I had time to reflect
I was left with another set of mixed emotions after hearing about the police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana. I went to Blink 182 concert at the Marcus amphitheater in Milwaukee this past weekend. The concert, even though missing Tom Delonge, was spectacular! Besides the concert I was faced with many NEGATIVE stereotypes. I had a feeling of what happens when a disabled person gets wrongly approached by the cops?
When I arrived I had to trek roughly about 3 to 4 miles where I received some of the nastiest looks from different races and genders. Numerous amounts of times I was asked is there someone with you? I somewhat understand why I was asked that but after the first few employees looked at me like I was stupid or a loser. I eventually started to say that a person bailed leaving myself with an extra ticket. Again and again I had to lie to every single person that kept on asking if I was with someone.
As if that was not enough I continuously received looks like are you, “F#cked up?” by most individuals that was at Summerfest. I cannot help but remember when I was about halfway and purchased a water and went to go sit down near a group of African Americans I could hear them whispering questions, “what’s up with this guy,” or, “why is he all alone?” I want to so badly say because I am stereotyped as being an insignificant human because I have a clear physical disability. I finished the water and kept on tromping ahead to the show. As I arrived, I tried selling off the ticket but had no success.
As I was pushed up to my seat I noticed two younger ladies seated right next to my seat. I had some time to kill so I decided to ask the women their names, age, and where they lived. Thinking to myself my questions are harmless. Oh boy was I wrong. About 5 minutes later the ladies had left to go talk to the security personnel. Unbeknownst to myself the ladies must’ve requested to be seated somewhere before the show even began. Not everything during the concert was bad by others. I asked this mid 30s couple to help pick out a concert T-shirt.
As the show neared to a close I eventually was pushed from the South to the North end of Summerfest. Where I again received looks of, “get away from me,” or, “you must be retarded.” My night was uneventful thereafter. If that did not leave you with some injustice feelings the next example will take the cake.
Morning approached I checked out of my room and had not eaten breakfast yet. Like most Americans, I wanted to pick up some easy to go breakfast so I decided to take a trip to McDonald’s which was in south Milwaukee.
As I proceeded to enter the McDonald’s I could not help but notice that everyone there was black. Every server, customer, and heck even the owners were black. I proceeded to sit down with my food and eat and just people watch. A gentleman was listening to some jazz music on his CD player which I commented on was awesome and gave him a fist bump. From everyone else there looked at me like what the blank are you doing here? Most of the guys at the restaurant stared like I was some freak. Nonetheless, after brushing my teeth and saying goodbye to the gentleman I walked out to my car. Still having not processed anything from the past day.
As I told my story to people (e.g., ushers) that listened numerous amounts of times did he or she not say, “you must be glad at least you are alive.” I want to shake every person that says something so unintelligent and say only if you knew what I deal with everyday. I get so angry when someone who has not had a severe traumatic brain injury try to give some words of encouragement.
After driving about one fourth of the way to Marinette I had time to reflect on the concert, my life, and how I felt about it all. I first was filled with rage and hate for every person that stared at me. I wanted to so badly say only if you knew how I really feel or how do you think that makes me feel when you have the stupid look on your face like I am some little baby.
By Manitowoc I was in tears. I thought when will life not be so hard or cruel? I felt like an outcast with going to a concert with no one and then lying to everyone. The lies just kept on coming because of how much of I felt like a loser. Now I hope you guys understand why I feel like an outsider.
How should I feel? How would you feel? What can I do to help? What can you do to help?
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