"Pray" never to be a victim of any injustice. You will only be further victimized.
So, this morning (Friday, April 5, 2013), I was attacked, almost beaten. Perhaps, I might have lost my life. No!!!! Gunmen or police were not involved. They were "BELIEVERS". I took a number 47 bus, which plies the Chancery Street, Molynes Road, Downtown route. On came a bus preacher in "Nigerian" apparel. Then the CACOPHONOUS preaching began. He was whooping and hollering and summoning the passengers (in that small, enclosed space) to join him in praise. Being the "Christian" nation that we are he had quite a "congregation" who gladly joined him in speaking in tongues and shouting (yaaaaaaay! Jeeeeeeeezasss).
I interrupted the glory! It was too loud for me, a paying passenger, who wished not to be assaulted by praise/"gospel", to manage. "This is unfair. I should not have to endure this, this early morning. You are too loud and as far as I know, this kind of behaviour was banned from public transportation." The real onslaught began. "Better to obey God than man... Paul and Silas did get beating fi di gospl but dem neva stop preach." said the preacher. "If was buguyaga music and di fish ting yuh wudda support but di Gad weh wake you up dis maanin yuh nuh waahn praise. You too bloody ungrateful!" He continued.
One of the "praisers" hurled, "Yuh is a bumboclaat pagan... see ya, see what Jamaica come to. Dem no even waahn hear di word a Gad." The passengers became very vituperative towards me. I would not relent. I had a right to ride that bus just as they did. And I was not going to come off and take another bus (spending extra money). They continued to hurled their caustic remarks from Molynes Road to Half Way Tree; some calling down judgment, some crying for mercy for my soul; me thinking that some zealot would soon launch their attack. Then the preacher got to the climax of his sermon - he was ready to collect his offering.my interruption was a possible interruption of his livelihood and an assault on the God of the passengers, who would have had holy permission had they physically assaulted me(the words would have sufficed though), while their God would have sat by and allowed them to do, in his/her defense, what s/he was perhaps only too impotent to do.
What was even more unfortunate was that in voicing what had happened to me, via social media, I was made out to be the villain - the one responsible for what happened on the bus. I made them angry. I brought this on myself for, walking "into their territory knowing fully well how they would respond." someone tweeted. "you have to choose your battles wisely." He continued. How dare I believe that I have the right to stand for my right! How dare I not recognise that this was a battle not worth fighting. I guess I needed to excuse them & allow them full reign to continue to trample on my rights, while they determine which battles I must fight. And this fear of being beaten to death must force me into invisibility and silence or cause me to cower into compliance. That is how victims must avoid calling & causing things upon themselves. The "villainisation" of the victim is not peculiar to me. Constantly, women are blamed for their being raped. They must have provoked the invasion and ab/use of their bodies by their scantily clad bodies or reputation of being a slut or flirting or saying no when they really mean yes. Or the person whose house had been broken into must have done more to secure his/her property. Or the person who got himself/herself murdered could have at least been safer. There is absolutely no need to call out the perpetrators; to expose their darkened hearts and minds because the victims are the one who "lay themselves careless" and brought temptation in the paths of innocent perpetrators, who, had it not been for the existence of victims, they would be no need to commit any injustice - any crime.
NO!!!!!! I will NOT accept blame for what happened to me this morning. I will NOT allow anyone to dictate for or to me which battles I must fight for they are mine. I HAVE TO AFFIRM ALLLLLLLLLLLLMY RIGHTS! And that comment about me going into their territory... their territory? It is not their private vehicle! IT IS PUBLIC TRANSPORT. I HAVE A RIGHT TO BE THERE. I PAID TO BE THERE!
For the first time, I was able to situate why Jamaica, such a very religious state, could be so equally violent. I saw the connection between religion and violence and it frightens me. I can be killed in the name of God because people need to defend god's turf. Would I ride the bus after this morning? YES! Will I assert my RIGHT to travel in peace & quiet after this morning? YES!!! What if they kill me? "LET GOD'S WILL BE DONE!!!"