
Marcus Garvey was deported! I thought with a start, now staring at the nigga that had said that ridiculous Obama shit, waiting for him to look my way which he never did.
Other people did and because of my expression laughed.
But by this point, I knew that they were only laughing because they felt like I saw the whole conversation as ridiculous and not one specific point as particularly absurd.
I mean, this was the American voting public.
Moreover, those in the conversation were people so confident about their informed political opinions that they were screaming them aloud on a subway train.
The American voter is really dumb, I thought with crushing finality.
Yet even though I’d predicted it, I’m still surprised to see how many of them believed that they would and could Make America Great Again.