My “Nigga Moment”: How A Trip to Purchase Gas Turned Horribly Awry

I must confess that one of my favorite television shows of all time is The Boondocks and I know that I am not alone. From the moment that THE BOONDOCKSI became aware of The Boondocks as a comic strip I eagerly awaited each episode that followed Robert Freeman (Grandpa) and his two grandchildren, Huey and Riley Freeman, as they attempted to navigate a largely foreign suburban life. Put simply, The Boondocks was always poised on the edge of political commentary that was germane to the Black Community.

Never did I imagine that I would find myself in a situation that would reflect an episode of The Boondocks; however, that is just where I found myself a few days ago as I attempted to perform one of the most mundane tasks known to man, pumping gas.

After pulling up to the pump, I stepped out of my vehicle, paid for my gas and then proceeded to fill up my gas tank at an extremely busy gas station with approximately forty pumps. If he were there, Huey Freeman would tell you that it was at that moment that my “Nigga moment” began.

Now I am certain that you are wondering what exactly is a “Nigga Moment”. In the words of Huey Freeman, a “Nigga Moment” is “A moment in which ignorance overwhelms the mind of an otherwise logical negro male; causing him to act in an illogical, self-destructive manner, i.e. like a Nigga.”  

My “Nigga Moment” began with someone yelling, “Turn that SHIT THE BOONDOCKS 2UP!!!!!!!  That’s my muhfucking jam Niiiggggggaaahhh!!!!” Before I knew it, some of the most vulgar, raunchy, and inappropriate music consumed innocent public space that we had all been equally sharing moments before.

As if things could not get any worse, the young Negro who I had no choice but to deduce had yelled for the music to be blasted made eye-contact with me. I could do nothing other than shake my head in a subtle sign of disapproval, as I am certain that you can imagine, this only escalated the impending “Nigga Moment” as his antics increased several steps beyond merely blasting what many in his generation are erroneously calling Rap Music.

Apparently there were others who also disapproved of what was occurring, an African-American male who was pumping gas at the pump was so offended that he shouted out, “Man, turn that bullshit down. Ain’t nobody trying to hear that, it’s kids around.” Many of the whites who were now caught in-between what was most certainly an escalating “Nigga Moment” subtly nodded their heads in our direction.

As I am certain that you can imagine, telling this fool to turn his music down did nothing more than rapidly escalate a tenuous situation. As THE BOONDOCKS 4if on cue, this Slim Thug wannabe began to do a dance that reminded me of what one may see an African “Witchdoctor” performing as he attempted to cast a spell upon an enemy with twists, turns, pivots, and a cornucopia of hand signals which I guess were some type of gang signs. Now I need you to understand that this brother “boogied” across the ENTIRE parking lot, patrons at every gas pump were privy to his “dance”. By the time that he completed what I considered to be little more than a homage to cultural illiteracy and social inappropriateness, he finished with a flourish that guaranteed we were indeed on the precipice of completing this “Nigga Moment”.

Inexplicably, this young man who now closely resembled Thugnificent from The Boondocks danced himself toward me and the thirty-something gentleman who had earlier screamed for him to turn his music down, did a effeminate ballerina twirl, as he frantically threw up more gang signs as if they were communications that we should not miss, prior to emerging from his spin and saying “Fuck you, you two old Niggas.”

I am being absolutely truthful with you when I say that I am uncertain of what occurred next because before I knew it, there were approximately ten people wrestling and rolling around on the ground attacking this young man who eventually escaped from the fray ran to his car, jumped inside, and then announced that he was “going to get all of you old Niggas back.”

As with most “Nigga Moments”, when the scuffle and disagreement ended and we provided an opportunity to reflect upon what had THE BOONDOCKS 3exactly occurred, we could do nothing other than laugh at the reality that this young man who must have been in his early 20’s had caused African-American men and women who ranged between the ages of 30 – 60 to get so worked up that here we were all laying in a disheveled, not mention exhausted, state at a gas station.

Realizing what had just occurred; we all began to laugh uproariously at the occurrence as we entered our vehicles. One of the combatants in this impromptu ‘battle royale’ remarked, “Well, at least he has a well whipped ass now.”

As I drove home, my mind reflected upon how easily I had gotten pulled into a “Nigga Moment” and if I would tell anyone, especially my family about this incident. For some reason, I chose not to reveal all of what occurred on that night, however, I guess that the cat is now out of the bag and I have learned a big lesson that no one, yes, including even you, is immune to a “Nigga Moment.” There are just some people who know how to bring it out of you.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016

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Author, Creating Revolution as They Advance: A Historical Narrative of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense

Author, ‘Foolish’ Floyd: The Life & Times of an African-American Contrarian

Author, O’Bruni: An African-American Odyssey Home?

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