The Threat and No Defense

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(Warning: This article has a sting to it.) I discovered something hideous last semester, Spring 2010. The Director of Bands, and Jazz Instructor, Dr. C, moved the sax section around so that one of the tenor sax players was at the far end of the section. Usually, the sax lineup in our jazz band is alto, alto, tenor, tenor, bari. Dr. C moved two saxes so it was tenor, alto, tenor, alto, bari. Weird. But he’s the boss, he knows what kind of sound he wants, so I took it all in stride.

I had a funny feeling—a hunch—and a few weeks later I mentioned it to one of the other sax players who has an inside track with the Doctor. I felt he had moved the tenor sax player to the other end of the section only to move her away from me. As it turned out, I was right, according the one with the inside track. At her direction, the parents of the tenor sax player – yes, her parents – told Dr. C that I made her feel “uncomfortable” while she sat next to me during rehearsal.

She is sixteen years old, five-foot-nothing, if even that tall, petite, Caucasian, fresh, innocent, young, everything you’d expect a sheltered “Christian” girl to be. And I had no chance in hell of protecting my ass, or my assets, once she decided she felt uncomfortable! Let me explain.

When a girl like that even makes a hint that a seasoned, six-foot-one-inch, two-hundred pound, divorced, middle-aged, brown skinned, pepper-haired, Hispanic man of no particular denomination makes her feel uncomfortable, the man doesn’t stand a chance. Period. Forget the fact that I have a degree in Electrical Engineering, have a Professional Engineer’s license in two states, have been continuously employed for over twenty years in the electric utility industry, have a perfectly clean legal record, am an agent of the City Government, been a father for over twenty-one years, visit my mother and father regularly, donate time and money to the various school programs when asked, judge the District Science Fair annually, and hold the door open for women, children, the elderly, and my fellow man every chance I get . None of that means squat when a little girl cries “rape, almost, I think, maybe”, or the equivalent thereof. That’s the threat. And there’s not a goddamn thing I can do about it.

Everyone knows that if she was to “cry wolf,” the police would haul my ass to jail, book me, assume I am guilty, and then maybe ask questions if they felt like it. I would be the one stuck behind bars, stuck with a bail bond, stuck with a ruined reputation, and stuck with legal bills trying to prove my innocence while Miss Priss is consoled and pampered for her so-called “discomfort.”

Maybe I am blowing this out of proportion, and I’ll just go ahead and admit it for now. But so be it! It pissed me off! I am not trying to say I am perfect—show me a perfect human being, and I’ll show you a megalomaniac—but I was staunchly disgusted, insulted, and infuriated when I discovered this little girl pulled this crap. At this point, I am going to beg the reader’s forgiveness for my aberrant choice of words here, but basically, what in the fuck is she doing in a college band anyway? She is in the high school band. Is that not good enough for her? I mean, I can’t decide I want to play in a high school band. I am not allowed, and I am not even going to try. I purposely don’t swim in her pool. Why the hell does she swim in mine?

If she is so talented as to be in a college level course, then why isn’t she tolerant of the diversified student body attending said college? And why would her parents allow her to attend college if she is not mature enough to handle said diversity? If she feels uncomfortable around adults, then she should not place herself within and around them. Or is it just that this little Christian girl is scared of non-white people? Or did she just assume that I was pig for whatever reason and decided that I was going to hurt her? Why would she have assumed that? And why would her white Christian parents have fostered or entertained her assumption instead of making her grow the hell up?!

Parents, if you find your family in a situation like this, would you kindly take ten minutes to get to know the guy first, instead of assuming he is some kind of mother-stabbing, father-raping, child-molesting jackass? Because frankly, that kind of shallow-minded bullshit is uncalled for, it’s insulting, and infuriating! And if your kids can’t handle the rich diversity a college campus has to offer, then keep them at home until they’re mature enough!


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