Saturday, February 5, 2011


February 5, 2036

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. In honor of Black history month, we here at WWTF Radio proudly present the 25th annual rebroadcasting of the I Have a Gripe speech. Originally delivered a quarter century ago during the March on Washington Heights (after exiting a crowded New York City A Train in frustration) and consistently dismissed as the rantings of a deranged Ving Rhames look a like,
I Have a Gripe eventually went on to energize the Personal Space Rights Movement for generations to come. The movement, as we all know championed the rights of all mass transit commuters at home and abroad. Let's listen:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of the New York City Transit system.

Friends, Romanians, Bush Men, Yard Men, Rude Boys, Guidos, Asians, Trini Massive, Indians, Europeans, Mis Hermanos, lend me your ears. It would be fatal for the city to overlook the urgency of this moment. It is with great humility that I request all personal space rights and liberties set forth by our fore conductors be adhered to during the morning and evening commutes of this great nation. The sweltering summers of this Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. For the past 437 years we have commuted on the New York City subway system a.k.a Coney Island for rats, and through countless racial behavioral observations, the following irrefutable, sweepingly generalizing stereotypes have caused me to voice my gripes. I HAVE A GRIPE!

I have a gripe
that one day Blacks and Latinos will rescind their first amendment rights on all public trains, buses, trolleys, shuttle buses, Access a Rides, etc... No seriously. Cerrado la boca! Be quiet!! In addition to the deafening volume, it is the quality of content that ails me most, particularly the little black boys and little black girls. I have never seen so many, curse so much, with so little regard for the rest of us. Day in and out, the urban young’ns holler back and forth in attempts to shatter the land speed record for profanity between subway stops (I think I counted 30 f*cks, 15 b*tches , @ least 10 motherf*ckers between Hoyt Schermorhorn and Nostrand Ave). And WTF is a mothersh*tf*cker? Is that even a curse?

I have a gripe
that one day the train doors will open at the Canal Street station or any densely populated Asian part of New York and I will not be instantly reminded of a life and death game of musical chairs. I have seen footage of mass transit in Asian cities abroad. I realize the perceived real estate value of a seat on a train but I can assure you, that social behavior does not translate well in the states. I humbly request that you cease violently thrusting grandmothers onto the third rail to arrive at your desired seating destination. I also request the Asian guys who sell AA batteries and DVD's synchronize their travel times with my morning and evening commutes respectively.

I have a gripe and I swear to white Jesus, if my Caucasian & Indian brothers and sisters do not put that 24x60 inch billboard sized New York Times away during rush hour, I am going to roll the Sunday Times into a blunt instrument and induce subdural hematoma. Maybe there’s a cure for that in the Tuesday science section but I request that you do your research in an area suited for a publication of that size… perhaps Yankee Stadium? Many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destination is tied up with our destination. And they have come to realize that their personal space is inextricably bound to our personal space. So please, PUT THAT STUPID HUGE NEWSPAPER AWAY DURING RUSH HOUR!!
To my visiting Caucasian tourists, PUT THAT STUPID HUGE SUBWAY MAP AWAY DURING RUSH HOUR!! We don’t even know where we’re going and we live here.

We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal. And in a city that often asks not what it can do for you but rather, what you can do for it, then takes from you and does what it wants anyway, there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm platforms which lead into the Gardens of Madison: In the process of gaining our rightful place on the train, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.

And when this happens, when we allow grandmothers to sit, curse words not to overpower our already deafening Ipod headphones, commuters to not stand .5 inches away from gigantic publications and subway maps, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's commuters, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, Muslims and Agnostics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Seat at last! Seat at last, Thank God Almighty, there's a Seat at last.... But now there's a bum sleeping in it!

*Sidebar. it is only right that I commemorate our melting pot, the good Doctor Martin Luther the King Jr.'s efforts, and the achievements and progressions of all races with this rousing discourse. I am grateful that fun can be poked at our ethnic commuter idiosyncrasies without fear of repercussion. I can assure you all however that I will not be going to the mountaintop with any of "you people". Not if public transportation is involved. With all due respect to Dr. King and Rosa Parks, you can have the back and front of the bus. I’m taking a Cab!

“Can a brother get a cab please (during the day time and provided the mountain top is not in Brooklyn)?" YES WE CAN!! Sidebar Complete.


Dexx2G said...

Outstanding, riveting and plain as can be, just the simple truth. I'm a brooklynite escapee, and I've just begun doing my own blog. So for inspiration and information I've searched high and low for something interesting enough for me to read. Your blogs are hilarious and insightful. Your writing shows great creativity and the titles alone are enough to interest me into reading on. As previously mentioned, I'm a rookie blogger but I've been building a decent following and while my blog has not gained the fame and momentum of yours I'd love to have you do a guest blog on The Regular Guys Voice. Again great writing, you have definitely gained a fan.

Sallomazing! said...

You are a HOT MESS! Funnnnnny!

Alf said...

Thanks for the love Dexx. Shoot me an email. We can definitely build.

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